Western Education on the Changing Roles of Women: The Case of Idakho Community, Kenya
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This study examined the contribution of Western education as provided by Christian missionaries on the changing roles of Idakho women. The spread of Christianity and Western education in Idakho had a broad approach toreinforce evangelization and to win converts. Education, thus, became part of the new value system less identified with transmitting Christian values and belief and more with providing access to new occupational and social status. The colonial authority further introduced hut taxes and cash economy. Thus, the colonial economy forced men in Idakho to seek employment in European economic ventures and took them away from the labour responsibilities they used to have in the traditional economy. With frequent absence of men, who left their villages to seek paid employment in urban areas or settler’s farms, and the decline of traditional institutions and uncertainty arising from changes in society, more and more women joined the church in search of new vision of the world as well reassurance. Women who went to school initiated the beginning of a wage-earning class of women among the Idakho and it reflected the widening transformative impact of Christianity and its agencies. Methodology for this study involved data collection from secondary sources and primary data derived from field research. Moreover, the early success of education and other programs, like health, led to the liberation of women who became agents of transforming Idakho society.