A new labour study has found that the proportion of women in entry-level job groups in the public service dropped by 10 percentage points despite more of them acquiring degrees over the past decade, highlighting gender gaps in the workforce.
The audit by the Kenyatta University Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub (KU-WEE), which covered the period between 2010 to 2020, shows the representation of women in job groups J to L stood at 31.3 percent in 2020, from 41.7 percent in 2010.
The findings of the survey show men’s representation remained at higher proportions, rising from 58.3 percent in 2010 to 68.7 percent in 2020.
The analysis shows women with a first degree increased to 45 percent in 2020 from 27 percent in 2010, while the proportion of men with a first degree in the same cadres declined to 46 percent in 2020 from 64 percent in 2010.
A drop of 10 percent in any one gender, especially in entry-level, jobs should be a concern for policymakers and the public service in general.
Besides disadvantaging women, it also limits their chances of rising to the top levels of the government, if they start off in weaker position. We call on the government to investigate the reasons behind this unacceptable trend and put in place corrective measures.
The new constitution does not envisage a situation where one gender takes a disproportionate share of jobs in any department.
In addition, there is no point in spending billions of shillings to empower the girl child through school, only to deny them a fair chance at the workplace. The government must set the pace.