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CULTURE, A KEY DRIVER OF FOOD INSECURITY IN KENYA: A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Griphase Vande Masinde

Assistant Lecturer,

Egerton University, Kenya

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Felicity June Kuri,

Assistant Lecturer,
Egerton University, Kenya,

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CITATION: Masinde, V., G., Kuri., J., F., (2016). Culture, a Key Driver of Food Insecurity in Kenya: A Gender Perspective. International Journal of Arts and Entrepreneurship. Vol.5, (4). Pp 1-7.


ABSTRACT


Gender concerns remain among the top list of factors that affect agricultural productivity, thereby contributing to food insecurity across regions. While both women and men contribute to agricultural production and food security, women’s high productivity and low visibility are among the key concerns. Women‘s contribution to global agricultural production for food and profit continues to be largely unacknowledged and undervalued. Their ability to farm is constrained because the resources they need are often controlled by others, mostly men. This paper argues that women in many different contexts continue to have their rights denied including independent control of land, agricultural inputs, credit and other essential resources. Their access to training, education, extension services and gaining leadership of rural organizations are impeded by assumptions on the part of national governments, community leaders and development policy - makers in favor of men. Cultural practices and traditional norms which place restrictions have made progress for women even more difficult. They subdue women’s potential in agricultural production, impacting negatively on household and even community food security. The paper draws on primary data, supplemented by secondary sources. The paper concludes that cultural factors are a great hindrance to gender equality in agricultural production and perpetuate food insecurity where they are strong. They are exploitative and retrogressive, making women dependent on men even in areas where they have the potential to fight food insecurity and contribute to the overall wellbeing of their families, communities and society at large.

Key Words: Culture, Food Insecurity, Gender, Key Drivers.

 

 

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