Constraints to women participation in leadership in the co-operative sub sector: The case of co-operative societies in Laikipia East District
Ogallo, Wycliffe Odiwuor
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In many developing countries, under-representation of women in top cooperative management and leadership positions has had negative implications on government policies and general socio-economic development which has lacked gender mainstreaming (Ministry of Education Kenya, 2007). Women's participation in leadership positions in the cooperative subsector has been consistently discriminated "against which adversely affects economic performance together with community economic stability resulting in high incidence of poverty and a low level of development. The role of women in leadership position(s) has neither been given adequate attention nor translated into significantly improved access to decision-making powers. The conditions under which most women live and work continue to deteriorate and refusal to accept that women are also capable to manage and make informed business decisions. The study was restricted to all registered and active cooperative societies in Laikipia East District in Kenya. The target population of 79 cooperative societies was considered for the study. A sample population of 26 senior managers of active cooperative societies within the districts was drawn randomly for the purpose of the study. This study focused on the factors that influence women's participation in cooperative leadership and development programs. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected where the data collected was analyzed, presented and inferences made. The findings of this study are significant as the existing cooperative societies will use them as a reference text since the study aimed at exposing the factors that influence women participation in leadership in the cooperative subsector; Other research scholars will use the study as a reference text for future research; The women have also been made aware of their leadership potential and be able to influence decision making in cooperative societies. Recommendations have also been provided on how to fill the gaps identified by the study.