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“Men Are in Front at Eating Time, but Not When It Comes to Rearing the Chicken”: Unpacking the Gendered Benefits and Costs of Livestock Ownership in Kenya

Livestock development programs seek to amplify resilience in low-income communities but often fail to consider the costs to intended beneficiaries or the effect of prevailing gender norms on program implementation. This study used multiple ethnographic techniques to explore perceptions of livestock ownership among female smallholder livestock keepers in Nyanza Region, Kenya. Findings identified that livestock ownership provided improved financial and food security, but also produced major costs to household time and labor. The burden was overwhelmingly borne by women and children, despite women’s relative lack of resource control and influence in decision-making.

Dumas, Sarah E.; Maranga, Abena; Mbullo, Patrick. Food and Nutrition Bulletin (March 2018) Vol. 39 No. 1, pp3-27.