Assessment of gender mainstreaming in Agricultural food security extension programmes in central division Kitui district, Kenya
Ngari, Susanne ETW
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This project is based on an area of study that has generated a lot of interest both internationally and nationally; 'gender concerns in the community.' The purpose of the study was to establish how gender mainstreaming in agricultural food security extension programmes is implemented in Central Division of Kitui District. In line with the government of Kenya (GOK) policy on gender, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) established a Gender Equity Mobilization Support (GEMS) unit, which co-ordinates gender related matters in extension services. The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) fraternity has also been in forefront in advocating for gender equality in various spheres of human life. The study endevoured to assess how gender concerns have been integrated in agricultural food security extension programmes. The aim of the study was to identify some of the key gender concerns that affect agriculture in the Division and examine the community's perception on gender main streaming. The study employed Ex-post facto design because it was based on events and circumstances that had already occurred and existed in the Division. The study made use of questiolli1aires to gather the required data; it involved ten extension officers from GOKJNGOs who implement food security programmes in division and seventy farmers from twenty different agricultural related groups. The gathered data was analysed by use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences(SPSS) computer software and presented in frequency distribution tables and percentages from which synthesis and interpretations were drawn. The study established that there are several gender concerns that afTect agricultural food security status in the division; some of the gender concerns includes: gender inequality in division of labour, gender inequality in access and control of agricultural resources and unequal gender control of decision making. It also established that, there was inadequate capacity to mainstream gender in the various agricultural programmes because seventy (70) percent of the extension officers had not been trained on gender mainstreaming methodology/approaches. The study findings would be useful to all gender stakeholders and especially extension officers in the Division. The study recommends that, for gender mainstreaming to take root in the Division,there is need for all extension officers to be adequately trained and equipped with the necessary gender analysis tools in order to be able to successfully plan, implement, monitor and effectively evaluate the respective extension programmes.