Influence of socio-cultural factors on participation of widows in selected non-governmental supported programmes, a case of Eldama Ravine division, Koibatek district, Kenya
This study sought to establish the influence of socio-cultural factors on widow's participation in non-governmental organization in E1dama Ravine Division, Koibatek District. In Order to accomplish this, the study was guided by the following objeetiws; To determine the extent to which family size influence participation of widows in NGO supported programmes, to establish the extent to which poverty influence participation of widows in NGO supported programmes to examine how stigmatization influence participation of widows in NGO supported programmes, and to establish the extent to which infringement of women rights influence the participation of widows. in NGO supported programmes in Eldama Ravine Division of Koibatek: District. The study adopted the descriptive research survey design. Probability sampling technique was be used in the selection of the study sample. Data was collected from the widows by the use of questionnaires containing structured and unstructured questions and a focus group discussion with leaders of different groups selected randomly from Friends of Ravine Women empowerment organization (FOREWO). Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel software. The findings were presented in the form of tables for easier interpretation. Following the findings of this study it was revealed that most of the widows (67%) belonged to NGO supported programmes but their maximum participation was inhibited by socio-cultural factors that included family size, poverty, stigmatization and infringement of women rights. The study indicated that sociocultural factors influenced violation of the fundamental rights of widows in the study area as follows: High family sizes increased pressure On available family resources which encouraged majority of tile widows to seek assistance from NGO support groups. Poverty is prevalent among widows which leads them to seek support through participation in NGO supported programmes, Education increased the level of awareness of the roles of NGO support groups among women, most of the death of the husbands of the widows was unanticipated and thus they did not feel guilt about it and widowhood exposed to violation of their women rights including disinheritance of the properties and violence. Following these research findings, several recommendations were made which included; The government of Kenya to develop and implement strategies to assist widows to access and participate in NGO supported programmes and The Department of Gender and Social Development office should organize for sensitization of widows in order to make them aware of the funds available for them in their offices. It is hoped that the findings of this study may provide essential information to the govemment and NGOs to come up with programmes that are geared towards widow's economic empowerment to enable them raise their income levels and therefore minimize their dependence on the community.