Culture as a Determinant to Gender Differentials in Adoption of Alternative Livelihoods among Pastoralists in West Pokot County, Kenya
Kondoltiony, Emmanuel P.
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This study sought to investigate cultural determinants to gender differentials in adoption of Alternative Livelihoods (ALs) among pastoralists in West Pokot County, Kenya. Gender differentials have persisted in spite of concerted efforts to address them hence impeding adoption of ALs, a process considered by scholars and development experts to be the best pathway out of the community’s myriad developmental challenges. The study specifically endeavoured to explain gender differentials in adoption of ALs, from a cultural perspective. The study was guided by Structural Functionalism Theory, complemented by Capacities and Vulnerabilities Analysis (CVA) framework. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were applied. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design and the target population included adult household members, elders and opinion leaders. Whereas multi-stage cluster sampling technique was employed to sample study respondents for the questionnaires, participants for Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), were purposively selected. Data were collected using questionnaires, KII schedule and FGD guide. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS Version 23. The analyzed data were presented in Tables and Charts. Content analysis was employed in analyzing qualitative data which were then presented in narrative and verbatim forms. It was established that the gender differentials in adoption of ALs among the pastoralists in West Pokot are determined by an array of cultural factors, which impacted men and women unequally. These included beliefs, values, customs and practices, most of which constrained adoption of ALs, more so by women. Thus, this study concludes that the community’s cultural structure greatly impacts adoption of ALs through its gender role plan, and the gendered access to and control over productive resources, thereby causing gender differentials in adoption of ALs. It is, therefore, recommended that development actors ought to consider initiatives that engage cultural aspects as this affects adoption of Alternative Livelihoods.