Just as the olive tree is an important part of the Mediterranean landscape and lifestyle, so is the shea tree to West Africa, its name in the local language. Just as the olive tree is an important part of the Mediterranean landscape and lifestyle, so is the shea tree to West Africa, its name in the local language means “life.” In the regions of Africa where shea trees grow, women use shea butter for everything from cooking to protecting and nourishing their skin and hair. This natural balm benefits the whole family, including children and men. Known as “women’s gold,” shea butter also ensures a precious source of revenue for those involved in its production. Organized in cooperatives, local women harvest the fruit of this tree in a traditional manner and are the only ones who know how to turn it into butter. This process plays an important role economically for these women as it permits them to pay for essentials such as health care and the education of their children.e means “life.” In the regions of Africa where shea trees grow, women use shea butter for everything from cooking to protecting and nourishing their skin and hair. This natural balm benefits the whole family, including children and men. Known as “women’s gold,” shea butter also ensures a precious source of revenue for those involved in its production. Organized in cooperatives, local women harvest the fruit of this tree in a traditional manner and are the only ones who know how to turn it into butter. This process plays an important role economically for these women as it permits them to pay for essentials such as health care and the education of their children.