Perceptions on the social effects of conflicts in the lives of women in west Pokot County, Kenya
Women in conflict areas live in constant terror. Many communities are trapped in their homes for fear of violence and sexual abuse that prevent women from moving freely, restricting their social and economic activities. This paper is an analysis of the social problems faced by women in West Pokot County amidst the endless conflicts experienced. The study was carried out in West Pokot County where a random sample of two hundred women was obtained. A survey research design was used; questionnaires and interviews were the major data collection tools. Structured interviews were used to countercheck and supplement the responses from the questionnaires. Observation method, on the other hand, was used to provide information and aid in observing actual behavior of the respondents. The findings revealed that the women experienced many social problems during conflicts in West Pokot County. The main social problems were: displacement, bodily injury, and loss of property, loss of husband and family members, lack of basic needs such as food, water and shelter, lack of schools, and lack of medical facilities. The findings revealed that most of the women lived in a state of hopelessness and helplessness because of conflict related issues. It was recommended that the government and other stakeholders should increase the peace building capacities and women should be fully involved. The administrators such as chiefs, sub chiefs and village elders should also be incorporated in this peace building capacities. Finally there is need to set up support therapy groups to assist the women who have been affected by the overwhelming problems of the conflicts.