In Kenya, women are playing an increasingly important role in the economy. They make up about 46% of the working-age population and about 43% of the country’s overall workforce. And while women remain underrepresented in leadership roles in both the public and private sectors, this is changing. More than ever before, Kenyan women are asserting their voice and breaking through glass ceilings as the rising prominence of collaborative women’s advocacy groups such as Girls Speak Africa and Womenomics Kenya continues to gain traction.
There are many positive implications of this shift towards gender equity in the workplace. However, some negative consequences result from a persistent gender imbalance. For example, there are some financial challenges facing women that negatively impact their ability to become financially independent.
Education and Employment of Women in Kenya
The majority of women in Kenya are educated, and this has a positive impact on their ability to get good jobs. There are, however, some gender disparities in the country’s education system, which can negatively impact women’s employment prospects. For example, women are significantly underrepresented in STEM fields. And there are gender gaps in educational attainment across Kenya’s various ethnic groups. These educational disparities have a significant impact on employment rates for women. In Kenya, women hold about 38% of all managerial positions and are also underrepresented in the country’s political landscape. But they are participating in the workforce at a high rate. Kenya has a higher rate of women in the workforce than the global average.
Financial abuse is one of the financial challenges facing women in Kenya. This is a significant problem across the globe, with one in three women experiencing financial abuse at some point in their lives. While the legal definition of financial abuse may differ from one country to another, it is generally defined as any type of economic abuse perpetrated against a person by someone else. This can include things like depriving an individual of financial resources, controlling another person’s finances, and/or stealing from a person’s bank account.
Because women are often caregivers, taking time off work, taking lesser work shifts, quitting their jobs, and other such things are more likely to occur. This impacts their financial future by delaying or eliminating their professional development. As a result, their household income is reduced, forcing them to cut back and take out more loans to meet their needs. This hinders their chances of getting promoted at work, earning more money through overtime work, or taking on extra work shifts.
This point goes beyond caring for others. We’re going to discuss the larger issues related to being a professional woman in addition to being a wife, mother, and other caretaking responsibilities that accompany household maintenance. All of these duties are significant, and trying to balance all of them could result in burnout. Cooking dinner, doing the laundry, and getting the kids ready for school, for example, are common household tasks that may limit your career options and reduce the amount of time you spend at work and outside of work.
Financial products are difficult to access.
Some corporations and financial institutions may still deny women loans or give them smaller amounts of money, even though firms and institutions have taken strides to provide men and women with equal opportunities. Even today, women are still unable to gain access to financial products because they continue to face this barrier. If you are a homemaker, freelancer, or part-time worker without a guarantor, you might be considered a “high-risk applicant” if you don’t have a steady income. It is difficult to obtain anyone to act as a guarantor, and this makes creditors reluctant to grant loans.
Societal norms in culture
Cultural attitudes that impede women’s financial well-being are the other socio-cultural challenges that we should explore. For example, people who earn and spend in a quality lifestyle are negatively influenced by cultural attitudes. In the corporate world, there are few paths to the top. A chief executive officer is just one of the many executive positions. ‘C’ stands for ‘chief,’ such as a chief communications officer and a chief executive officer. It’s tough for anyone to get to the top, especially women. As a result, harmful stereotypes prevent women from being considered for leadership roles. Women are consequently forced into ‘female-only occupations’ that restrict many from job advancement opportunities, which have the potential to pay well and provide more learning.
An illustration of this belief is the cultural conviction that women cannot adequately lead at work or home because of work-life commitments. It is often assumed that women will eventually become mothers and wives, which is seen as a personnel risk. This tends to lead to more careful consideration of men who are viewed as ‘more dependable’.
Concluding Thoughts on Financial Challenges Facing Women In Kenya
The above challenges notwithstanding, women in Kenya are breaking barriers and making progress towards financial independence. This is largely thanks to the fact that there is a push in the country to encourage more women to enter the workforce. And while the situation is far from perfect, things are improving. More women are participating in the labour force, and there are more opportunities for women in the workplace than ever before. Now is an exciting time for women in Kenya and across the globe. We are seeing greater representation in the workplace and more opportunities for women to achieve financial independence. This is a positive trend, and we expect that it will continue to grow.