On January 3, 2020 in Gumer Woreda, 10 families were recognized for their achievement in becoming Gender Model Families and another 14 follower families were also recognized for their work. Organized by the Woreda in collaboration with Gurage Zone, the Gender Unit of the Regional Agriculture and Natural Resource Development and the second Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) Coordination Unit, a Graduation ceremony was held in Arekit, Sheleko Kebele. A number of guests attended including farmers from the area and some special invited guests from Woreda, Zone and Region – mainly representatives from the office of Women, Youth & Children’s Affairs, Agriculture & Natural Resource Development, AGP and CDSF.

At the start of the event, the graduate families demonstrated what they have learned and practiced at home in a dramatic presentation for the audience. They then explained, couple by couple, how the division of labor reflects the reproductive role of families and also how control of income, expenses and land ownership affects each member of the household differently.

Graduate families have demonstrated their knowledge and learning around gender divisions in household roles and responsibilities, division of labor in a 24 hour period, decision-making, and access and control of resources. They have also developed Action Plans that articulate how husbands will share the workload of their wives, and how access and control of resources can be more balanced. Some of the household responsibilities that are now shared more equally include: food preparation, child care, family planning, washing cloth, fetching water, collecting fire wood & milking.

Following the presentations, a discussion co-chaired by Ato Kedir Mohammed (RAGP CU Coordinator) and Ato Sisay Sifer (Woreda Agriculture & Natural Resource Development Office Head), recognized the effort of the Woreda in developing gender sensitive households. They highlighted the importance of continuing the work in other Kebeles and ensuring a strong connection between gender model household efforts and other extension activities. The sustainability and reach of the work will require such coordination.  To support this, a documentary film will be produced showcasing the success stories of Gender Model Families.

Finally, Ato Mohammed Naser -Woreda Chief Administrator – gave closing remarks and invited guests to join for a lunch prepared by the model families. The event was closed with a blessing from a religious leader.