GENDER GAPS IN DECISION MAKING POWER IN HOUSEHOLDS: CASE OF IMPROVED BEE KEEPING AMONG THE MAASAI COMMUNITY IN TRANS MARA, NAROK COUNTY, KENYA
Keywords:Improved Bee Keeping, Participation, Gender, Imenti South District, Kenya.
Purpose: This study sought to explore gender gaps in decision making power in improved bee keeping households among the Maasai community in Trans Mara, Narok County, Kenya.
Methodology: Random and snowball sampling was used. A of 110 households were interviewed while 36 participants were selected for focus group discussions (FGDs) and 16 key informant (KII) were also interviewed. A FGD guide was used to collect information in group discussions while interview schedules were used for KIIs. Data collected was analysed using SPSS and excel spreadsheet.
Findings: Findings indicate a higher consensus among group members’ households compared to non-members. It can be argued that trainings in improved bee keeping have enhanced joint decisions, a factor that reduces gender gaps. However, in both categories (group members non-members), men have a higher decision making power in purchase and sale of all household assets while women’s is minimal or none at all. Women have input in decisions concerning poultry. Further, men have input to most or all decisions pertaining income generated from productive activities, including bee products.
Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study suggests awareness initiatives and household empowerment targeting power imbalances and cultural stereotypes, especially those that deter socio-economic development. In such forums, trainings and discussions should be promoted on gender roles, unequal workload, rights and responsibilities especially importance of individual and joint decision making power. This will address both household and community inequalities, and minimize the gender gap for enhanced participation and access to benefits in agricultural value chains.
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