The role of women in tea farming in Tigania East, Meru county
The main objective of this study was to determine the role women play in tea farming in Tigania East, Meru County. Specifically, the study sought to (1) analyze the attitudes and perceptions of women towards tea farming, (2) explore ways in which women engage in tea farming, (3) examine challenges that bar effective women’s participation in tea farming.The sample size was 55 respondents with 30 of them being women. The researcher employed a mixed study approach and data collection instruments used were questionnaires, discussion groups and key informants. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to represent the descriptive statistics data into frequencies distributions and pie charts, while information from open ended questions, discussion groups and key informants was carefully selected and categorized according to themes and issues to reflect views of respondents which emerged from the field. The findings indicated that women play great roles in tea farming in terms of labour. However, the study also revealed that women face significant challenges such as sexual harassment, insecurity, too much work load, less rewards for their labour, and lack of participation in decision making, among others. Therefore, the study recommends that certain policy interventions to be put in place such as economic empowerment for women, sectoral networking, training of both men and women on the importance of tea farming, among other recommendations.