HARD TALK with Jessicah


The definition of gender can be said to be, either of the sexes (male or female), especially when social and cultural distinctions are addressed rather than biological ones. The phrase is also used to refer to a wide range of identities that do not fit into preconceived notions of male and female; these include transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, a gender and pangender just to mention a few. The discussion on gender equity v gender equality is not a new topic and has been met with wide interpretation; their distinction remains indistinct to many but stands as a very important one to underscore.

Persons who hold the view of gender equality seek that men and women become the same. Cognizant to the fact that the issue on gender equality has bedeviled societies all over the globe seemingly for a period as old as time itself, the attainment of gender equality remains non-instantaneous and thus the merit of gender equity comes in that regard. Gender equity appreciates the nature of the variant narratives based on gender parity and seeks the progressive realization of gender equality through fairness of treatment for both women and men according to their respective needs. Gender equity can therefore be termed as the means as to which gender equality is arrived at; hence gender equality is regarded as the end goal.

In Kenya the gender equality gap is present as it scores 81 (out of 100) on the Women, Business and the Law 2020 index and ranks 109 out of the 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 with 0.671, significant inequalities between males and females. This can be owed to the fact that there is pervasive discrimination and cultural norms that influence women’s rights to participation in labor markets, ownership of land and access to education, finance and technology etc. legislations have been put in place to counter the question on gender parity in Kenya and reformative policies have been established across all sectors to alleviate gender parity. The gender equity movement has been so rampant that it is feared that the boy child might be left behind! However, statistics in Kenya still have it that the male gender is still better placed. Largely taken approaches in addressing the gender disparity issue include women empowerment forums that focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances, spreading awareness and empowering women therefore ensuring that they are more autonomous. These limited strips however have been faced by several challenges compounded by the intersections of poverty, age, and education disparities remain, with stark regional disparities.

The gender parity fight envisions a better placed society that saps potential from each and every individual without undermining ones strengths and human rights. It mitigates the ill that unequal societies face; that being less cohesiveness, antisocial conduct and gender based violence. Gender equity sees to it that social justice is enjoyed by every citizen leading to a healthier and better well being of persons, reduced poverty due to the fact that all persons can pursue financial stability because access to learning institutions and opportunities in the workplaces are not dependent or constrained by their sexual identities resulting to a better economy and standard of living.

Advocacy on gender equity has over the past years largely fallen on the shoulders of women; they being the ones who have faced historical and social disadvantage in this regard. An all inclusive approach has been witnessed where which the male counterparts are also in the fight against gender disparity all over the globe and on the internet hash tags like #heforshe corroborate the inclusive approach that has been highly subscribed to nowadays. This oneness can be partially owed to the fact that gender related issues affect both genders as stereotypic notions taken up by the society seem to also bar the male sex from taking up certain careers and or roles that are normatively regarded as feminine; though one may not pinpoint the reason as to why there has been solidarity in the road to gender equity, the one thing that is without doubt is that there has been good progress and the fruits of gender equity are starting to show. The long road in the bid to ensure fairness and equal treatment is availed to every individual is still on. Gender equality shall be accomplished through using one means; that being gender equity.


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