By Lydia Limbe
The journey to gender equality started many years ago and it gained speed. But since 2015, progress has slowed down. Why? Because we have let things slide.
According to the 2015 Global Gender Gap report, global gender parity was estimated to be achieved in 2133, a far cry from what had been estimated one year before. In 2014, the same Global Gender Gar report had declared 2095 to be the year that the globe with achieve gender parity.
In Subsaharan Africa, Rwanda is in position six out of 145 countries, scoring highly especially in the political empowerment of women. The life expectancy of women in Rwanda is also high, at 104%.
South Africa came number 17, the research revealing that women particularly score highly in the attainment of tertiary education, forming 137% of the total tertiary educated people. Political participation and in ministerial jobs is at 72% and 71% respectively.
On a broader perspective, The United States was ranked position 28, with a high number of women in the professional and technical workers (at 133%) and 137% enrolled in tertiary education. The only glaring statistics about the United States is the participation of women in politics, with only 25% in parliament and 35% in ministerial positions.
Kenya on the other hand was ranked 48 out of the 145 countries sampled, down from position 37 in 2014. 86% of the Kenyan workforce is women, and 92% of the female folk is literate.
However, when it comes to education, more girls than boys are enrolled in primary school (104%), but when it comes to continuing with the education, many girls do not join secondary school (down to 97%), and the number further drops for tertiary education (70%). To cap that, only 20% of women are in parliament, and only 43% are in ministerial positions.
Kenya has been having the two thirds gender principle conversation, with the Supreme court Advisory of 2012 giving 27th August 2015 as the date which the Kenyan Government will have a framework for it’s implementation.
A technical group to oversee the creation of this framework was formed on the 3rd February 2014. In it was The Attorney General’s office, The National Gender and Equality Commission, The Kenyan Women Parliamentary Association, Parliamentary and State Legal Committee, the Commission for Administrative Justice, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
There was also the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, the Parliament and Senate Legal Committee, the CIC and Federation of Kenyan Women Lawyers. A framework was coined, but in April 30th 2015, the then chair of the Legal and Affairs Committee in the National Assembly, published the Bill and asked for a one year extension.
The statistics are glaring. The above mentioned Bill and how it was swept under the carpet shows the nature of the patriarchal society we still live in. Suddenly, all the things we fought against have become the norm again.
Don’t let this slide. Let’s all pledge (men and women) to take conscious action to achieve gender parity.