Engendering Political Space: Women's Political Participation in Kangema, Murang'a District, 1963- 2002.
Waiyego, Susan Mwangi
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines women's political participation in Kangema,Murang' a district from 1963-2002. Kangema is herein studied in retrospect. It therefore constitutes the present Kangema and Mathioya divisions respectively. It adopts an integrative approach where patriarchy, an offshoot of radical feminism, and gender as tools of analysis are employed. Within these two approaches,· it is argued that it is the society that determines what roles are to be played by both men and women. The study utilizes both primary and secondary methods. Oral interviews, annual reports of the province, district and the division provided significant primary data. Secondary sources were gathered from written works such as published books, journals, periodicals and Internet materials. The secondary sources provided a background on the place and role of African women politically in Africa generally and in Kenya in particular. The study begins by grvmg an in-depth analysis of colonial penetration m Kangema and the impact that this had on participation of women in politics of Kangema. The study demonstrates the fact that Kangema women just like many other rural women have not received adequate attention from scholars and policy- makers yet women comprise the highest population as compared to men. This neglect particularly of Kangema women's political participation prompted the researcher to undertake the study. It is demonstrated that the penetration of the colonialists and missionary activities in Kangema had adverse effects on women political participation. With its patriarchal nature, colonialism had no place for women and this was later to be adopted by independent Kenya in 1963. Though women engaged in the independence struggles, the Kenyatta government did not recognize their efforts. Further in 1978 after the death of Kenyatta, the Vlllpresident who took over-Daniel arap Moi- relegated women to the periphery. They therefore remained marginalized and exploited by the male elites in the then government. The reasons for their marginalisation as discussed are religion, culture, inadequate education, ignorance and poverty among others. Women have however not been quiet. They engaged in vanous activities to enhance their political participation. They formed goal-oriented groups and this ensured their children's education. Their voices in political arenas however have remained ignored by male patriarchs who still believe and perceive women as their property and appendages.