East Africa Gender fact sheet

Speeches Shim

Despite great strides in economic growth and increased women in leadership in the region, significant gender gaps remain. Gender inequality remains a significant impediment to growth and well-being across East Africa. Women face differential barriers in access to markets, capital, training, and technologies; and they are underrepresented in—if not restricted from—decision-making spheres at all levels. This limits them from reaching their full potential and fully contributing to their countries’ economies. USAID increases economic empowerment opportunities and closes gender gaps in participation between women and men.

Through its programs, USAID links women to access credit, engage in international trade, and access global markets.The regional economies are shifting away from primarily farming economies towards services and industries.  However, 96% of women in Burundi, 76% in Kenya, 84% in Rwanda, 71% in Tanzania and 77% in Uganda still work in agriculture. Women's contribution to home and childcare, which is time-consuming, unpaid work, limits their ability to get paid work. Women’s land tenure remains low in many countries. Only 35% in Kenya and Uganda own their own land and 46% in Rwanda (UNCTAD, 2018).  Few women have bank or mobile money accounts and even less can borrow money.  When women face sexual harassment and violence or they are denied their property rights, inadequate measures exist to protect them. 

Issuing Country 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 10:45am

Last updated: September 22, 2021