People are often forced to move from their home by the state for the purpose of economic developments intended to take place at their owned land. This kind of displacement is referred to as development-induced displacement. These developments are always meant to benefit the entire community at large where some of them include: construction of dams, mining activities, and development of ports among others. This kind of displacement impact people in different ways; where Kenyan women have been reported to suffer more than men. There are other types of displacements such as those caused by ways or earthquakes. These other types of displacements receive favors for instance through international aids. The victims suffering from the development-induced relocations are in most cases left without sympathy. The reason behind the benefits of the entire community has been considered over the few victims where women suffer most thus the government justifies itself basing on the benefits attained (Wet 105). The following discussion is a reflective on the impacts experienced by Kenyan women as a result of development-induced dislocation.
To start with, women fall under the class of the most considered as vulnerable groups. In Kenyan policies which guides the compensation processes, women are barred from these policies thus women who are the heads of households always have difficulties in accessing compensation. In man headed families the compensation is received by men, which in many cases counts up to cash value of the entire family resources thus women are left at a higher deprivation risk. When this happen, men sometimes disappear or misuse the compensation payment leaving women with children in demanding situations. Most women in Kenyan community are involved in barter economy so as to provide the basic needs to their families, when displaced from the area of their markets they therefore compete when buying food in the market with the salaried divisions. Most women become landless leading to joblessness thus having difficulties when accessing food. Even though women lack the full rights on land control and forest, induced displacement denies those chances to access their community resources inclusive of communal land. Denied access and control further results into malnutrition in women because in Kenyan customs, males are supposed to be fed first thus when there is food shortage resulting from displacement, women are left to feed on the gruel while the available food is given to men.
Some of the developments are known to create jobs to the societies. Most of these jobs are given to men especially them that require much physical strength. A good example to this is the current ongoing expansion of roads where men have been in position to secure job positions (Mehta 37). Women are reduced in taking only the position of housewives thus depending on their husbands’ single salary. Most men on the other hand squander some portions of their salaries on alcohol. Family violence is increased especially against women as most men end up into drunkenness as a means of coping with the trauma. Domestic violence might have been there before displacement, but it increases with the increase of alcoholism after displacement which not only affects men but also women when left with no work.
A higher percentage of young women are always forced to leave school to help the families to work so as to increase family income. Women health is considerably poor even under the usual environmental conditions whereas upon displacement the overall status of their health worsens than that of men. There has been increased HIV transmission in women as they turn to increased sexual activities to cope with economic crises as a result of displacement (John and Susan118). Women are known to suffer more on social stress which is accompanied by the displacement-induced where psychosomatic trauma hit women who are said to be more emotional. Even though there are many negative impacts that relate to development-induced relocations, women have acquired some positive impacts on the same out of their lives transformations. Substantial number of women often becomes breadwinners when their husbands run away out of displacements frustrations. This status restructures the society cultural opinions which figure their way of lives. Patriarchal structures are challenged leading to the more acceptances to the woman headed families which for a long time are referred as unaccepted in the Kenyan society (Wet 119).
Finally, development-induced relocations have resulted into more negative impacts to women as compared to that of men. Women in Kenyan society have formed movements against relocations such that for any relocation to take place then their rights have also to be considered. They all have one aim in these movements- the lawful mandating of development-induced relocations- thus a well informed consent which is accessible by both women and men such that they all benefit from the compensation payments. These kinds of displacements should not at any instance threaten lives where there should be considerations when displacing people who have special attachments on their owned land resources as the source of their income. Developments for whichever reasons cannot be bona fide without remediation of the impacts faced by women upon displacements and the whole society at large. The displaced pay the highest price of these developments resulting into relocations, thus there should be reciprocation of the benefits which they should attain.
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