Voting Closed:

GENDER PARITY

Kenya most improved in closing gender gap - report

Education empowerment remains particularly low in Kenya.

In Summary

•Kenya ranked 95 among 156 countries in last year's overall rankings.

•Rwanda was ranked the most gender-equal country in Africa followed by Namibia, South Africa and Burundi.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing other officials during the receiving of the African Gender Award at Statehouse on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing other officials during the receiving of the African Gender Award at Statehouse on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
Image: PSCU

Kenya ranked 57th among 146 countries in the gender gap rankings this year, emerging top ten in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Economic Forum.

In a new report, WEF shows women's participation in the economic arena in Kenya greatly increased this year, ranking position six globally from 84 in 2021. Kenya ranked 95 among 156 countries in last year's overall rankings.

Rwanda was ranked the most gender-equal country in Africa followed by Namibia, South Africa and Burundi. Kenya came in ninth while Democratic Republic of Congo was the worst ranked after Mali and Chad.

Kenya's overall performance was slightly better than last year with a general score of 0.729.

The benchmark used in the study varies between 0 and 1, 1 being full parity between men and women. The index tracks disparities between the sexes, not the resources at women's disposal.

According to the report released on Wednesday, education empowerment  remains particularly low in Kenya even as the country attained average scores in access to health and political empowerment.

The report, which tracks progress toward gender equality in the fields of economy, politics, education and health, noted only 13.20 per cent of firms in Kenya have female majority ownership.

Only 30.90 per cent of Kenya's parliamentarians were women while a mere 18.10 per cent of firms have female top managers.

Iceland remained the most gender-equal country, topping the ranking for the 13th consecutive year, with a general score of more than 0.9. Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden filled out the top five. Except for Norway, all the top-five countries are led by female prime ministers.

The G7 countries — Germany, France, Britain, Canada and the United States, ranked between 10th and 27th.

According to the report, the global gender gap in 2022 is 68.1 per cent closed, an increase from 67.9 per cent in 2021.

Progress towards closing the gender gap has stalled in most countries.

Only 30 of the 146 countries covered in this and last  year's edition registered progress in closing the gender gap by at least 1 percentage point.

Kenya is among  57 countries that have made marginal progress to close  gender gaps by less than one per cent point.

Twelve countries have reversed their gender gaps, while 46 countries saw a marginal decline.

Although big differences exist between countries, the think tank estimates it will take 132 years to fully close the global gender gap. It marks a slight improvement compared with the 2021 estimate, which put the time frame at 136 years.

Africa will take an estimated 98 years to attain gender parity according to Saadia Zahidi, managing director, World Economic Forum.

Zahidi said the Covid-19 pandemic has set back gender parity by "an entire generation" and that a weak recovery has not helped compensate for it.

The gender gap report has been released by the think tank every year since 2006. This year marks the 16th edition.