Notes to broadcasters
Women are good business managers. Women are innovative and they have good business ideas. Please adapt this script by using local words and expressions that will be familiar to your audience.
FADE IN MUSIC AND CONTINUE QUIETLY UNDER DIALOGUE TO CHANGE THE MOOD AND SET A NEW SCENE FOR THE LISTENERS.
The jail was a long way from the village. Because she could not make the journey to visit her husband, Salma wrote letters. In her letters she described life at home and her plans to start a small business. For the next few minutes I am going to read to you some of the letters that Salma wrote to Kamal.
It is hard to believe that you have been in jail for two months. This is a difficult time for me and the children. There is only a small amount of money left from the tea harvest and the sweet potatoes that I am selling.
I do not have enough money to pay the school fees. Although you and I have not agreed on much in our married life, I think we agree that our children should get a good education.
There is something I must ask you. I know that your brother Sunil visited you in jail. I think he still owes you money. Please ask him to pay back the money and bring it to me — we are in great need. I am praying that things will get better.
A few weeks later she made her decision.
You’ll never guess what I did with the money your brother brought to us.
I bought a cow! Nasreen and youngest son Isaac cut feed every day. Isaac also brings water for the cow to drink. Isaac seems proud of his responsibility. The cow gives us 12 bottles of milk every day. I keep two bottles in the house for us to drink. I sell the other 10 bottles. The money from the milk pays for our food.
I am keeping a record book for my milk business. In the book I write down the income from the milk sales. I also write down how much money I spend to care for the cow. This way I will always know how much money I am making. If I am losing money I will have to cut expenses.
You can be proud of your son Isaac. He takes good care of the cow. I think he likes the taste of the milk.
I hope you are feeling better. I know you have been sad and depressed, but don’t worry — everyone is saying that you will be released soon. When you come home you will see that the children and I are doing well.
I started a new business. I am still selling the milk, but I think I should have more than one thing to sell, for times when the cow is not producing any milk. Also, what if something happens to the cow?
I asked myself many questions before I decided on my new business.
I asked myself: Is there anything I know how to make or grow that I can sell?
Well, I know how to grow peanuts. I have been growing them for many years — and I get such good yields. I think it is because of the way I care for the soil.
Next I asked myself: Will the peanuts sell in the market? There is an easy answer to this. Yes! I know that people in the village will buy my peanuts. You will remember that people here say that I grow the most tasty peanuts.
There is one more thing I had to consider. How can I make my peanuts more valuable so people will pay more for them? I decided that people will pay more for my peanuts if I roast them.
So I am selling roasted peanuts!
In a few weeks I will be able to tell you whether or not my new business is successful.
MUSIC. HOLD MUSIC SOFTLY UNDER NARRATIVE.
And there was more good news for Salma. She received a letter from Kamal saying that he would soon be released from jail.
FADE OUT MUSIC.
I am coming home. I am so happy that I will be seeing you and the children again. In jail I had a lot of time to think. I can see now that my way of earning a living — by smuggling — was a mistake. But please understand that I did it with the best intentions. It was not my idea to make life more difficult for you.
With your new businesses you have showed that it is possible to earn a good living on the farm. I will be getting out of jail soon. When I come home I am willing to work hard to help you with your business.
FADE IN MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER NARRATIVE.
FADE OUT MUSIC.
Contributed by: Jennifer Pittet, Researcher/Writer, Toronto, Canada.
Reviewed by: Nancy Drost, Gender Specialist, CARE Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Women working wonders: Small-scale farming and the role of women in Vihiga District, Kenya — A case study of North Maragoli, Basilida Anyona Mutoro, 1997, 342 pages. Thesis Publishers, Amsterdam.
Young women in enterprise, 1996. Commonwealth Youth Programme Africa Centre, PO Box 30190, Lusaka, Zambia.
“Women producing Andean products,” Maria Estrella Canto Sanabria and Maria Sanabria Guerra, Appropriate Technology, Volume 20, Number 2, September 1993. IT Publications Ltd., 103-105 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HH, UK.
The women, gender and development reader, edited by Nalini Visvanathan, 1997. The University Press Ltd., Red Crescent Building, 114 Motijheel C/A, PO Box 2611, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh.