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Title: Effects of income diversification strategies on female headed household livelihoods in Ilima division, Makueni county, Kenya
Authors: Ndiso, Lennah Syowasya
Keywords: Income -- Female headed household
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: This study focused on the effects of income diversification strategies on female headed household livelihoods in Ilima division of Makueni County, Kenya. Culturally, it is the responsibility of every female head to have a sustainable livelihood for her household. However, environmental changes have put pressure on natural resource base; a condition that has destabilized the sustainability of the female headed household livelihoods in Ilima Division. This occasioned the need for an examination of the livelihood strategies adopted by female headed households to improve their living standards. The specific objectives of the study included; to determine the livelihood strategies adopted by female heads, to establish the challenges limiting the adoption of the livelihood strategies, to establish the support mechanisms facilitating the adoption of the livelihood strategies and to ascertain the livelihood changes realized through diversification of income by female headed households. The study was informed by rational choice theory (RCT) which explained the actions and decisions chosen by female heads in relation to the livelihood strategies while sustainable livelihood approach model (SLA) expounded on gender power relations linked to accessibility of livelihood capital. The study used a multi stage sampling procedure to obtain 153 respondents from a target population of 1531 and an additional 15 key informants who were purposively identified and interviewed to provide information on the livelihoods of female headed households. Data was collected through interview schedules, focus group discussions and questionnaires and was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Data was analyzed using statistical tools with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 for windows. The analyzed data was presented by use of tables and graphs. The study revealed micro business and intensified subsistence farming as the most adopted strategies by female headed households. Traditional and cultural practices have been challenges to the female heads while infrastructure and social networks were found to be the most supportive mechanisms to these female heads. The study recommends that female heads should form women groups that should make good monitory contributions and lend the money to group members to use it as capital for their business which is a strategy to improve their livelihoods. It advocates for a government policy on free education for the girl child in all levels to mainstream gender equality and equity. The study also advocates that the government should put in place adequate policies and support structures that can avert the problems facing the livelihoods of female headed households in rural areas.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Education and Community Studies

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