The Improving the Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) of Ethiopian Farmers project was recently approached by the producers of ‘Egna’ TV program, one of the well-known evening Ethiopian TV shows, to document the project’s work on rural women empowerment.
Egna’s producer, Gelila Media and Advertisement PLC produce and broadcast TV shows focusing on ways that men and women balance their roles in their broader livelihoods especially in the metropolitan Addis Ababa and surrounding towns.
This time, the stories of IPMS were so intriguing and convincing to make the ‘Enga’ team travel hundreds of kilometers from the big city to document and share stories ofthe empowerment of rural women. The program is going out in four episodes for four consecutive weeks on Wednesday evening’s right after the 10:00pm news, with a re-run on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. The first episode was aired on Wednesday November 14, 2012. All the episodes are prepared using IPMS project results in its gender mainstreaming work in its sites since 2004.
A brief summary of the stories that will be in the series ‘Egna’ are;
Episode 1: Gender role reversal
In Bure district of Amhara region, IPMS contributed in attaining equal chore division between men and women at home and outside. In one of the Kebeles in Bure, women till the land, while men proactively do house chores like baking injera and cleaning. In the end this creates a supportive environment and empowerment of both parts of the society.
Episode 2: Women-friendly conservation tillage
Learning the advantages of applying round up chemicals over spending money on labour for weeding, women farmers in Amhara decided to purchase a knapsack sprayer and chemicals and to spray it themselves. Though it is considered unusual to see a woman spray her teff field, this decision has liberated those who had to depend on male labour in the absence of their husband or a male family member.
Episode 3: Woman seedling producers
Kedija Yasin, a woman in Gomma district Oromiya Region, was determined to change her living conditions after her husband lost his regular job. She was one of the women targeted in the IPMS intervention areas for fruit and coffee seedling production. She learned new skills such as grafting, packing the soil, nursing the scions and the propagation of seedlings.
Episode 4: Women’s involvement in area enclosure
In Astbi Womberta district in Tigray, female farmers are involved in area enclosure and fodder production. This brought positive impacts on environmental rehabilitation, recovery of fodder for bees and enhanced the production of feed for small ruminant fattening.