Gender equality of women in poverty reduction: the case of the local links project in Kibera Division ,Nairobi , Kenya
The study sought to explore the situation of Kibera informal settlement in regard to promoting gender equality and empowerment of women in poverty reduction. The study took the case of the Local Links Project in Kibera which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the President‟s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The project was implemented by CARE Kenya in all the 13 villages in Kibera in partnership with 20 CBOs, 20 FBOs, 15 youth groups and 70 learning institutions. The aim was to improve the quality of the lives of OVCs and their families in the poor and marginalized informal settlement of Kibera. The study was anchored on MDG Number Three which seeks to promote gender equality and empower women. The objectives of the study were; to examine the proportion of literacy levels between men and women within the age bracket of 15 to 24 years; to assess the role of economic empowerment in promoting gender equality in Kibera slums; to establish the influence of women leadership on promoting gender equality and empowering women and to determine the ratio of boys to girls enrolled in various levels of education in Kibera slums. Literature review focused on works of various scholars and development agencies in the areas of gender and the MDG Number Three. A critical in depth analysis of previous studies was done and the discussion divided into the following sections; progress on MDG 3, ratio of girls to boys in institutions of learning and literacy levels, women in non-agricultural wage employment, women in political leadership and decision making, theoretical framework, conceptual framework and finally the researcher‟s analysis of the literature review is contained in the summary. The study used cross-sectional survey research design. The target population included CBOs and youth groups under the Local Links Project in Kibera. Through the use of random stratified sample, the study ended up with a sample size of 30 respondents. 20 respondents interviewed were from CBOs and 10 were from youth groups. Data was collected using various tools such as questionnaires, key informants guides as well as focused group discussion guide. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social science and analysis involved; cross tabulation and use of measures of central tendency. The findings of the study revealed that Kibera slum is making a progress in regard to achieving MDG 3. Gender parity in school enrolment has been achieved and economic empowerment plays a big role in promoting gender equality. The influence of women leadership on promoting gender equality and empowering women is still being hindered by retrogressive cultural beliefs. Literacy level of the girl child is also low compared to that of the boy child. The study recommends gender mainstreaming in programs, introduction of gender studies in lower levels of education and incorporation of men to champion women empowerment.