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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Politics and Gender Relations in Kenya: A Historical Perspective
Author:Ochwada, Hannington
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Kenya
East Africa
Subjects:gender relations
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
Women's Issues
Equality and Liberation
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Sex Roles
political history
Women's participation
Gender equality
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24482786
Abstract:In December 1991 Kenya started a new democratic project, adopting once again a multiparty system, which creates the possibility for greater participation of Kenyan citizens in the political process. However, women are still strongly underrepresented in the political process. This may be explained by the deep-rooted patriarchal ideology which defines gender relations in most African societies and which determined the social, economic and political organization of precolonial Kenyan societies, leading to the social, economic and political subordination of women. During colonialism, gender inequalities were enhanced. This explains why in most precolonial and colonial societies of Kenya women did not hold significant positions in the public decisionmaking process. The Government of postindependence Kenya acted as if the question of gender equity was irrelevant. The employment sector and the educational system are characterized by considerable gender imbalances. Is it possible for the new political situation to have a positive effect on the situation of women in Kenya? Firstly, affirmative action must be employed to give women more opportunities to pursue education. Secondly, laws which tend to marginalize women should be reviewed. Above all, women should be encouraged to enter the public decisionmaking process. Bibliogr., note.