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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity, and Economic Development in Kenya
Author:House-Midamba, Bessie
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:gender relations
women workers
Women's Issues
Ethnic and Race Relations
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Cultural Roles
Abstract:This article examines Kenyan women's roles in and contributions to economic development by explicating how both gender inequality and ethnic identity structure urban women's involvement in the formal wage sector economy in Kenya. The formal sector is defined as the wage sector, characterized by a regularity of work schedule, the payment of wages for work performed, and the utilization of work contracts. The data for the study were collected in Nairobi during the summer and fall of 1985, and have been updated and supplemented with more recent studies. Altogether, 63 women were interviewed, the sample being stratified in order to obtain as much ethnic diversity as possible. The findings indicate that while ethnic identity may be a good predictor of men's participation in economic life, it may not necessarily be a good predictor for women. Women across ethnic backgrounds place a high value on marriage, and many choose the traditional roles of wife and mother over having an own career. There appears to be no definitive link between women's increased education and their ability to find employment in the formal sector. Bibliogr., note.