Why Kenya needs to reduce gender gap

What you need to know:

  • The situation looks worse when it comes to female political empowerment. Kenya has had serious female presidential candidates, most notably Charity Ngilu, who won 8 per cent of the vote in the 1997 General Election. In the process, she placed 5th, beating established male counterparts such as Martin Shikuku and Koigi wa Wamwere.
  • The gender gap is important for all Kenyans, whatever their gender. Because women earn less than men and are less likely to control land, they pay less in taxes and are less likely to be at the forefront of entrepreneurial innovation.
  • Kenya also features a number of powerful female role models, such as the late Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Muthoni Wanyeki, who was recently appointed Regional Director of Amnesty International in East Africa.

The 2013 Global Gender Gap rankings make for interesting reading. Kenya places 78th out of 136 countries, just below Uruguay and above Cyprus.

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