Challenges facing home ownership among women in Kenya. A case study of Kikuyu town.
Women form majority of the population in Kenya (52%) and play an active role in the development of the society, although Kenya remains a very patriarchal society, and the status of women remains relatively low with inequalities and inequities prevailing in many aspects of life. Women continue to be marginalized and discriminated against in almost all aspects of their lives, a situation which is reinforced by the existing laws and policies, as well as the socio-cultural factors. Kenya's current system of property, land access and ownership discriminates against women, creating social inequality and serious economic disadvantages notwithstanding that Land and housing are central issues in developing economies. Women's access to, ownership of and control over land is a clear indication of failure in policy and legislative framework to address systematic violation of a basic human right of the majority of the country's citizens. Traditional and cultural practices tend to uphold and perpetuate the practices which in effect condemn women as second class citizens. This study identified home ownership among women in Kenya and assessed whether there has been a significant change. Home ownership is promoted as a means of ensuring financial security yet women face particular challenges in achieving it. This study showed the extent to which female home ownership rates and propensity to purchase are affected by finances, cultural beliefs and education/awareness especially on legal rights. The study also shows that lack of education and awareness among majority of women, inadequate financial resources and discriminative cultural practices largely and jointly affects women rate of home ownership. This research is important to the National and County governments as they can get valuable information necessary in formulation of policies intended for the empowerment of women home ownership. The study also adds to the existing literature hence other researchers can also get information they may require while studying on a related theme.