Rethinking women’s learning and empowerment in Kenya: Maasai village women take initiative

  • 21 October 2016

Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 671–688

Author: Taeko Takayanagi (Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney)


This study investigates the activities of a village-based literacy centre in Kenya and explores the benefits of community development activities on women’s well-being in Africa. Through the analysis of the stories of two Maasai women who had experienced adult literacy learning, the author discovered that: (1) the literacy instructor had inadequate in-service teacher training support from the government; (2) these women were using a space generated by collaborative informal learning through the literacy centre to improve their families’ and community’s well-being; and (3) these women gained empowerment through community development activities organised by the literacy centre. The author concludes that grassroots literacy and informal learning have been effective in improving the quality of life for the village women, and should be encouraged and supported by external agencies.

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