Beneath the Dryland: Kenya Drought Gender Analysis, December 2017

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In the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) counties of Kenya, people are experiencing a food security and nutrition crisis as the drought has worsened since August 2016. The number of food-insecure people reached 2.7 million in July 2017, including 375,285 children and pregnant and breast-feeding women. The drought has undermined coping capacities and exacerbated vulnerabilities (e.g. by destroying livelihoods and triggering local conflicts over scare resources). Most of the respondents in the two ASAL counties studied in this report, Turkana and Wajir, recognized that a number of coping mechanisms had various detrimental effects on individuals and the whole community. Because of these effects, there is an increase in children who need educational assistance; protection issues are worsening (with women more likely to face sexual violence when travelling longer distances or within households); and boys and men are largely affected by conflict and crime. Finally, disease outbreaks have reached an unprecedented level and medical lifesaving interventions are needed. The drought has also exacerbated gender-specific problems, with different physical and psychological issues for women and men.

Objectives of the gender analysis and methodology

  • Specific objectives

  • To understand the gender differences: identify different gendered needs and interests, risks, vulnerabilities and capacities; identify and understand challenges and how people cope; understand context and identify opportunities for increasing agency, voice and participation and economic empowerment

  • To identify capacities of duty bearers in responding to the needs of the affected population by providing humanitarian services - To understand the interactions between and among affected people and duty bearers

  • Methodology

  • Qualitative data collection methods carried out in drought-affected areas in Wajir and Turkana:

  • Key informant interviews (KIIs): targeting 12 community leaders at the village level and 19 representatives at the county level - Focus group discussions (FGDs): separate groups of women and men from each village, totalling 22 FGDs (11 women’s groups and 11 men’s groups)

  • Quantitative data collection: desk review of related literature