ASSESSMENT OF WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN LIVELIHOOD DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN KWALE COUNTY, KENYA
Chimerah, Rukia Mlongo
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Women participation in various fields of livelihood development has proven to bring positive outcomes to their families and the society at large. In most developing countries women are faced with tremendous constraints and lack opportunities in financial services, jobs and property assets compared to their male counterparts. This is the case particularly for societies that are organized along patriarchy lines, a characteristic of most communities in the coastal region of Kenya. Women participation is critical for development of the society. However, their participation is faced is faced with various challenges despite several efforts of the Government and other stakeholders. Accordingly, there are factors that hinder women from participating in livelihood development activities that have the potential of transforming the society. The purpose of the study was to assess the participation of women in livelihood development activities in Kinango Sub-county, Kwale County. This research therefore sought to assess women participation in Kinango Sub-county in livelihood development activities. The objectives of this study were to: establish the indicators of participation in livelihood development activities can be enhanced in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale County. The study was done using survey research design which adopted a descriptive research design employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The target population for the study was women who are eighteen years and above in each selected household. The study used a combination of cluster and simple random sampling techniques to select the participants. A sample size of 370 households was selected. Data collection was done using both questionnaires and interview schedules were administered to women. Data was analyzed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer programme, employing both descriptive for analyzing the demographic characteristics and indicators of livelihood development activities and vi inferential statistics for finding out the relationship between factors and indicators of livelihood development activities. The research found out that a high percentage of women participated in almost all indicators of livelihood development activities, the level of participators is in almost all indicators the main factors hindering women participation were lack of education (P = 0.001), poverty (P =0 .001), tradition and culture (P = 0.001) and inferior position of women (P = 0.007). In conclusion, land ownership, livestock ownership and decision making were found to be the most indicators of livelihood development activities in which women participated in but only within family structures, inferiority position of women was mostly hindering women participation. Study recommends that, more is to be done in sensitization through programs to empower women. Women should be encouraged to form women groups in order to access more funds. Further research should be done on challenges women face in accessing credit facilities in the study area.