- This is inclusive of increased capacity building for women through its economic oriented training forums such as the Ajira programme.
- Also through shortening the gender gap of women underrepresentation as far as decision making in political, social and economic related issues are concerned.
As Kenyans continue to feel the pinch of the soaring cost of living, the government has been challenged to put in place workable mechanisms and improve legal framework to economically empower women in the country.
This is inclusive of increased capacity building for women through its economic oriented training forums such as the Ajira programme. Also through shortening the gender gap of women underrepresentation as far as decision making in political, social and economic related issues are concerned.
To further enhance such efforts, Christine Wanderi, a gender equality champion, has further called on the government to help eradicate repugnant cultures embedded in some tribes, which continually prove to be stumbling blocks towards a vibrant economic potential and financial freedom for many women.
Besides expanding credit funding programmes, she called for the protection of women from gender-based discrimination in access to finances for initiating economic startups.
Speaking on Friday during a women’s economic mentorship event held in Kerugoya, Wanderi who is also the founder of Culinan Edge, said despite being subjected to many financial hurdles, women remain the key drivers of the economy. As such, she said they need financial muscle and mentorship to leverage their small and medium enterprises.
She revealed that statistics collected in 2016, revealed an increase in the number of women who engaged in entrepreneurship, and as such, reiterated the need for support of such women. This is in bid to reduce economic gender inequality which is one of the envisioned 2030 sustainable Development Goals.
“Women remain widely under-represented in growth Oriented Entrepreneurship programmes as compared to their male counterparts. This majorly explains why women continually face discrimination as far as access to credit for financial growth is concerned. Many economies unfortunately also don’t bother protecting women from such alienation,” she said.
Wanderi regretted that Africa is among the leading continents that have continually subjected its women to financial oppression, owing to among others a patriarchy society set up that recognises and values men's contribution to economy building as compared to women.
She cited situations in some African countries where some women have no liberty to freely utilise their hard earned money or secure loans without the consent of their husbands or a male figure in their lives.
These kinds of practices she says, are likely to subject women into deeper financial constraints hence the soaring poverty levels.
Wanderi also challenged the government especially the local county governments, to work closely with stakeholders and women groups in order to realise better results. She added that such concerted partnership will not only help address financial inequality among women, but will greatly address other correlated challenges that are hindrances towards the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development goals.
Additionally, she called on men to lead from the front by fully integrating the women in attaining leadership positions where economic development matters are being discussed and decided. This is in addition to supporting their bid to own property in bid to close the gender disparity gap that has existed for long.
“Women need to be armed with information on how to initiate and expands their economic startups. As such, the relevant public entities ought to have vibrant and resourceful frequent sessions that will ensure that women realise their full potential,” she said.