Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia today presided over the 7th Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” annual event in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2021. This year’s IWD theme is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World”.
In her remarks, Prof. Kobia noted that although progress has been made in gender equality and women empowerment, COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world order not only in health sector but in all spheres of our lives. She pointed that about 70% of women who are in the frontline health services are making great sacrifices in supporting the efforts to combat the pandemic and its effect.
The Cabinet Secretary indicated that emerging research has revealed that women representation in sectors such as education, hospitality, wholesale and retail trade, arts and recreation, and public administration is expected to decline due to COVID-19.
“Women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises which rely on tourism have also been affected, because of greatly reduced travel and visitor arrivals globally. We need to pause and ask ourselves – does women leadership matter during such a setback?” she paused.
She further commended NSE and its member institutions for making great contribution in promoting women leadership for gender equality. “This is demonstrated by NSE being a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS) and adopting the seven (7) principles into its business strategy and practice,” she said.
Prof. Kobia said the report that was commissioned by NSE in 2019 to undertake a survey to evaluate Kenyan listed companies on their performance on gender equality in the workplace has played a key role in influencing policy and programming in Kenya in regard to advancing women equality in the workplace, effectively empowering women to fully contribute to the growth of the economy.
By Nelly Kosgey