The Role of Kenyan Women in Development: The Emerging Economic Force in the Diaspora
The impact of inequality presents a global challenge. With the changing dynamics within the global economic order, based on technology and knowledge, women are an emerging as an economic force that policymakers cannot afford to ignore. Countries that fully engage women in development have realized more economic, social, and political growth. This underscores the assumption that Kenya may not achieve middle income status unless more women have equal access to economic resources including human development, microfinance, and bank loans. Cultural barriers that undermine the capacity for women to compete in business, thrive in entrepreneurship, and advance as policy-makers, must be eradicated. This paper examined the role of Kenyan women as it relates to development. Lessons drawn from countries such as Rwanda, Liberia, Germany and Sweden in terms of the impact of development assistance for women in financial services, employment, land and property ownership, capacity building for political leadership, and social protection are reflected. The objective of the paper is to examine the importance of engaging Kenyan women, leveraging their unique expertise, and embracing their emerging economic force in development in order to fully achieve the projected vision 2030. To achieve this objective, this paper addresses the gender gap in the economic, social, and political processes and evaluates what it will take for Kenya to embrace the emerging economic force. Key findings show that if women are fully included in the development agenda, they have the potential to accelerate the development of the country. Furthermore, empowered women have greater access to meaningful jobs with better pay, financial resources, and healthcare. Their increased earning power in turn raises household incomes and translates into better prospects and greater well-being of entire family and reduces abject poverty of future generations.