Prevalence of Men and Women in Wildlife Management and Conservation and Sustainable Community Based Conservancies in Narok County, Kenya
Gender equity and women’s empowerment are prerequisites to effective biodiversity conservation, climate action and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. In view of its ecological, social, and economic value, wildlife is an important renewable natural resource. Its significance is felt in areas such as rural development, land-use planning, food supply, tourism, scientific research, and cultural heritage. A better understanding of the different roles, knowledge, needs and aspirations of women and men with regard to wildlife management and conservation can help us achieve the twin goals of better conservation outcomes and increased gender equity. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of men and women in wildlife management and conservation and sustainable community based conservancies within the Maasai Mara ecosystem, Narok County, Kenya with the aim of coming up with the best strategies to enhance gender-responsive and sustainable wildlife ecosystem. The study was carried out in four Maasai Mara wildlife conservancies. A descriptive survey and sequential explanatory mixed-method approach were adopted for the study. A sample size of 167 respondents comprising wildlife managers, conservancy, landowners, and conservancy rangers participated in the study. Data collection was done using questionnaires, Focused Group discussion and interviews. The data collected quantitatively was analysed using descriptive statistics and the findings were presented using percentages, graphs, and tables. The findings showed that there were gender differentials in prevalence of men and women in wildlife management and conservation in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. Women were underrepresented as staff, wildlife managers, and landowners in the conservancies. The study recommends that the wildlife conservancies, institutions, and managers should find ways of incorporating more women into wildlife management and conservation as well as employ gender advocacy and empowerment programmes to facilitate gender equity in wildlife ecosystems.
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