Influence of gender based violence on the implementation of community development projects: a case of Gikui Mweru water project in Igoji east ward, Meru county, Kenya
Agostino, Julius K
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Gender Based Violence occurs across all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and in many societies, including Kenya. Women are socialized to accept, tolerate, and even rationalize Gender Based Violence and to remain silent about such experiences. Although studies have found that men too are victims of Gender Based Violence, however, women are more affected in terms of their health and also psychologically. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the influence of Gender Based Violence on the implementation of Community Development Projects. The objectives of the study were to establish the influence of physical, sexual and socio-economic violence on the implementation of Community Development Projects: A case of Gikui Mweru Water Project. Through stratified random sampling the researcher obtained a sample size of 250 men and 50 women members of Gikui Mweru Water Project for the study. Questionnaires and interview schedule were used to collect data. The Validity and reliability of the instruments was assessed using test-retest method. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS and tabulated into frequency tables and percentages. Qualitative data was analyzed by organizing information according to relevant themes drawn from the research questions and objectives. The study established that most women and few men had ever been physically abused by their spouses and the greatest form of physical abuse experienced was slapping. The study also established that most women of the project had ever sustained injuries because of the battering and that the injuries experienced were moderate. The study also established that family breakup resulting from physical violence divert members‟ attention from the project; family resources used to pay hospital bills and conflicts management costs and that men and women members‟ participation level in the project‟s implementation activities is lowered. The study revealed that experiences of rape by women influenced the implementation of Gikui Mweru Water Project. Further, the study established that effects of GBV such as inconsistence in remitting the monthly fees payable to the project, job loss as a result of absenteeism leading to inability to pay the project‟s fees and conflicts with other members of the project leading to disagreements delays the implementation of Gikui Mweru Water Project. The study found out that sexual harassment influences the implementation of the project through withdrawing membership, loss of job or promotion hence drop in level of participation, absenteeism and resigning from project‟s activities. The study found out that socio-economic violence experienced by some women members such as denial of property rights and employment opportunities, and prevention from advancing career, prevented them from implementation the Gikui Mweru Water project. Overall, sexual violence had the greatest effect followed by physical violence while level of socio-economic violence had the least effect on the implementation of Gikui Mweru Water Project. This study therefore recommends that public education and awareness be stepped up by the appropriate government agencies, civil societies, churches, mosques and other NGOs. This will help to create gender awareness and sensitivity by exposing gender stereotypes that encourage Gender Based Violence.
University of Nairobi