Academic journal article Journal of Research in Gender Studies

Gender Disparities in Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Research in Gender Studies

Gender Disparities in Kenya

Article excerpt

Introduction

Kenya is one of the East African countries with a population of 38 million according to 2010 census report and a total adult literacy rate of 87%. It is extremely heterogeneous with 48 ethnic tribes. It has Gross domestic product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita US$ 1,784 (2010est.). Agriculture is the second largest contributor to Kenya's gross domestic product (GDP), after the service sector. The principal cash crops are tea, horticultural produce, and coffee; horticultural produce and tea are the main growth sectors and the two most valuable of all of Kenya's exports. Coffee has declined in importance with depressed world prices. The production of major staple crops such as com is subject to sharp weather-related fluctuations.

Gender

The usage of "gender" seems to have first appeared among American feminists who wanted to insist on the fundamentally social quality of distinctions based on sex (Scott, 1986).Their aim was to understand the significance of sexes of gender groups in the historical past, the functioning and sustainability of the social order (Natalie, 1975). They made considerable contribution to the politics of gender empowerment, as well as the issues of equal opportunities and access to resources such as property, wealth and education over time.

Feminists have a common denominator as an interest in the interrogation of women's inequality and subordination to men. They have, over time, made considerable contribution to the politics of gender empowerment, as well as the issues of equal opportunities and access to resources such as property, wealth and education. The point of focus is issues of equal opportunity in access to resources for women and men, especially in education and employment and support of affirmative action as a compensatory strategy for redressing past inequalities, particularly against women and girls. Patriarchal ideologies tend harbor oppressive tendencies towards women, denying them autonomy and agency. Accordingly, patriarchy is accused of defining characteristics of society based on all forms of oppression that are extensions of male supremacy (Humm, 1995).

There is need to capture gender perspectives within social reality provides the foundation for greater understanding of the complexities that characterize gender issues. In this sense, gender Perspectives prompts us to always ask the question 'how does this action, decision, outcome or benefit affect women vis-à-vis men or girls vis-à-vis boys?' It thus helps us to always locate femininity and masculinity as relational concepts and to critique how a decision that is gender blind can affect females and males in different ways (Graffins, 1985). Archaeologists and anthropologists have discovered much about early pre-class societies. They content that when people lived co-operatively and there was no division into classes women were not oppressed. Yes, there was a division of labor based on men's greater physical strength and on the demands of childbearing and breastfeeding. This division did not denigrate women in any way. A woman having a baby was recognized as the huge contribution to society which it is.

Globalization may be defined as the shrinking of the world into what is popularly referred to as "the global village." The 20th Century ends as the world moves towards a new era characterized by a globally integrated economy, where decisions regarding, production consumption and other aspects of social relations increasingly include transnational dimensions. Forces of globalization are real and their influences are felt everywhere. It entails free trade, free mobility of both financial and real capital, and rapid diffusion of products, technologies and information and consumption patterns. As indicated in the 1999 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, in the age of globalization, Governments' policy choices have shifted in favor of openness of trade and financial flow. …

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