Empowering Women and Bridging Gender Disparities
Our support of gender equality and women’s empowerment guides many of our programs. While strides toward this have been significant in Kenya, we are aware of the challenges that still persist, particularly in employment status and financial autonomy. Through our programs, existing disparities are being actively addressed, and we are seeing some promising outcomes, as revealed in a recent (August/September 2023) survey conducted amongst our alumni.
The survey gathered data from 158 out of 198 alumni (e.g., 80% participation). Within this group, 57% identified as female, while 43% identified as male. This parallels our community’s demographics, which are generally 60% female and 40% male.
The data show a remarkable convergence of female and male employment rates. In our alumni study, female employment, at 64%, is very near the male employment rate of 66% and above the overall 56% female employment rate In Kenya. This achievement is significant given the historical disparities in labor force participation by women in Kenya. Another encouraging gender dynamic is that our female alumni occupy an impressive 71% of supervisory positions despite constituting 57% of respondents.
Our study revealed a high level of financial autonomy among our female alumni. Over 66% of female alumni are living independently in comparison to males (49%) reflects evolving Kenyan societal norms that embrace women’s pursuit of autonomy and self-sufficiency.
Amongst our alumni, 64% of females are the primary providers within their homes, and 81% are providing at least some financial support to their households as compared to the national percentage of 36.4% (Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2022). Of the 9 females whose spouses are the main providers, only 2 had their husbands as their sole providers. Additionally, 48% of females possess savings, slightly surpassing the figure of 44% for males. This reflects the increasing financial consciousness and independence among women.
The survey findings provide a good perspective on alumni women’s empowerment, including employment status, transformation in familial roles, and financial independence. As we celebrate the advancements in female alumni employment rates and leadership positions, we will continue to address gender disparities. We aim to continue our successful programs to empower our women.