The gender politics in decision making at the household level: the case of north kanyamkago location
Kokach, Bether J
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The study explored the gender dynamics and decision making and how it impacts on the welfare of the households in North Kanyamkago Location. Specifically, the study investigated the interplay of gendered based norms, gender roles and relationships, what determine them and what their outcomes are in relationship to the welfare of the members of the household. Major focus of the study was on how these factors influence decision-making processes and how this reflects on the welfare of the members of households. Methods of data collection included in-depth interviews with key informants, focused group discussions (FGDS) and the survey technique. The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods and the results were interpreted based on four interrelated gender theoretical frameworks, namely; the triple roles, the gender roles, the women's empowerment and the social relations frameworks The study confirmed the notion that men and women play different roles as ascribed by socio-cultural norms. Men being the majority of household heads and with greater access and control to land, income and property are the main decision makers. The study found evidence of an increasing number of female household heads, whose decisions influence the welfare of their households. Although traditionally women's decision making areas were restricted to their socially defined roles, there is evidence that some of them have been empowered adequately to make decisions on issues that are outside these traditional domains. Such women make decisions on general issues that concern their households and the outcome is the improved welfare of such households. Factors that contribute to this scenario include access to educational opportunities, formal employment and access to and participation in small scale business for such women. There were evidence pointing to change of attitude and some of the men now view women and girls from a more positive perspective. Such men are flexible and do make joint decisions with their wives. With these factors the study concludes that although men generally manipulate decision making process at the household level, women are slowly getting space and are making decisions crucial to the well being of their households .