Factors influencing women's participation in provincial administration of selected districts in Kitui County, Kenya
Sawe, Joseph K.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing women's participation in provincial administration of selected districts in Kitui County, Kenya. The problem of the study was to investigate the already revealed misguided assumptions in the background to the study on what hinders women's participation in provincial administration on their lack of interest in salaried jobs, promotions to leadership and their ineffectiveness as authority models, together with the behavioural description of the female administrator as picky, whereas her male counterpart was good on details. The objectives of the study were to establish the influence of family life, gender policy, gender discrimination, type and time of work and education level of women on participation in provincial administration. The researcher used survey research design in conducting this study. A non-randomized sampling in which cluster sampling of the districts followed by purposive sampling of particular female provincial administration officers and simple random sampling for male respondents was used to select the sample for the study. Interview guide and a questionnaire were used to collect data. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentages and calculated mean scores of likert scale values. The analyzed data was presented using frequency distribution tables. The study findings revealed that family life experiences in marriage, gender policies, the work type and time of the women's experiences gender discriminatory practices and the levels of women's education had influence on the women's participation in provincial administration and in rising to higher job posts. Based on the research findings the researcher concluded that there was gendered substructures in the study area that were influencing women's participation in provincial administration and in rising to higher job posts. In the study it was recommended that it was important for the government to encourage non gendered structures in the society by empowerment of women and introducing slogans encouraging women to compete favourably with men for equal opportunities in both private and public job market. This would enable both women and men to appreciate that women have equal ability in performing leadership duties not only in the provincial administration but also in the entire job market both public and private sectors. The family institution needed to be decolonized from men dominance to one where roles can be shared between both husband and wife without gendered prejudice. There was need to design the all inclusive gender policy that is free of the gendered ascendancy to higher jobs and the males' preserved posts among the available job vacancies in the provincial administration. The study also recommended that men need to be educated on the need to help their women counterparts in realizing their potential in as far as work-related activities are concerned. The researcher suggested further studies on the factors influencing women participation in leadership posts not only in the provincial administration but also in other public service sectors. This would help in unraveling ways of designing gender policies which encourages equal opportunity access to and ascendancy to leadership in public sector jobs among both men and women.