The Kenya Forum | Women in Civil Service Under-Represented and Unmarried - The Kenya Forum

April 15, 2023

Summary

“This begs the question whether women sacrifice family ambitions as they seek promotions, that never come”.

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Women in Civil Service Under-Represented and Unmarried

Women in Civil Service Under-Represented and Unmarried

Only 24 per cent of civil servants in Kenya are women and of those 60 per cent are unmarried.

These intriguing figures have been released by KU’s (Kenya University) Women’s Economic Empowerment (KU Wee) Hub, a donor-funded organization which aims to promote women’s economic empowerment in Kenya.

Women Sacrifice Family Life

Women trying to improve their career prospects in the civil service are sacrificing family life, it seems, concentrating more on gaining Masters and PhD qualifications.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs this week, Dr Regina Mwatha, project leader at the KU Hub said, “this begs the question whether women sacrifice family ambitions as they seek promotions, that never come”.

“Women [in civil service] with a first degree increased from 27 per cent in 2010 to 45 per cent in 2020 while the proportion of men with a first degree in the same cadres declined from 64 per cent in 2010 to 46 per cent in 2020,” Dr Mwatha said.

Women with a master’s degree also increased from 2.5 per cent n 2010 to 4.4 per cent in 2020. Men, however, with a master’s dropped from 7 per cent to 5 per cent in 2020.
Back in 2010 the percentage of women in civil services’ entry cadres stood at 41.7 per cent, whereas the percentage for men was 58.3 per cent.

Women’s Entry to Civil Service Declines

The percentage of women in the entry cadres since then has however, declined to 31.34 per cent, whilst the number of men increased to 68.66 per cent to 2020.

The picture is the same for middle managers, where women hold 34 per cent of jobs compared to 66 per cent for men.

In respect of upper grade management jobs in the civil service women make up just 29 per cent of state employees, up from 23 per cent in 2010 to 29 per cent in 2020.

The figures from KU-Wee Hub are based on an analysis of the civil service payroll from 2010 to 2020 and are supported by similar findings from the Public Service Commission tabled in the Senate in January 2023.

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