A philosophical investigation into gender inequality in local authorities in Kenya
The work focuses on the contribution of Local Authorities to the enhancement and perpetuation of gender inequality with the aim to show how such reflect negatively to the development process. In academic and intellectual circles, gender discrimination has remained largely unexplored. Yet within it are serious social problems that ought to attract the attention of scholars and policy makers, if the problems are to be clearly understood and solutions found. Additionally, in order for these objectives to be attained, the problems must be approached from a multidisciplinary angle. Most works have tended to approach the problem anthropologically. To give a philosophical dimension to the problem, this thesis has investigated the constitution of the Local Authorities in Kenya where men have total control. The thesis started by proposing that such constitutions are logically and empirically indefensible and that they greatly undermine the success of development at the grassroots level. Then using tools of philosophical inquiry especially analytic, deductive and conceptual methods, various variables namely, culture and tradition, colonialism, sex stereotyping are objectively examined. The thesis finds that these are contributing factors towards female marginalization in the constitution of the Local Authorities. The rigorous philosophical investigation confirmed that such variables, all propagate that women are intellectually, morally and naturally inferior to men, hence are not capable to make up political leadership. However, upon thorough conceptual and analytical examination, such claims have been found to be based on myths and conjectures and are unverifiable and logically unjustifiable. The study subsequently concludes that the social gender construction based upon patriarchy and supported by the political systems is not impartial, as it works against the well being of female gender. That this social gender is radically different from biological gender hence the two must not be seen as equivalents and used against women. Finally, the study suggests that such prejudicial social construction of gender are challengeable and changeable, unlike the biological sex and should be deconstructed to pave way for more participation of women in positions of leadership.