Gender Model Families share chores, make decisions together

The Gender Model Family (GMF) approach addresses unequal power relationships between women and men and promotes a longer-term transformation of harmful gender norms.  

Twenty GMF families were established in Kenya, and they positively affected household dynamics. Participants said the GMF training provided the tools to help couples and family members share household chores and decision making in their homes. In addition, parents are mentoring their children to share chores at home regardless of their gender.  

Henry and Annah Nzioka said their children, most of whom are adults, laughed at them when they told them their father was engaging in household chores as part of GMF training  

“It even looked funnier to them when they saw me execute household chores like sweeping, fetching firewood, and serving food at the table,” said Henry.  

Henry and Annah are also teaching their grandchildren to share household chores notwithstanding their gender, and this is becoming the norm in their family.  

“The most surprising part of it for me was when our son was joining college and my husband consulted me before selling a bull to pay for his college fee. This was the first time he ever consulted me before selling an asset in the family,” Annah said. “I was used to the fact that he would make financial decisions on his own without my input. However, this time he engaged me in the conversation, and I knew how much we made from the sale and how it was spent.”  

Although some community members still frown at how they operate as a family, others are inspired by the collective benefits their neighbors are experiencing. Henry and Annah said they will continue practicing GMF and will educate the community and co-operative members on the value it adds to their family because they have significantly benefitted from it.  

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