Analysis of gender parity in climate change adaptation actions within Kajiado and Kiambu counties, Kenya

Nunow, A., Nzioka John Muthama, & Kinama, J. M.

Kenya remains susceptible to climate change due to the dependence on rain-fed agriculture with limited climate change adaptation capacity. This study sought to establish the influence of gender roles on climate change adaptation in two different ago-climatic zones namely, Kajiado East and Central within Kajiado County in the arid part of Kenya and Kabete and Kikuyu within Kiambu County in the highlands region. A survey was conducted on 312 households, six gendered focus group discussions, and fourteen key informant interviews. Frequency analysis was used for descriptive statistics. Chi-square was used to test for statistical associations between variables (p<0.05). The findings showed that Kajiado County has experienced more climate change-related household food insecurity in comparison to Kiambu County. Only 12% of the respondents in Kiambu County indicated having experienced extreme household food insecurity related to climate change. The findings showed 66% of the respondents in Kajiado County considered herd mobility as the most important climate change adaptation strategy while in Kiambu 56% of the respondents considered changing of planting dates as the most important climate change adaptation strategy. Frequency analysis results indicated that there is more gender disparity in Kajiado than Kiambu County as shown by women having the least access and control over household land in both the rainy and extended drought periods. The gender disparity was confirmed by the chi-square test. Chi-square test results for full control of household land during the extended drought season in Kajiado county was (c2= 102.3, df = p? 0.1). It was concluded that the autonomous nature of the adaptation strategies coupled with the influence of gender roles impedes achieving effective climate change adaptation strategies at the household level. There is a need for planned gender-sensitive adaptation actions to cushion local communities against climate change and enhance household food security.