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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Gender of Wealth: Markets and Power in Central Kenya
Author:Heyer, AmrikISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:women traders
gender relations
gender division of labour
social change
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Women's Issues
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240600671361
Abstract:In Kenya, coffee was always controlled by the State, and was fundamental to the creation of a 'virilocal bourgeoisie'. In the postindependence years, the State's regulation of coffee markets opened 'unofficial' avenues of accumulation which undermined the coffee economy, imploding the foundations for a discourse of (male) wealth and progress that has characterized rural societies in central Kenya since independence. This has resulted in the recent exploration of diverse market possibilities and new spaces of communal identification through which older landowning men attempt to retain their powers, as their capacity to define a prosperous collectivity is challenged by the recent entrepreneurship of younger men and women. In the banana trade, a new reliance on local food markets is now catering to the sustenance and productive capacities of rural communities. This new 'cash crop' is channelled through distinct commodity pathways which differentiate bananas from coffee, shaping the dynamics of production and trade and their capacity to transform relationships of gender and power. In rural households, women as farmers now have greater control over household economies. As traders, women now generate the capital required to invest in household productivity as well as sustenance. The paper is based on fieldwork carried out in Murang'a district in Central Kenya in 1993-1994. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]