The Corona Virus Pandemic has disproportionately widened the gender poverty gap and pushed more women into extreme poverty.
This is because a majority of women work in the informal sector which was hard hit by numerous lockdowns at the height of the pandemic.
The Nakuru Women Chair leader Ruth Ongiri appealed to the government to use today’s International Women Day to reflect on how to cushion the women financially in order to help them revive their informal businesses’ which they were forced to close down by effects of corona.
“The ratio of poor women compared to men has increased and as we celebrate this important day, lets redirect our focus to their precarious economic status so as to lift as many as possible from extreme poverty,” she said.
Mrs Ongiri noted that a number of women work in salons, bars, restaurants, and those are the areas which were most affected by the pandemic and rendered thousands of them jobless.
While speaking at Lanet, the chairperson said the precarious economic status of women was due to the fact that many of them hold less secure jobs, they are hardly included in the decision-making levels, and urged policymakers to formulate inclusive programs.
In addition, she said there was a need for financial institutions to consider extending interest-free loans to women in the informal sector as a way of supporting them to participate in revving the economy.
Faith Njeri, a single mother who owned a salon at Lanet Estate in Nakuru town said she closed the business last year and she has not been able to re-open because she used up all her savings and now depends on her extended family for survival.
by Veronica Bosibori