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Intergenerational comparison of education attainment and implications for empowerment of women in rural Kenya

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An intergenerational comparison of education attainment and empowerment across two generations of Kenyan rural women population was undertaken. The study employed a longitudinal analysis of quantitative data derived from the Demographic and Health Survey databases. The survey captures relevant demographic background on the two generations of women. The study undertakes to compare the education attainment and empowerment outcome measures of socioeconomic status, household size, and fertility rates between the two cohorts of women. It also contrasts the experience of the women who accessed education in the era characterized by the welfare state (1989 cohort) with those who came of age in the austerity years of neoliberalism (2008/2009 cohort). The research established that the majority of women in both cohorts had limited access to education. However, women who accessed more education were more likely to show characteristics of empowered individuals – they had smaller households, fewer children, and were relatively wealthier. The results demonstrate that meaningful empowerment through education can only be realized if more women access levels of education beyond the basic education focus that is dominant in international development discourse.
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Keywords: Kenia; Kenya; desigualdad de ingresos; education attainment; empoderamiento; empowerment; gender and education; género y educación; income inequality; logros educativos; mujeres rurales; rural women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Education, UCLA, 2131 Moore Hall, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1521, USA

Publication date: September 14, 2015

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