This paper explores gender discrimination in Kenya. It discusses the different forms of gender discrimination which are sexual harassment also known as assault and sexism.
The global gender gap report ranks Kenya as 76 out of 144 countries globally with significant inequalities between males and females in education attainment, health outcomes representation in parliament and participation in labor market. Gender discrimination is the gap in power status and prestige. Established Kenyan women are taking over the main role of breadwinning, this gives people the idea that gender inequality is a thing of the past. There is improved education and employment progress in number for women. There is a wage gap between women and men. It is seen where women work full time and will be paid the same as a man working part time. Additionally, women who are in managerial position hardly get any pay rise as compared to their male counterparts. This clearly shows the kind of impact gender discrimination on people today which has led to decrease in productivity in various aspects of life today. Therefore, we will discuss the types, causes and ways to curb
Discrimination is the unjust or preductal treatment of different categories of people especially on the grounds of age race or sex. Therefore, gender discrimination also known as sexual discrimination is any act that specifically denies opportunities, privileges or rewards towards a person or group because of their gender. Gender discrimination brings about unfairness which in turn causes people to turn on each other in which case it is not healthy in places of work or schools or any place in particular since it brings about destruction.
FORMS OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION
Sexism is the prejudice of discrimination based on sex, especially in the form of discrimination based on sex especially in the form of discrimination against women. Sexism is based on the idea that women are inferior to men and function s to oppress women in society. One of the ways in which sexism is manifested in Kenya and cultures around the world is through the socialization of gender norms. For instance, cultures have shown women as the more nurturing, emotional and physically weaker kind in society than men who are portrayed as the strong kind whose main role is to protect the women. Hence, he is seen as more fit for public life, leadership roles, various activities in business, politics, academics and also in sports. In regards to public life the man has to ensure the safety of his family and be the breadwinners while the woman stays home and takes care of the children. In politics it clear that most people prefer men to lead other people since they are believed to make the tuff decisions and are harder to break down while women are expected to sideline and watch for their thought are often taken as null. In sports, it is clear that the sport which get more funding and taken seriously are men sports. For instance, their very qualified women who engage in sport but due to their gender the team does not grow and hence are not considered for various games. This leads to the cutting of funds to various sports teams, which is help supposed to support some of the women especially the youth preventing them from engaging in crimes and prostitution.
Sexism is cycle in which is instilled in children as they grow up, either in the games they play or the type of work that they do. Although most forms of sexism negatively impact women, men can also be affected as well. According to the survey done in five different countries men suffer from gender-based discrimination at the workplace, especially areas with greater presence of females compared to male workers such in health-related services (Eurofound 2018, p 10). This is seen in places like the kitchen or even a hair salon which are said to be a woman’s domain.
A study done by Eagly and Kamau (2002) found that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve leadership roles because it is perceived incongruity between female gender role and leadership roles leads to prejudice: perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and evaluating behavior that fulfils the prescriptions of leader roles less favorably when it is enacted by a woman.
Another, interesting study focuses on gender wording in job announcement. This shows that when job advertisements are made the mostly include words that are associated with male stereotypes who are competitive and dominant, are found less appealing by women compared to job advertisements that mostly include words associated with female stereotypes. Therefore jobs advertisements with more masculine words reinforce gender inequality in traditionally male dominated accommodations.
2. SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ ASSAULT
Sexual harassment is term that refers to unwanted verbal or physically behavior of sexual nature (encyclopedia britannica , 2018) . Women and girls can be victims in various places such as work, school, religious institutions. Harassment could include touching without consent, making comments that portray sexual nature, and are offensive. It also includes making unpleasant comments about someone’s gender, age and prying to someone’s personal life.
Studies show that boys are also victims of harassment which is mostly done by other men. Men always pride themselves with the ability to be brave this makes it harder for them to report such cases of harassment. This causes them to lose their self-esteem and in extreme cases it leads to suicide. Sexual harassment has increased over the years and hence women are also being abused harassment in the current social media platforms known as “virtual world”. Many people urge social media owners should step up and protect the vulnerable and to act against those inciting sexism online.
Sexual assault has gained a new level of awareness when high profile women have thrown their support on an upcoming campaign called #me too that was started by a black activist Torana Burkein in the early 2007. Through out the years women have been able to grow confident and speak out against abuse. Speaking out has led to the rise of various organizations which have in turn lead to serious company polices.