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The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) joins Kenyans and the global community in celebrating International Women's Day, 2024. The International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8th, provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and to renew commitments to address the persistent challenges faced by women both locally and globally.

The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” which reminds us of the importance of investing in women not just as a moral obligation but as a strategic imperative for sustainable development and the realization of human rights.

In Kenya, as in many other countries, women constitute half of the population and are indispensable contributors to economic, social, and political development.  Despite considerable advancements, women encounter multifaceted barriers hindering their full participation. Deep-seated cultural norms, discriminatory practices, and limited resource access perpetuate gender disparities. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2023, Kenya ranks 77 out of 153 countries in terms of gender equality[1]. The report shows that women still lag on many fronts including economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Women and girls perform a disproportionate share of unpaid domestic work[2].  Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to hinder women and girls from operating optimally in different fields. In the recent past, there has been a spate of cases of femicide in the country.

Investing in women is therefore crucial for accelerating progress towards gender equality and sustainable development in Kenya. The NGEC  commends the Government of Kenya's efforts in promoting gender equality and women empowerment through robust policy, legislative, and programmatic measures. While noteworthy progress has been achieved, more action is needed to ensure that women can fully realize their potential in all spheres of development. 

On this International Women’s Day, we call upon the Government of Kenya to invest in women by allocating adequate resources towards the gender agenda in Kenya. We further request the Government and other stakeholders to collaborate in strengthening the implementation and enforcement of existing laws and policies promoting gender equality. Strategies to challenge harmful cultural norms and stereotypes must be put in place, alongside comprehensive gender-responsive budgeting.

The recent submission of the multi-sectoral working group's report on the realization of the two-thirds gender principle to the National Assembly is a positive step. We urge the National Assembly to act on this report promptly and ensure the enactment of relevant legislation.

Regarding the increasing cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and femicide, we demand expedited investigations and emphasize the necessity of multi-agency efforts to end this scourge.

Together we can work towards creating a more gender-equal and sustainable society where women and girls can thrive.

On our part, the National Gender and Equality Commission remains committed to promoting gender equality and freedom from discrimination for all.


Happy International Women’s Day,2024.


Dr. Joyce Mutinda PhD, EBS



[1] World Economic Report,2023

[2] Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Time Use Survey 2021.



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