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Durham e-Theses
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Transport as Gendered Employment Practice in Kenya

OMWEGA, NYABOKE,PATRICIA (2024) Transport as Gendered Employment Practice in Kenya. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 07 March 2025.


This thesis examines the conspicuous underrepresentation of women in leadership roles within Kenya's transport sector, with emphasis on elite female engineers, planners, and transport professionals. By focusing on this sector, the study illuminates the wider gender disparities common to employment practices throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing from multiple disciplines, including anthropology, history, business, development studies, transport studies, and feminist theory, this interdisciplinary research adopts an ethnographic method, combining both in-person and virtual interactions.
The study unravels the intricate blend of historical, societal, and policy-related factors that contribute to gender disparity. Among these are the lingering effects of colonial-era educational limitations and present-day 'paper tiger' policies that inadequately guard against gender-based discrimination.
Through an ethnographic lens, this research offers a critical exploration of the intricate social landscapes that shape women's career paths and leadership access. It advocates for nuanced, context-specific interventions that overcome the shortcomings of existing gender mainstreaming strategies.
This contextual analysis has critical implications for the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 5, targeting gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Furthermore, the study offers broader insights into enhancing women’s participation in STEM fields, particularly engineering, by laying out practical strategies for dismantling gender-specific barriers.
The research aims to enrich the gender and transport discourse by unpacking some of the complex dynamics within Kenya's transport sector. It emphasises the significant role of socio-cultural norms, patriarchal systems, gendered expectations, limited informational access, and scant mentorship opportunities that hinder women's progress. The study also stresses the importance of increasing female visibility and fostering robust support networks. By providing an extensive analysis of the constraints on women’s leadership in Kenya's transport sector, the findings offer key perspectives applicable to comparable global contexts, particularly within the sub-Saharan Africa region, deepening understanding of obstacles and potential pathways to gender equality in transportation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Women in leadership, transport sector, Kenya, gender disparities, sub-Saharan Africa, interdisciplinary research, ethnography, historical factors, societal factors, policy analysis, gender-based discrimination, Sustainable Development Goal 5, gender equality, empowerment of women, STEM participation, engineering, gender barriers, socio-cultural norms, patriarchal systems, gendered expectations, information access, mentorship, female visibility, support networks, global context
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Mar 2024 16:05

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