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Editorials

EDITORIAL: More must be done to achieve gender parity

Parliament in session
Parliament in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Even as Kenya struggles to realise the gender parity dream it is good to see that there are some organisations that are striving to reach that goal.

It was therefore quite refreshing to learn that giant telco Safaricom has achieved 50 percent share of female employees on its payroll.

According to the telco’s 2019 Sustainable Business Report released last week, the company achieved a 50:50 gender balance among employees while 34 percent of its senior managers are women.

There are very valid and positive lessons to glean from this commendable achievement.

In Kenya, a major hindrance to the realisation of the gender parity goals has been the lack of political goodwill.

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It is a great shame that gender disparity still exists in the country. More needs to be done to change this worrying trend.

It is indisputable that women play a vital role in the growth of a society hence the failure to recognise therir output when it comes to critical positions smacks of pure selfishness.

Vivid examples are the various times that a parliamentary vote on the Gender Bill has failed in the House after failing to raise the required quorum.

Attempts to implement the two-thirds gender rule in Parliament has always failed since it lacks the support of male legislators.

We urge our leaders to take lessons from what Safaricom has achieved in pursuing the gender parity goal.

Private and public entities from across all sectors in the country should work to ensure that their workforce or populations are evenly balanced by putting in place measures that recognise the potential of all genders.

It is time the society abandoned the gender double-speak and strived to ensure that every gets a chance without discrimination.

Though it is clearly stated in our laws that every person is equal before the law and have the rights to equal protection, when it comes to practising the same we find that there is entrenched discrimination across the board.

One fact that we cannot ignore is that Kenya cannot develop without the contributions of both women and men. And as long as we continue hampering their quest for parity, the development goals will remain an elusive dream.

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