WHY KENYAN EMPLOYERS SHOULD BE ASHAMED

Three months paid leave in addition to a month of paid annual leave that women in Kenya are now entitled to have made employers in the country uncomfortable about employing women.Compare that with Sweden that has an year of paid maternity leave for its women.While it Kenya maybe light years away from Sweden in terms of development women shouldn’t be denied jobs because of their gender in an era when big corporates in Kenya are jumping on the paternity leave bandwagon.This was highlighted in a short segment on NTV’S business program pm live where it was reported there was an 11%drop in the number of employers willing to allow hire women.

A lot of the time how a society treats it women says tonnes about its social progress.While we grudgingly let go of the traditional views that a woman’s place is in the kitchen we are also embracing progress and this cannot be better said than in the current constitution that gave women what has been theirs all along-a right to be heard and to make their choice of representatives .It has given women more seats in elective position than at any other time in our country’s history and it is my hope we will see people worthy and capable get elected.

Infidel is the gripping story of Ayan Hirsi who fled to Kenya with her family from Somalia and who despite her now famous status underwent female genital mutilation as a coming of age ritual and so as her grandmother put it she wouldn’t lack a husband.We still hear stories in Kenya today of girls running away from home because they are being forced to undergo the cut.At university one of my research papers in undergraduate classes was on FGM,and i cringed as i read about how girls were forced to undergo the cut in a bid to make “women”of them.But who says a woman should be defined by her physical attributes or lack thereof of some part,who says a woman is less than a a man because she has to rush a sick child to hospital and is passed over for promotion in lieu of a man who didn’t have to work 10 times as hard in his climb up the corporate ladder?all this because an employer has chosen to define a woman by the many roles she juggles at home and in the office and is looking at the bottom line.

Women are the ones who carry society”s future in the wombs,they nourish babies at their breasts and who work tirelessly to make sure the bellies of little children are full.Many a mother will forgo a meal for a hungry child,another will do work to the bone to make sure her children go to the best schools.Lets not disregard this crucial members of our society without whom we wouldn’t be here today.

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