The socio-cultural and structural constraints facing women group management in Lurambi Division of Kakamega District: the case of Mwirake and Sikuvale Women Groups.
This dissertation is based on a study carried out 1n order to fulfill my academic requirements for the one year postgraduate diploma course in cultural studies, offered by the Institute of African Studies, University of Nairobi during the 1986/87 .academic year. It is a study undertaken with a hope that the findings and conclusions will in some way be of benefit to those who are interested in gender issues here in Kenya. The subject "Women In Development';' is relatively new in the academic field although interest in this area of study dates back for a long time and the seriousness by which it has been taken of late goes along way to show that much can be achieved. My interest 1n issues concerning women dates back to the mid -1960's during my stay in the United States of America where the feminist movement reached its peak in the seventies. Although both the United States of America and my own society (Kenya) offer ~contrasting atmosphere in as far as gender issues are concerned, due to the fact that human rights are interpreted differently in~both societies, the process of integrating womenJin development and the underlying issues are basically the same. '-'The process by which any government seeks to advance the (ii) growth and distribution of available resources must take into account its women otherwise the development process is hampered. My involvement in the feminist movement has been nonacademic but more or less on the social level until this academic ,- year when I had a chance to be exposed to substantive and theoretical issues in gender studies. The views expressed in this-dissertation are not necessarily those of the Institute of African Studies, but my own. As such, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Hr. F.E. Masakhalia, the former Permanent Secretary in the then Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, of the Kenya government, for having made it possible for me to be introduced to the field of Development (Applied) Anthropology. This was the stepping stone to·my-involvement and hence great interest in the field of Cultural Studies. I also wish to tha~~ the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC) for their grant which enabled me to undertake the course. Above all, I wish to wholeheartedly thank the Director of the Institute of African Studies, Prof. Gideon S. Were for facilitating the SAREC grant at the Ins-titute_without .wh.i-ch this study could not have been possible. ~I I wish also to thank my lecturers Dr. J. Akong'a, Dr. Osaga Odak, Sultan Somje, Dr. J. Olenja and above all my most thanks go to Dr. Collette Suda for supervising this dissertation.