A preliminary survey of the avenues for and contraints on women in the development process in Kenya
Pala, Achola Okeyo
MetadataShow full item record
This paper attempts to review the social conditions of women in Kenya with specific reference to the position of women in the rural areas. The main purpose of the paper is to present information on factors which facilitate the participation of women in the national economy and others which act as constraints on their full involvement in development in Kenya. Of special significance are levels of literacy and access to educational facilities and the degree to which these constrain women's entry into formal employment; the legal position of women with regard to marriage, divorce and land holding and how this affects the management of resources at the farm level; government assistance for women; and questions concerning the use of time by rural women. The findings emerging from this research, as well as from secondary source material, suggest that the present conditions of rural women are inadequate. In the face of a narrowing land base and a rising population, women in the rural areas of Kenya have to be enabled through legislation, education and training to channel their potential into development efforts more effectively. They form a majority in the rural areas and are responsible for most of the agricultural work. The success of agricultural improvement in the rural areas requires that women be educated, that certain institutional structures be relaxed which have discouraged the full involvement of women in rural change and that women achieve recognition for the part they have played so far.