By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua)--
The Kenya Association of
Manufacturers (KAM) and the UN Women are working on a
comprehensive strategy to boost participation of women in key
industrial value chains, executives said on Tuesday
Flora Mutahi, KAM
chair, said that greater participation of women in the
manufacturing sector is key to boost its competitiveness in
the light of challenges occasioned by automation and skills
“We have partnered
with UN Women to ensure that gender mainstreaming is an
integral part of 21st century industrial sector.
Women could be a valuable asset to drive innovation and growth
of industries,” said Mutahi.
She spoke in
Nairobi during the third women in manufacturing forum
organized by UN Women and the manufacturers lobby to sensitize
female entrepreneurs on opportunities they could harness in
the industrial sector.
Mutahi noted that
Kenya has made gradual progress in closing a yawning gender
gap in the manufacturing sector but urged action on policy,
skills and funding hiccups that discouraged women from
investing in industries.
“A robust and
competitive manufacturing sector will be realized if we tap
into women’s unique talents and skills. Women led industries
can produce niche products for local and export market,”
She noted that the
manufacturing program supported by the UN and local investors
has bridged gender gap in a sector that contributes an
estimated 9.5 percent to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP).
educating and mentoring women, we will be able to provide the
necessary skills and talents to take the industrial sector to
the next level,” said Mutahi.
Banu Khan, a
programs officer at UN Women Kenya Office, said companies that
have advanced gender equality are more profitable and
appealing to clients.
sector should be gender-inclusive because it makes business
sense and has profound impact on their sustainability,” said
Khan, adding that UN Women has fostered dialogue with
investors in Kenya’s industrial sector to promote gender
parity at all managerial levels.