- Some men in rural parts of Ghana have participated in a cooking competition to help address stereotypes about gender roles
- The programme was organised by ActionAid as part of efforts to help people unlearn toxic narratives such as men don't belong to the kitchen
- Participating men were provided with a budget to go shopping and prepare meals, after which they are judged based on the quality of their meal
While it is rare for some persons living in remote communities to see a man cooking to help their wives because of retrograde narratives that men don’t belong to the kitchen, some men in rural Ghana are helping to change perceptions.
As part of a campaign to tackle Unpaid Care Work (UCW); which refers to the domestic workload placed on women such as cooking, washing, fetching water, taking care of children and sick family members, ActionAid has been organising Men’s Cooking Competition in communities to demystify the idea that men do not belong in the kitchen.
Participating men are provided with a budget to go shopping at the market and prepare a meal, after which they are judged based on the quality of their meal.
These men engage themselves during these activities and discuss gender roles and stereotypes with men, women and children.
In their own small ways, they are helping to address entrenched cultural machinery that fuels primitive narratives and help change their paradigm regarding these issues including gender roles.
They will also use the knowledge acquired from these competitions to help their hard working wives with household chores.
After years of marriage, the men have joined in the campaign to highlight Unpaid Care Work (UCW); which refers to the domestic workload placed on women such as cooking, washing, fetching water, taking care of children and sick family members.
Unpaid Care Work and the burden it places on women prevents them from dedicating their time to other productive activities, and drains them of their energy.
ActionAid, under the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs-funded, Promoting Opportunities for Women's Empowerment and Rights (POWER), advocates for the recognition, reduction and redistributing of this burden on women by sensitising men and boys to take on their share of care work.
In a related story, 64-year-old Imam joins wife cook to tackle stereotypes about gender roles. The married father of two, lives with his family in the Dangbe community in the Nanumba North District and works as a religious leader and an advocate of shared responsibilities in the performance of care work.
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