Men take lion's share of saccos top positions

board meeting

Survey shows men continue to dominate leadership in the co-operatives movement. 

Photo credit: File | Fotoseach

What you need to know:

Only six out of 165 chairpersons of deposit-taking savings and credit cooperative societies (DT-Saccos) in Kenya are women, underlining their marginalisation in the day-to-day decision making functions.

The latest report by the Saccos Regulatory Authority (Sasra) shows that men also dominated all other key positions including vice chairpersons, secretary and treasurer in the saccos which handled deposits amounting to Sh380.4 billion and Sh419.55 billion in loan disbursement as at December 2019.

This is despite the fact that women make up 34.2 percent of the 4.78 million members or 1,634,760 members.

“Saccos must therefore at individual levels put in place affirmative action policies and frameworks, which will encourage more women to ascend to these two critical organs of governance in the sacco sub-sector, notwithstanding the fact that these positions are elective,” the regulator says in the report.

According to the report, women are best represented in the vice chairperson post—accounting for an average 25.4 percent of all the positions.

Women performed the worst in the chairman’s position where 96.4 percent or 165 positions were held by men leaving a paltry six positions to women while 379 women sit in boards compared to 1,616 men.

The revered treasurer’s position has men taking up 84 percent while women settled for 16 percent where most office-bearers are aged between 51 years to 60 years (47.9 percent).

The secretary’s position is also a highly coveted seat with up to 85.2 percent or 146 men occupying the seat out of 171 DT-saccos that were under review.

Currently, Kenya’s constitution envisages a two-thirds gender rule that every public and private institution should strive to achieve.


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