Influence of involvement of Women on development of community Forestry management program in Siongiroi division, Bomet county, Kenya
Cheruiyot, Julius K
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The introduction of Participatory Forestry Management in Kenya from 1997 has led to the formation of community-based organizations which have come to be referred to as Community Forest Associations (CFAs). These associations are responsible for diverse management activities in forest protection, monitoring, and management, yet access to decision-making, revenue streams, and overall resource control rights are vested in the Kenya Forest Service. CF As perform most governance functions autonomously, including the crafting of resource harvesting rules, the choice of leadership, and conflict resolution. Gender roles in Kenya put women in direct contact with natural resources such as forests, water, land and wildlife. Despite having stronger interests than men in ensuring the availability of these products, women are often neglected from decision making process that sets out the rules to access and collect forest products within a Community Forest (CF).Forests are considered the second most important natural resource after water throughout the world. They are the key components of biodiversity that represent the foundation of ecosystems and that; the services they provide affect human-wellbeing. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of involvement of women on development of community forestry management program in Siongiroi Division of Bomet County. The study sought to meet the following objectives: I.To examine the extent to which involvement of women in forest extension services influence development of community forestry management program. 2.To assess the extent to which involvement of women in decision-making influence development of community forestry management program.3.To establish the extent to which involvement of women in conflict management influence development of community forestry management program.4.To assess the extent to which involvement of women in monitoring and evaluation influence development of community forestry management program.S.To investigate the extent to which involvement of women in benefit sharing influence development of community forestry management program. The study may help to provide important information to KFS,CFUGs,govemment and NGOs on how women should be involved in CFM. Research from various parts of the world shows that women are more linked with natural resource use and conservation than men, but have they been involved in the management of CF? The study used descriptive survey design. The target population was 4770 women with a sample size of 7 DFOs, 32 Forest executive committees and 318 CFUGs. Stratified sampling was used to identify sub-groups in the population. A questionnaire was used to collect the data and split-half technique was used in piloting of the study. Opinions of experts, peer review were used to check the validity of the instruments and reliability calculated using Pearson's product moment correlation co-efficient. Data was collected after obtaining a research permit from the relevant authorities. Descriptive statistics where Percentages, frequencies were used to analyze the data and the researcher adhered to ethical considerations while collecting the data. The findings indicated that women are involved in forest extension-services, decision-making, conflict management. Though monitoring and evaluation was done, the finding showed that some women were not engaging in the exercise. Women were also established to be involved in benefit sharing though there was no equity in sharing of forest resource. Based on the findings, conclusions, recommendations and recommendations for policy formulation were drawn. Recommendations for further research were also established so as to fill the gaps that might have been left out in the study.