Women around the world face similar challenges, which are being brought to light in the #metoo era. Women in African villages are also confronted with spousal abuse, sexual assault, and sexism on the farm and in the workplace. They are expected to take on both home and childcare duties, as well as the additional burden of duties in home gardens or caring for livestock — often without the ability to control the revenue from these efforts.
These themes all found their way into our five-part radio drama called Beans, a family affair. This drama explores the relationship between several members of a women’s village loan and savings group in Tanzania, where the women are growing common beans, in addition to other crops and livestock. From dealing with the sexist middleman Sigi, who is eager to take advantage of any woman he encounters, to struggling with their own husbands to ensure their opinions are heard, these women face a variety of challenges in their day-to-day lives simply because of their gender. But the women soon come to realize how strong they are when they stick together, supporting each other both in their home lives and in growing and marketing common beans.
This drama was produced with support from the International Development Research Centre and Global Affairs Canada, as part of our SILT (Scaling up Improved Legume Technologies) project. This project sought to provide farmers with good information for growing and marketing various legumes, including common beans, which are a staple crop that also improves soil fertility.
This five-part drama was published in English, French, and Swahili, so that it can be used by radio broadcasters across sub-Saharan Africa.
This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, www.international.gc.ca