Structural challenges women face in political Governance in Kenya
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Abstract This study was conducted to find out the structural challenges women face in political governance in Kenya. This is due to the under representation of women in parliament and having not yet attained the 30% critical mass threshold representation for decision making. The objectives of the study were to find out how the socio-cultural factors affect women's' participation in politics; to examine the socio-economic factors and their effect on women's participation in politics; to examine the level of education and women participation in politics; and to recommend strategies for women's active participation in politics. The Feminist theory was used to guide this study. The core argument of the study was that patriarchal structures in society contribute to women's subordination and gendered roles which are socially constructed determine what men and women become in life. The research utilized both pnmary and secondary data collection techniques. In the former, it involved the use of a questionnaire with the interview guide while the latter consisted of documentary sources. A target population of five formed the sample size and simple random sampling design was used. Data collected was analyzed using qualitative approaches. The key findings from the study were: socio-cultural factors which include beliefs, attitudes, multiple roles/responsibilities, marital status and intimidation/violence affect women participation in politics. Socio-economic factors like inadequate finances, limited access and control over resources, occupation and property inheritance affect women's participation in politics and also the level of education affect women's political participation. The study concluded that socio-cultural, socio-economic factors and the level of education affect women's participation in politics. There is therefore, need for civic education, economic empowerment of women and increased levels of education for increased women political participation.