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Script 65.2

Notes to broadcasters

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Several factors influence the nutritional status of rural families and communities. Among them is the extent to which men and women are equal partners in the household. The more influence and decision-making power that women have, the better nourished their families tend to be. Women with less influence in the family are less able to ensure nutritious food for their families. In this drama the husband and wife respect one another and make decisions together. Listeners can hear how this benefits the entire family.

Also, when women are earning income they are more likely than men to spend it on nutritious food for their families. The woman in this story spends some of the money she earns on nutritious food and the family eats well.

Whatever the topic of your radio show, try to create and develop programs that model respectful and equal relationships between men and women and programs that show women making important decisions in the family. Empowering women and working to ensure they have full human rights is one of the most important ways to ensure food security, proper nutrition, and good health for children and the rest of society.

Script

INTRO

Host:
When women and men are equal partners in the household and make decisions together, the whole family benefits. In this story you will hear what happens when a woman takes a job outside the home, and her husband stays home to do the household chores.
Characters:

Mother

Father

Sara:
Young, school-aged girl
Sadiq:
Sara’s younger brother

Scene One

SOUND EFFECTS: WATER POURING FROM ONE CONTAINER INTO ANOTHER.

Sara:
Hello Mama. I wasn’t expecting you home so early. I was just going to collect more water.

Mother:
Sara, leave your chores for just a moment and come inside. I have some exciting news!

Sara:
What is it?

Mother:
(with excitement) Sara, I have a job!

Sara:
A job?

Mother:
Yes! Through my women’s group. That project we started two years ago to produce onions is finally starting to pay off. Now there is enough money to hire some of us to work on the project full time. And I’m going to be one of the first employees! Isn’t that exciting!

Sara:
I guess so. Congratulations.

Mother:
What’s wrong? You don’t sound very excited.

Sara:
(sounding disappointed) Oh Mama, I’m not sure whether this is good news or not.

Mother:
Of course it is. Why do you sound so disappointed?

Sara:
I’m afraid you will take me out of school to do chores, while you’re at work.

Mother:
No Sara. Your father and I know how important it is for you to get a good education.

Sara:
But someone will have to stay home to do the chores. If it’s not me, then it will be you. And if you stay home you won’t be able to work on your project.

Mother:
Sara, please don’t worry about it. Your father and I know how important it is for you to have a good education. He and I will discuss this and consider all of the options. I’m sure we’ll find a solution that works for the whole family.

BRING UP BRIEF MUSICAL INTERLUDE.

Scene Two

Father:
(calling out) Sara, Sadiq! Come here please! Your mother and I want to talk to you.

Sara and Sadiq:
(in unison) Coming!

Father:
Children lets talk about your mother’s new job with the women’s group. We’re all very excited about this wonderful news. Now, it will mean some changes around here. As you know, there are many chores to do at home and in the fields. We don’t want to take either of you out of school. So your mother and I have decided that I will stay at home to look after the house and the crops.

Sara:
(sounding incredulous) You’re staying at home? You’re going to look after the house?

Mother:
Yes, he is.

Sadiq:
But father! Whoever heard of the man staying home to do the household chores?

Father:
Well Sadiq, it’s true that not many men we know stay home to do the chores, but it is becoming more common.

Sara:
Well, if mother is at work, who will take care of little Josh?

Father:
Your mother will take Josh to work with her because he is still breastfeeding. But I will prepare the evening meals for the family.

Sara:
But father! You don’t know anything about making proper meals.

Father:
Not yet, but I can learn about how to prepare balanced meals from you and your mother. Remember, this is an excellent employment opportunity for your mother – and for the whole family. And my own job is not stable. I haven’t worked for three weeks. Who knows when I will find work outside the home again?! And if we all pitch in here at home I’m sure we can make this work.

Sadiq:
I don’t know about all of this. What will people say?

Father:
They’ll say how smart we are when they see how we prosper!

Mother:
Yes, this is a decision that your father and I have made together. We think it will benefit all of us.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE.

Scene Three

SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS AND DOOR CLOSING.

Mother:
Hello everybody.

Sara:
Mama, you’re home! Let me help you with those bags.

SOUND OF BAGS RUSTLING.

Sara:
Oh, you’ve bought many delicious fruits and vegetables and fresh fish from the market!! We have never eaten so well!

Mother:
Yes, but that’s not all. Look what else I have brought with me.

Sadiq:
A new radio! Is this for us?

Mother:
Yes, it’s a surprise – to say thanks to everyone for pitching in here at home while I have been working.

Sadiq:
How did you get the money for that?

Father:
The onion project has been very successful. So now we have money for more nutritious food, and even for some extras – like a new radio!

Sara:
And father has learned to make such delicious meals! Don’t you agree Sadiq?

Sadiq:
Yes! Our father has turned into a wonderful mother!

SOUND OF WHOLE FAMILY LAUGHING TOGETHER.

EXTRO

Host:
You’ve been listening to “Sara’s mother goes to work.”Insert performer’s namewas the Mother.Performer’s namewas the Father.Performer’s nameplayed Sara andperformer’s nameplayed her brother Sadiq.

Acknowledgements

Contributed by Jennifer Pittet, Thornbury, Ontario, Canada.

Reviewed by Barbara Macdonald, Senior Nutrition Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Information Sources

A gendered perspective on nutrition rights,” by George Kent, Agenda, Issue No: 51 (Food: needs, wants and desires), 2002. PO Box 61163, Bishopsgate, 4008, South Africa. E-mail: editor@agenda.org.za

“Beating the zero-sum game: Women and nutrition in the Third World. Part 2,” by Judith McGuire and Barry M. Popkin, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 12, Number 1, 1990. United Nations University Press.

Nutrition and gender,” by Ruth Oniang’o and Edith Mukudi, Nutrition: A Foundation for Development, 2002. UN ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition, c/o World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. E-mail: accscn@who.int