Gender gaps in the levels of participation in improved bee keeping: case of the Maasai community in Trans Mara, Narok County, Kenya
Ngare, Grace Wamue
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Purpose: This study sought to explore gender gaps in levels of participation in improved bee keeping among the Maasai community in Trans Mara, Narok County. Methodology: The study used an investigative survey design with a mixed method approach. Through stratified random sampling, 180 respondents were interviewed for household surveys, 16 key informants (KII), and four (4) focus groups discussions (FGDs), comprising of 36 participants. Structured and Semi-structured interviews with closed and open ended questions were used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data based on research objectives. An interview guide was used to collect information from participants in FGDs and interview schedules for KIIs. The data collected was analysed using SPSS and excel spreadsheet. Findings: The study found women are actively involved in bee keeping but their participation in accessing improved equipment, trainings and income from honey is low in comparison to men’s. This is mainly due to challenges in access to capital, gender related factors such as mobility, time, and cultural perceptions, issues which affect women more than men. This is despite the fact that women are new in bee keeping thus, their need for capital, including moral support, is greater than men’s. Unique Contribution to Theory, Practice and Policy: The study recommends corroboration of improved bee keeping projects, ministry of agriculture, research institutions and county government in order to formulate gender responsive strategies that can enhance participation in the value chain as well as service delivery to producers. For example, men and women who own improved equipment can be encouraged to share with those without, enhancement of collective action especially in purchase of improved equipment and sourcing for better markets.