21 Mar 2024

Global Compact Network Kenya in partnership with Danish Industry held the first Regional Gender Equality Conference in Nairobi under the theme “Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment. 

The event brought together stakeholders from East African countries including Ethiopia, and aimed at serving as a catalyst for change, inspiring tangible actions that contribute to the economic empowerment of women and, in turn, foster a more equitable and sustainable world. 

The over 120 participants who attended the conference were also able to share lessons, opportunities and collectively identify ways of advancing gender equality in the region. 

According to the Gender Snapshot 2023 report, progress on SDG 5 – Gender Equality – is way off track, with only two Goal 5 indicators being “close to target and no SDG 5 indicator at the “target met or almost met level. 

The conference noted that the gender gap in power and leadership positions remains entrenched and at the current rate of progress, the next generation of women will still spend on average 2.3 more hours per day on unpaid care and domestic work than men. 

According to the Women’s Empowerment Principles Gender Gap Analysis Tool (WEPs Tool) a business-driven tool designed to help companies from around the world assess gender equality performance across the workplace, marketplace, and community, Kenya achieved a score of 41.1% in 2023. Notably, 13.2% of the companies that used the tool have committed to gender equality with 19% actively implementing diverse strategies. However, only 5.1% are in the process of measuring impact, and 4.4% are reporting on their progress. 

Speaking during the event, Absa Bank Kenya MD and CEO Abdi Mohamed who is also a board member of the Global Compact Network Kenya noted that the world needs an additional $360 billion annually to empower women and achieve gender equality across key global goals.

Mr. Mohamed urged stakeholders to accelerate progress and called on stakeholders to focus on 5 key areas which include Gender Equality, Climate Action, Living Wage, Water Resilience and Finance and Investment which have been tested to demonstrate a strong correlation between bold action and positive corporate returns.

“I urge all businesses and stakeholders represented here to proactively tackle these issues, as they indicate areas where collective efforts can yield the most significant and swiftest impact by 2030, he said.

Speaking at the same event East Africa Confederation of Danish Industry Regional Manager Klaus Lehn Christensen said that the conference is a way of not only celebrating the progress made, but also discussing how together, we can find solutions to the challenges we face in the area of gender equality. 

“Globally gender equality is also a key priority to Danish Industry and Im proud of the work we are doing with all our East African Organizations. The challenges to gender equality are the same across the region and thus there is a great benefit in finding the solutions together,” he said. 

Click HERE to view event photos.