Poverty Alleviation

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Poverty Alleviation


Accepted 14 December, 2009 Poverty is a dehumanising condition for every one. It erodes human rights of the affected whether women or men. Poverty subjects an individual to a state of powerlessness, hopelessness, and lack of self-esteem, confidence, and integrity, leading to a situation of multidimensional vulnerability. Poverty has a gender dimension since women and men experience and react differently to its impact. It cuts across age, ethnicity and gender. Unless there are realistic and workable interventions to redress the situation, there develops a vicious circle of poverty where it is inherited from one generation to the other in households, communities and the nation. As many people in Kenya are poor with the women bearing the blunt of it, reducing its impact as well as breaking its vicious circle requires a concerted effort and a gender perspective in all the interventive strategies. Commitment of Kenya Government to eradicate poverty is manifest in its current development strategies, as demonstrated with the efforts towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, especially No. 1, on the eradication of poverty to less than 30% of the Kenyans by 2015 and the Kenya Vision 2030.

Poverty Alleviation


Generally, the concept of gender is taken to incorporate the differences between, women, men, girls and boys as defined by the society. For the purpose of this paper, it is important to consider the fact that the concept is associated with certain attributes which include division of labour, allocation of responsibilities and opportunities, access and control of assets and resources at the family, community and national levels. At the individual level, the concept influences the choices made by women, men, girls and boys as well as their, aspiration and attitude about self and others. It is also important to note that in terms of the development and poverty reduction processes, the concept of gender goes beyond the social differentiation of women and men, to also include different needs and concerns based on their natural or biological differences that should drive the development process (Chipika, 2001, 74).

Equally important is the participation of women and men in the development agenda in terms of designing poverty reduction programmes and sharing of accrued benefits. Societies define poverty differently, depending on their socio-cultural and economic orientation. Often it is defined in terms of individual's minimum purchasing power set at a certain amount. It is on this basis that World Bank sets a minimum expenditure threshold that categorises those who live on less than £ 1 a day as extremely poor. This paper perceives poverty as multidimensional and that the poor are those that are in a state of persistent hunger, with inability to access education, health care, clean and safe drinking water, basic sanitation as well as lack of shelter and social networks. The manifestation of poverty as stipulated in the United Nations Beijing Platform for Action and Declaration of 1995 includes lack of income and productive resources, as a result of which there is poor livelihood; hunger and ...
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