•The report findings indicate nationally, women spend at least 4 hours 30 minutes per day or 18.7 per cent of their time on unpaid care and domestic work.
•This is compared to 54 minutes or 3.6 per cent of time spent by men.
Women spend at least 3 hours and 36 minutes more than their male counterparts per day on unpaid care and domestic work, a new survey shows.
This, as men spend more time on unproductive activities of up to five hours per day compared to less than three hours for women, according to the “Time Use Survey 2021” report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The report findings indicate nationally, women spend at least 4 hours 30 minutes per day or 18.7 per cent of their time on unpaid care and domestic work.
This is compared to 54 minutes or 3.6 per cent of time spent by men.
Prevalence is higher in rural areas than in the urban setup where working women spend an average of about 4 hours and 12 minutes.
Girls between the ages of 15-19 years spend 15.2 per cent or 3 hours 36 minutes on unpaid care and domestic work while boys of the same age spend one hours.
Elderly people above 65 spent at least 2 hours 54 minutes on these activities.
Unpaid care and domestic work refers to work that is done in the home by family members for the maintenance and well-being of the family, without pay.
This includes caring for children, the elderly, and sick people.
It also includes washing, cooking, shopping cleaning and helping other families with their chores.
Others are food, fuel and water collection and other energy provision, informal unpaid work, family labour in agriculture, among others.
Marsabit had the highest proportion of time according to the survey, of an average 7 hours and 12 minutes.
Others with high proportion of time are Wajir, Samburu, Mandera and Garissa- arid and semi-arid regions.
According to the United Nations, women carry out more than 75 per cent of all unpaid care work.
In low-income countries, women in rural areas spend up to 14 hours a day on unpaid care work.
An interesting part of the findings is that men spend more time on religion and social activities than women, reserving the notion that women are more social and spend more time on religious activities.
The latest developments come even as Kenya remains among the leading countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in closing the gender gap and women's participation in economic activities.
A recent report by the World Economic Forum shows Kenya ranked 57th among 146 countries in the gender gap rankings in 2022, emerging top ten in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Women's participation in the economic arena in Kenya increased ranking position six globally from 84 in 2021.
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.
According to the report, education empowerment remains particularly low in Kenya even as the country attained average scores in access to health and political empowerment.
Gender pay gap in the modern working environment also remains high, where it is estimated that women earn 21 per cent less than men in the East and Southern Africa region, according to the UN Women Gender Pay Gap (2023) report.
Speaking during the report launch, Gender and Affirmative Action PS Anne Wang’ombe affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting women and other vulnerable groups, even as it continues to create equal opportunities.
Measures in the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Agenda include the Women Enterprise Fund, which provides access to credit at a rate of six per cent per annum.
“ The government has in place measures to support women and reduce their burdens,” Wang’ombe said.
She said the Gender Ministry has developed a Draft National Care Policy, shaped by timely data, which will go through public participation, Cabinet review, and finally parliamentary approval.
State Department for Economic Planning PS James Muhati said: “The report will provide baseline information to inform macro policies and strategies.”
He said Kenya remains committed to Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG number 5.4, on the recognition and valuation of unpaid care and domestic work as a way to promote gender equality.
The survey was sponsored and supported by UN Women, World Bank, Oxfarm and Women Count.
Kenya joins Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Algeria, Mexico, Korea, Sweden among others which have conducted time use survey, with the reports showing similar patterns.