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Men unlikely to elect women, study reveals

By Brigid Chemweno | March 9th 2017

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (second left) is joined by Public service Youth and Gender affairs cabinet Secretary Cesily Kariuki (left) shake hands with delegates during the celebrations of International Women's Day. (Photo: Jonah Onyango/Standard)

It has emerged that half of Kenyans believe the country has made progress towards gender equality.

However, support for women's empowerment is still uneven.

According findings of a report, nearly two-thirds of women (63 per cent) and men (68 per cent) say the Government had performed well in promoting opportunities and equality for women.

However, the findings further pointed out that 15 per cent of women admitted having faced discrimination or harassment based on gender in the past year.

The findings were released yesterday by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in Africa.

Though support for women's political leadership has remained steady since 2011, according to the data findings, women are significantly less likely than men to discuss politics, to contact political leaders, to join others to raise an issue and to attend community meetings.

"More than half (54 per cent) of Kenyans say they fear political violence and intimidation "somewhat" or "a lot". Women and men are equally likely to express this fear," the report says.

However, while over half of Kenyans (73 per cent) admit that women should have the same chances as men of being elected to political office, men (66 per cent) are less likely than women (81 per cent) to hold the same views.

On land matters, the report notes that men are likely to reject equal rights for women.

"Men are almost twice (39 per cent) likely to reject equal rights for women compared to 21 per cent (women) when it comes to owning and inheriting land," indicates the report.

Gender and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, while speaking during the International Women's Day in Nairobi yesterday, said women in Kenya were facing many challenges in the political arena.

She termed gender-based violence as one of the greatest threats to achieving gender equality and women empowerment.

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