Women and Household Food Security in Kenya: A Theoretical Review


The role of women in agriculture as producers and providers of food cannot be over emphasised. In Kenya, just as in many other regions throughout the developing world, women are a critical link in achieving food security. This paper aims at examining the role of women in ensuring household food security in Kenya. Challenges experienced by women in their participation in household food security are also highlighted. A systematic review of literature on both published and unpublished materials was used to examine the fundamental roles women play in ensuring food security in the family. The paper explores the critical link between women and food security in the Kenyan context by assessing some of the influences on household food security and specifically addressing women's roles and constraints within that framework. It reviews effective strategies that can be adopted by women to maximize household food security with policy implications especially for the implementation of the Kenya Constitution, 2010, Article 43 (1)c on Social and Economic Rights. The central argument in this paper is that women play a vital role in providing and producing food for the family and that empowering women through investing in their education is the single most important strategy to enhanced household food security; education allows women to access and control more resources. The paper concludes by making key recommendations for policy change towards women’s participation in household food security.


Keywords: women, household food security, Kenya


Wanjiru Gichuhi