Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Young Women Participation in Tea SACCOs Politics in Nyamira South Sub-County, Nyamira County, Kenya
The Constitution of Kenya 2010, offers young women key entry points for engagement in political processes through elective and appointive positions in national, county governments and social organizations under the two thirds gender rule. In Nyamira County, various civil society organizations have been vocal through advocacy and training of young women for political participation. The principals of cooperative advocate for democracy and one man one vote women in the tea sector face myriad of challenges in vying for leadership position in the tea Sacco’s thus leading to gender inequality in the management and supervisory committees. The study therefore, sought to investigate socio-economic factors affecting the young women participation in tea Sacco’s politics. The study was informed by the radical feminist theory. Using a mixed methods research design, the target population of 7,392 registered tea growers in Sanganyi Tea Factory, Nyansiongo Tea Factory, Nyankoba Tea Factory, Kebirigo Tea Factory and Gianchore Tea Factory who are members of Nyamira Tea SACCO was interviewed. Stratified random sampling was used to select 110 participants from the five tea factories. All the factory managers in the five tea factory were included in the study as well as the county cooperative officer. Data was collected using questionnaires and key informant interviews. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and while qualitative data was analysed following themes. The respondents ranked the major hindrance of women participation in tea Sacco politics as: lack of shares in the tea factory; lack of land ownership rights; fear to run against men counterparts; low level of education; gender roles and lack of experience in politics. The study therefore recommends affirmative action, advocacy and training of young women on their democratic rights.
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