Role of Women in Blue Economy in Kenya: Study on Maritime Industry in Mombasa County
Akumu, Quinter Atieno
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Unprecedented political and economic obstacles have persisted for women in Africa over many years. In the process of overcoming these obstacles, women are also challenging and, in some cases, redefining the gender and family roles that are perceived as universally accepted by both gender and the society. Such dynamics have continued to characterize the economic spaces that women operate in and, more so, within the sector of Blue Economy in Kenya. Therefore, the broader focus of this study is to interrogate how women participate in the Blue Economy in Mombasa County. The specific objectives of the study are as follows: to investigate the implementation of the Blue Economy in Mombasa County, Kenya; to measure the degree of female seafarers' involvement in the Blue Economy; and to assess the challenges experienced by women in their involvement in the Blue Economy.This project is analyzed within Marxist feminist theoretical framework whose proponents contend that one of the main causes of women's marginalization and subordination is the capitalistic method of production. Marxist feminist theory explores how gender ideologies of femininity and masculinity structure production in capitalism and patriarchy. Marxist feminist theory in this study is, however, supported by Liberalism theory. Methodologically, a descriptive research design was adopted for the study. However, due to respondents' degree of interest on issues related to the Blue Economy, a purposive sampling technique was chosen in order to identify key respondents. More so, surveys were also utilized to obtain data for the study. Research instruments such as questionnaires and interview schedule were also very crucial for data collection in this study. It has been established in this study that the development and sustainability of the Blue Economy in Mombasa county was significantly influenced by women and their role in the development and growth of the Blue Economy in the area of study should not be overlooked. However, despite the fact that it has been demonstrated that women play a significant role in the Blue Economy sector, their involvement is still low in comparison to that of men. In conclusion, therefore, the study recommends that there is need to increase the involvement of women in the Blue Economy through a policy guideline. This will go a long way in not only helping Mombasa County to grow economically, but it will also help Kenya as a state to achieve her Sustainable Development Goals as contained in the vision 2063.