Scientific Publication

Less noise in the household: the impact of Farmer Field Schools on Gender Relations

Abstract

The study examines the impact of collective action in Kenyan Farmer Field School groups on household gender equity. Qualitative fieldwork reveal significant changes in household division of labour and decision-making; in gendered customs and traditions, and in men´┐Ż??s work ethics and their view of women. To understand how the participatory education experience in collective action groups impacts spousal relations, two theoretical frameworks were used; collective action and gender relations and transformative learning theory. The study concludes that Farmer Field Schools generate gender impacts not only because it empowers women but because it also provides opportunities for the men, the agent of oppression in this case, to change their view on women. This suggests that equity in household gender relations may be improved through the active engagement of both women and men in non-formal adult education within mixed collective organizations. This approach provides an alternative to the widespread strategies of aid agencies that seek to enhance standing of women by targeting them as individuals