Did you know that on womens’ equality Kenya is trailing far behind most other nations? According to the UN, Kenya is on rank 135 only in the Gender Inequality Index. Now how can that be true, even though the Kenyan Constitution states in article 27 (3) that “Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres?” The reason is that the Gender Inequality Index does not look at the rights.
It measures how well women are off in four different respects, compared to other countries:
- reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rate),
- empowerment through political participation (share of parliamentary seats held by women)
- empowerment through education (share of population with at least some secondary education), and
- labour market participation (labour force participation rate).The data for all those four criteria can be found in the UNDP Human Development Report 2016
Source for this index is the UN Women Database page on Kenya (external link).
That page also cites a lot of other data which is partly devastatingly negative for Kenya, namely:
- 39 percent of Kenyan women experience violence from their partner, 26 percent even experienced domestic violence during the last twelve months.
- Child marriage has a prevalence of 23 percent, meaning almost one in four Kenyan girls is married as a minor.
- Every fifth of all Kenyan women between 15 and 49 years have suffered female genital mutilation, FGM.
Kenya is faring better on the Global Gender Gap Index, though which is based on other economic, political, education and health criteria. On that index it is on rank 63, globally, the UN Women Database states. For details about that index, see the Global Gap Gender Report, 2016.
In a radio report today or later you might ask experts for the reasons for the challenges for women in Kenya.