Harissa is made from sun-dried chili peppers, freshly prepared spices and olive oil. AFP / FETHI BELAID
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These days, when Najoua Dhiflaoui prepares harissa, it is no longer just for her family.In 2013, a group of women farmers in Menzel Mhiri near Kerouan in rural central Tunisia banded together to form a cooperative they dubbed "Tahadi" – Arabic for "challenge".Tahadi now has 164 people working for it, and is one of the first firms in Tunisia to work exclusively with local rural women under a rotational system – its members work according to a flexible schedule.Women play a key role in the Tunisian economy, said Farouk Ben Salah of PAMPAT, a U.N., Swiss and Tunisian project aimed at getting rural products such as harissa onto the market.Although female unemployment is 22.5 percent at a national level, the rate exceeds 35 percent in Tunisia's rural provinces, according to a 2015 report by the National Institute of Statistics.Errim Harissa is already making a name for itself.
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