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Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Kenya

Kenyan women wearing their colorful traditional beads and fabrics wear headphones as they listen to a presentation.
Kenyan women listen to a presentation outlining their rights under the new Constitution. USAID promotes gender equality and empowers women to play a powerful role in the development of Kenya.

Traditional ideas about the roles of girls and women restrict their contributions to Kenya. These ideas hold women back from contributing to important development goals; especially in the areas of economic growth, nutrition and food security.

Women in Kenya are underrepresented in decision-making positions.  They also have less access to education, land, and employment.  Those living in rural areas spend long hours collecting water and firewood; interfering with school attendance and leaving them with little time to earn money or engage in other productive activities.

The untapped potential of women and girls is gaining greater attention in Kenya. The country’s new Constitution, passed in 2010, provides a powerful framework for addressing gender equality. It marks a new beginning for women’s rights in Kenya; seeking to remedy the traditional exclusion of women and promote their full involvement in every aspect of growth and development.

When Kenyan women have the freedom to reach their potential, all Kenyan families and communities will grow stronger. USAID is empowering women to exercise their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.  Our partners are bringing the perspectives of women and girls and their full participation to the frontlines; and men and boys are important partners in this effort.

USAID’s programs are achieving respect for and realizing the rights of all Kenyans.  Our activities are:

  • Creating safe societies where women and girls can live free from violence;
  • Providing care and treatment services for victims of gender-based violence;
  • Strengthening women’s access to resources and opportunities that will allow them to share more broadly in the benefits of economic growth;
  • Increasing the participation of women in decision and policy-making at all levels;
  • Ensuring women a seat at the table in peace-building, conflict prevention and mitigation; and
  • Narrowing gender gaps in education and learning.

Kenya is a participating country in USAID's Women and Girls Lead Global Partnership.  This dynamic media campaign is empowering women to play a leading role in realizing the promise of the 2010 Constitution.

Fact Sheet: Support for Gender Equality in Kenya

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