Logoli women of western Kenya speak:needs and means
The research on women's power in collective and capitalist structures recognises the important economic position of women. Research in Maragoli, Kenya, shows that women's work is not universally confined to the domestic sphere, nor is gender inequality in productive relations a result of the eclipse of communal and family-based production and property ownership. Women believe gender inequality is increasing in Maragoli and are resisting. Logoli women attribute the trend to increasing gender inequality to men's actions in entrenching traditional cultural values of patriarchal ideology which serve to reduce and deny women's growing productive role and value. Maragoli women are not controlled by patriarchal ideology although these values are part of the cultural rhetoric. In Maragoli, women assume a posture of ideological and institutional acceptance attached to "the Avalogoli way" as deliberate social action while recognising that "today life is not fair to women". They are pro4ucers of both use and exchange value in the collective and capitalist structures, ii extending "home work" responsibilities to "outside work" using cultural avenues to power. Their skills are generated within the collectivity through the accumulation of information and influence which accords them a culturally valued reputation as "good L6goli wives". Women have power even in a society with a patriarchal ideology and this power is growing as they recognise that male elders no longer rule in their best interests. This research is based on fieldwork conducted in Maragoli from August 1987 to June 1988.