This watercolour shows two Moroccan women carrying a heavy load to make a living. In Morocco they are called 'femmes mules', literally donkey women who carry a load like donkeys.
Import duties are thus avoided because the items that the women transport are classified as personal belongings. The burden can weigh up to 60 kg, at the expense of injuries and wear and tear, this is the only way for the women to earn money and survive.
This harsh reality is reminiscent of the poor agricultural workers as depicted by Millet and Courbet in the 19th century. The stooping women in Millet's Gleaners have a striking resemblance to these femmes mules, which can be seen as the contemporary equivalent of the toiling day laborer from the 19th Century.