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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1992 → Women’s small-scale enterprises in rural Kenya : coping with the dynamics of isolation (rural women)

University of Colorado (1992)

Women’s small-scale enterprises in rural Kenya : coping with the dynamics of isolation (rural women)

Aspaas, Helen Ruth

Titre : Women’s small-scale enterprises in rural Kenya : coping with the dynamics of isolation (rural women)

Auteur : Aspaas, Helen Ruth

Université de soutenance : University of Colorado

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1992

Intrahousehold income distribution pattern and the growing number of woman-headed households in Kenya place increasing pressure on rural women to obtain cash incomes. Women in rural Kenya establish small-scale businesses in order to acquire the cash needed for maintaining their households and their children’s welfare. This research examines characteristics of women’s small-scale businesses as they are associated with differing levels of isolated rural market centers. The research is grounded in an emerging theory proposed by Rae Lesser Blumberg. The theory emphasizes the integrating processes that occur at multiple levels of economic activity beginning with intrahousehold economic dynamics and continuing into repercussions at local and national levels of economic development. In the context of this research, isolation is quantified in terms of infrastructural development, market- connectivity and sub-location population. The following sets of hypotheses address attributes of women’s participation in the informal sector as they are affected by isolation : sub-sector participation, assets women bring to their businesses, women’s allocation of time to their businesses, women’s allotment of earnings from their businesses and economic linkages of women’s businesses with other sectors of the Kenyan economy. To obtain the necessary data for testing the hypotheses, 729 women in sixty-nine rural market centers in Kirinyaga and Meru districts were intensively interviewed. The resulting data set provides a significant contribution to the development literature which has been relatively void of quantitative and qualitative information on rural women’s participation in the informal sector. The analyses indicate that the infrastructural and market-connectivity components of the isolation index are the most frequent predictors for different levels of informal sector participation. The research concludes with policy recommendations that are constructed in the context of existing development schemes for Kenya. The recommendations are based on the descriptive information derived from the interviews as well as the specific variations revealed by the statistical analyses.

Sujets : Small business ; Rural areas ; Women ; Kirinyaga District ; Meru District ;

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