Women urge gov’t for manufacturing industry participation boost

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By Regina Manyara

Women entrepreneurs are urging the government to draft favorable policies that will boost participation of women in the manufacturing industry.

Youth and Gender Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki says this will ensure women have equal investment opportunities in the sector that has been male dominated.

Women make up over 50 percent of the Kenyan population, provide over 85 percent of labor in the agriculture sector, while 48% businesses in the small and medium enterprises are owned by women.

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In spite of this, women own about 1 percent of the resources and have access to only 10 percent of national resources.

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To remedy this, women entrepreneurs calling for drafting of inclusive polices especially in the manufacturing sector to spur their participation in the sector.

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The manufacturing sector has for long been male dominated.

Women entrepreneurs have been challenged to influence policy and decision making in ways that will address the needs of women in business.

A study by the Kenya Institute of Directors found that only 26 percent of women sit in boards in favor of their male counter parts.

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Lack of information about investment opportunities within the manufacturing sector and limited access to credit and markets are among other challenges that women in business have to grapple with.

The CS urged women to take advantage of the government run funds for youth and women to increase their investment portfolios.

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