Women’s Economic Empowerment

Kenya Women’s Economic Empowerment
Julia Nyambura tending to her new cash crops in Laikipia County. Her crop diversification was informed by the region’s prolonged drought and local awareness raising on climate smart agriculture (CSA). Photo: UN Women/James Ochweri

Women constitute over 60 per cent of the 74 per cent of Kenyans living in rural areas, where poverty levels remain high. Prevalence of absolute poverty in rural Kenya remains at 49.1 per cent. Rural women are at a bigger disadvan­tage compared to their urban counterparts in terms of access to political, economic and social development opportunities.

The overarching objectives of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme are twofold: the first is to increase the productivity of women in the agricultural value chain, and the second is to increase access by women entrepreneurs to existing and emerging mar­kets/procurement opportunities.

At the upstream level, UN Women Kenya will support the integration of gender into national policies and strategies on climate adaptation and resilient agriculture and their adoption at the county level. This will involve providing technical support to government institutions at national and county levels to strengthen their climate-smart and gender-responsive practices within existing policies and frameworks. In addition to creating financial security for women farmers, these efforts are also expected to increase food and nutrition security at household and community levels in target counties.

Downstream, the focus will be on enhancing the capacity of women agripreneurs in marginalized communities to increase their ability to cope with and recover from climate shocks, increase agricultural productivity and income, and improve food security at the household level.