n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Provision of human rights information to rural women in Nandi South District, Kenya

Volume 2013, Issue 46
  • ISSN : 1025-8892



Although appropriate human rights information policies and strategies have been put in place in Kenya, rural women still manifest ignorance on their human rights provisions which should have positively affected their lifestyles and response to human rights' infringements. Rigid customary beliefs, a low level of education and poor communication channels have been cited as causes that make women fail to be aware their rights. This paper reports on the findings of a study which investigated the provision and access to human rights information by rural women in Nandi South District in Kenya. The study further sought to establish the challenges and suggest recommendations to improve the provision of human rights information to women in the district. The objectives of the study were: to find out the extent of awareness of human rights information by rural women; to establish factors that hinder their provision and suggest a framework for improving provision and access to human rights information. The study was informed by the integration of three models namely, Information and communication model, Sense-making model and Feminists theory. The study employed mainly a qualitative method, however quantitative techniques were used where appropriate.

The major findings indicated that the majority of rural women are not aware of their human rights as a tool that guarantees their socio-economic, political and cultural rights. The majority of women are semi-illiterate which makes it difficult to fully make use of instruments containing human rights information which is mainly written in English. Furthermore, lack of electricity in some areas makes it difficult to access information through electronic media. The study recommends that women should be sensitized to create awareness of available human rights information. It is further recommended that centres of gender empowerment should be set up in the rural areas. The study proposes a model which is an integration of Information and communication; Sensemaking and Feminist theories for improving the provision of human rights information to rural women in Nandi County.

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