The relationship between gender-equity, resource management and poverty alleviation among the masai community in Narok South
Chebet, Cheruiyot Caroline
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Across the world, Africa included, poverty is one of the greatest problems of our time because it undermines economic development and human dignity. Currently, statistics indicate that 56% of Kenya's population lives below the poverty line and the most affected are households headed by women. The problem has been attributed to lack of empowerment and decision-making in resource allocation. This has impacted negatively on women and their household since it has even extended to their children. So there is a need to come up with ways which poverty can be alleviated among the communities especially women, hence the main purpose of this research was to investigate gender equity and sensitization in poverty alleviation and resource management among the maasai community of Rift-Valley province, Kenya. The main objective of the study was to identify the available resources and the key factors that enhance poverty and determine the key strategies towards poverty alleviation. This study is very important because its results can expose the gender inequity and this can help the community to address their poverty situation. The researcher utilized ex-post factor research design because events had already occurred and the researcher could not manipulate the variables. I)ata was collected using questionnaires, interviews and transect walk. The target population was 263,780 Maasai. A sample size of 400 was used. Descriptive analysis was used to give meaning to the collected data. The results of the study showed the available resources such as: land, livestock, water and forests/ wildlife which can be exploited to alleviate poverty. The study also revealed that gender roles contribute to poverty, for instance, 62% of women's work is domestic chores which take most of their productive time hence making them poor. Gender inequity in resource allocation was revealed in the findings to be one of the obstacles to poverty alleviation. For example, men owned 37% of the cattle while women owned 28%. The available resources in the area have not assisted the community to alleviate poverty because of lack of gender equity and sensitization in resource management. This calls for harmonization of gender roles in resource management and creation of awareness among the genders through empowerments which gives the community the capacity to manage their resources well.