Decision-making for families
In Cameroon, rural women typically experience unequal division of labour in the home, bearing the main responsibility for farming and marketing as well as child rearing and household chores. According to Stella Kecho of the Family Management Agreement Micro-project, this not only leads to higher rates of illness to women, but also causes families to earn less income. In response, her pilot project is working with 20 families in various parts of Yaoundé to introduce new ways of working, ensuring that men and boys play a fuller part in maintaining the household and contributing to its prosperity. Passionate and determined, Stella explains more to Martha Chindong.
What is the fairest way to divide up the household chores? Should women and girls have the biggest number of tasks, or should men and boys do an equal share? It is a question that divides traditional thinkers and modernisers. But whatever your view, you can be sure that changes in family working systems rarely happen quickly.
But if you wanted to bring about change, how would you go about it? An approach being piloted in Cameroon involves all the members of a family - men, women and children - discussing together and then producing a written agreement. It sounds like a very formal approach, but does it work? To find out, Martha Chindong went to visit the woman who has introduced the idea to three rural communities close to Cameroon's capital city, Yaoundé.
Stella Kecho, a passionate believer that tasks need to be shared more evenly in the home, in order to protect women's health and maximise household income.
Making the most of it:
This could be a very interesting subject for a listener phone in, or even a studio panel discussion. Be ready to keep strong feelings and opinions under control! But there are some strong practical arguments in favour of a more equal distribution of tasks in the family - to the benefit of all the family members, not just the women and girls.
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