In many rural smallholder households, women face a real threat of domestic violence. Widespread acceptance of violence towards women is a major driver of disempowerment. When there is a real concern that speaking up, or making the wrong decision, could lead to violence, women will be discouraged from actively sharing knowledge acquired through their social networks, and contributing to the decision which seeds to plant.

To highlight these repercussions from a threat of violence, and create a dialogue within smallholder farming communities, the gender topic of ISSD Africa developed a movie, “The Wise Woman”, in partnership with Mediae, the producers of the popular TV show Shamba Shape Up. This drama was screened to farmers in randomly selected villages, to test whether this form of edutainment can help shift gender biases, attitudes towards domestic violence, or increase women’s empowerment. Stay tuned for the results, which will be shared in the next newsletter. The movie was screened during a Shamba Shape Up episode on September 17th-18th on Kenya’s Citizen TV.

Read more and watch the episode here (Shamba Shape Up)