Ceuta : «Mule women» can now use trolleys when carrying goods

Mule women using trolleys to carry their goods through the Ceuta border crossing./Ph. DR
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It’s good news for Moroccan «mule women» who carry everyday heavy loads across the borders between the Spanish enclave Ceuta and Morocco. In fact, a new initiative is going to allow these women to carry their goods on trolleys, making it easier and more practical for them, reports AFP on Thursday.

The new initiative applied by the Ceuta authorities this month came into force following the pressure put by NGOs, which denounced the frequent incidents in the crossing border. Speaking to the French news agency, Najat a porter welcomed the idea saying : «It’s a good thing, especially for those with health problems».

Mule women like Najat will be exempted from import duties even when carrying their goods on trolleys. «It is much more durable than trolleys sold in the shops», she told the same source describing her new device.

On the other hand, 50-year old Fatima is not a huge fan of her trolley. «It does not roll on its own, it must be steered, and it is difficult on slopes», she argued, adding that nothing has really changed.

For the record, four women died last year in stampedes at the border post while trying to enter the enclave.

In March, local online newspaper El Faro de Ceuta announced that the city’s authorities «will ban pedestrians from carrying goods on their backs at the border crossing». The new measure’s objective is to «facilitate» the daily activities of the mule women.

Speaking to Yabiladi in a previous article on the matter, head of the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights Boubker Largo stated that porters who daily carry more than 50 kilograms on their backs will still be able to do so even if the decision is applied. «It will always be possible for these women to carry small boxes and packages (60x40) on their backs. As for other goods, they have to carry them on trolleys».

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