Kenya: Despite Covid-19, Kenya Advances in Closing Gender Gaps

Kenya has made strides in closing its gender gaps despite Covid-19 setting back global progress to attaining gender parity by three decades.

Global Gender Gap Report 2021 by World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks Kenya 95th place, with a 0.692 score, an improvement from the previous ranking of position 109 with a 0.671 score.

Nevertheless, the pandemic partially re-opened gender gaps that had already been closed, taking backwards efforts to achieve gender parity by 36.1 years.

WEF projects that it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide, against the previously estimated 99.5 years.

The report tracked narrowing of gender gaps in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment across 156 countries.

On political empowerment, only 22 per cent of the gap had been closed, a setback from last year’s 24.7 per cent. It will now take 145.5 years to achieve gender parity in politics from the earlier projected 94.5 years.

Of encouragement is an improvement in the narrowing the disparities in economic participation and opportunity. Fifty eight per cent of the gap has been closed compared to 57.8 per cent in the past year.

Women and men could, however, wait longer for 267.6 years to see an equal participation in the development of their countries economy. Had Covid-19 not hit the world, the waiting could have settled at 257 years.