“If you take the woman from the family for only a week, everything will crumble down.” : An Ecofeminist Perspective on Social Entrepreneurship in Kenya
Abstract: The Kenyan society is patriarchal, has an alarming rate of deforestation where rural farmers, especially women, are highly affected by climate change. There is little research on companies operating in dry areas with a mission to address poverty, ecology and women. The objective of this study was therefore to understand how an investment model can alleviate poverty in rural Kenya and what the consequences of doing so are for the local community. This was answered using a qualitative research approach presented in an ethnographic case study, conducting 29 interviews. The field research took place at three different locations at Better Globe, an agroforestry company operating in dry areas who mainly employ and work with women in rural Kenya. Our research, analysed through an ecofeminist lens, demonstrates that the local community benefits on several areas; access to water, employment, firewood and grass, microfinance, training and education. However, there is a big power distance within the company and a high dependency from the workers as Better Globe is the sole big employer in the region. We welcome further research between the merging of ecofeminism and business, operating within the structures of the patriarchal and capitalist society.
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