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Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta to Host Meeting on Women Participation in BusinessTuesday, December 15, 2015 > 11:12:55
(All Africa By Otiato Guguyu)
President Uhuru Kenyatta will showcase to the world how a change in law can drive women participation in business when he hosts a key meeting Monday.
The President will host the International Forum on Women in Business ahead of the World Trade Organisation meetings Tuesday.
Kenya gave women's participation in business a boost by directing that 30 per cent of government tenders be reserved for women, youth and disabled people.
Policymakers, the business community and representatives of women business organisations will discuss policies and actions to step up the participation of women in trade.
"I know there is a perception that it is difficult for women to get government contracts and that you have to bribe your way, but I'm telling you not to give bribes to get State tenders," the Cabinet secretary nominee for Public Service, Youth and Gender, Ms Sicily Kariuki, said last week.
She said the government had created platforms such as Huduma Centre and the Uwezo Fund to help the women participate in doing business with the State.
In 2013, Mr Kenyatta directed that the procurement rules be amended to allow 30 per cent of contracts to be given to the youth, women and the disabled.
In the 2013/2014 financial year, the ministries set aside Sh21.7 billion as part of the 30 per cent procurement quota.
During the same period, the ministries issued tenders worth Sh6.5 billion, representing 29.9 per cent of the amount set aside.
A FINE JOB
In the 2014/2015 fiscal year, ministries set aside Sh17.07 billion, within which they issued Sh16.68 billion tenders, about 97.7 per cent of total amount set aside for the special groups.
In the same year, youth entrepreneurs got 3,416 tenders, women traders were awarded 3,372 deals while persons with disabilities got 261 contracts.
In the current financial year, ministries have set aside Sh17.7 billion worth of tenders for the youth, women and persons with disabilities.
Since the start of the programme, Sh25 billion worth of tenders have been allocated to the three groups.
Women entrepreneurs have received 55.96 per cent of total amount while the youth and persons with disabilities got 42.48 per cent and 1.55 per cent respectively.
Women want laws amended to accommodate them in global trade, including changes to human resources procedures, and reinforcing equal pay for comparable work.
According to the Global Gender Gap report by the World Economic Forum, Kenyan women are paid Sh62 for every Sh100 a man gets doing the same job.