Chesney McOmber has joined the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as a graduate fellow for the next four months under the Livelihoods, gender and impact (LGI) program. She is a doctoral student at the University of Florida in the field of political science. Her research interests within this field of study are gender equity, social capital, and empowerment- particularly within Africa. Chesney’s dissertation research will focus on the impacts of male absence, largely caused by migration, on rural women’s empowerment. While her final dissertation will explore this question in Morocco as well as Kenya, her fieldwork will be based in Laikipia and Nyando during her time with ILRI. Of central interest to Chesney’s project is the use of qualitative participatory tools to understand local conceptualizations of empowerment as they are constructed in various contexts. It is in this methodological aspect that she will be most closely collaborating with the LGI team to evaluate tools for measuring empowerment.