Kenya has made massive strides towards achieving workplace gender equality and removing formal legal obstacles that make it difficult for women to contribute to the economy in the past four years, a new report by the World Bank and adopted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an American think tank has revealed.
World Bank’s report dubbed Women Business and The Law 2018 shows that Kenya ranked at position 71 out of 189 countries globally, position 7 out of 49 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and at position 10 out of 53 lower middle-income economies.
Rwanda ranks at position 80 globally and at position 9 out of the listed 47 Sub Saharan Africa countries.
Kenya garners an average score of 72.8% for making concerted efforts towards protecting women from violence through enacting legislation, enabling access to institutions for women, ensuring that the business environment was conducive for women to get jobs as well as providing incentives to work.
“Kenya enacted its first domestic violence law which protects families, family members and spouses. Kenya also designated a special court to handle cases of domestic violence and offer protection orders for victims,” reads the report.
While Kenya faired decently in the rankings, more work needs to be done in order to perform better than South Africa, Mauritius, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique which were all ranked ahead of the country.
Kenya’s score was 44.6% more percentage points than the score garnered by Yemen which was the worst-ranked country in the world for oppressive laws that have stopped women from achieving economic gains.
The report explicitly states that for Yemen to rank more favourably, it ought to repeal certain laws that have made women secondary human beings to men.
For instance in Yemen, women are required by law to obey their husbands, to apply for passports differently to men, to travel outside the country differently to men and to get a job or pursue a trade or profession different to men.
The report blasts countries in the Middle East with 9 out of the bottom 10 being from the region. including Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Mauritania, Iran, Qatar, Syria and Yemen.
Sudan also features among the bottom 10.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, Bosnia. UK, Lithuania, Iceland and Latvia are the top 10 ranked countries.