To Investigate The Challenges Faced By Women In Accessing Land Ownership In Vihiga County, Kenya

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School of Applied Human Sciences, Daystar University


ABSTRACT Land ownership played a vital role in human growth, often recognized as a source of power, security, and economic stability. This study investigated the obstacles women encountered in acquiring land ownership in Vihiga County, Kenya, with a focus on societal attitudes, traditional laws, and customs. It aimed to identify solutions and strategies to overcome these challenges and enhance women's access to land. The study employed a mixed-method approach, targeting both married and unmarried women to distinguish landowners and their acquisition methods. A sample size of 162 respondents participated in the research, which gathered primary and secondary data, encompassing both quantitative and qualitative data. Content and face validity ensured the research instrument's reliability, further confirmed through a test-retest technique. The data reveals that cultural norms are a major impediment to women's land ownership in Vihiga County, with 55% of respondents strongly agreeing and 30% agreeing that these norms make it difficult for women to own land. This consensus is supported by a high mean score of 4.01, emphasizing the substantial impact of cultural practices on land ownership. Inheritance laws and customs are viewed as unfair by 55% of respondents who strongly agree and 30% who agree, resulting in a mean score of 4.01. Legal reforms are seen as necessary to ensure women's equal land ownership rights. Poorly defined land tenure systems and inadequate infrastructure also raise concerns, with mean scores of 3.68 and 3.54, respectively. Economic factors, including limited access to credit and the high cost of land, are significant challenges. Respondents find access to credit and financing for land purchases challenging resulting in a mean score of 3.79. The high cost of land is also seen as a major barrier yielding the same mean score of 3.79. These perceptions contribute to a mean score of 4.21, underscoring the need to challenge these deeply rooted gender biases. The data indicates a strong positive correlation (0.746) between societal attitudes and access to land ownership, emphasizing the need to transform these attitudes for more equitable land ownership practices. The study recommended a comprehensive approach to address women's land ownership challenges in Vihiga County, Kenya. It recommended reviewing land ownership laws, implementing gender-responsive policies, and strengthening legal enforcement. Civil society, NGOs, community leaders, and financial institutions should collaborate to promote gender equality in land ownership. This led to lasting change.


Masters Thesis


Women, Land Ownership, Vihiga County, Kenya


Osendi, L. A,. (2023, Thesis). To Investigate The Challenges Faced By Women In Accessing Land Ownership In Vihiga County, Kenya. School of Applied Human Sciences, Daystar University