Kenya scored 80.6 out of 100 on the Women, Business and the Law 2021 index and ranked 95 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report  2021, with an overall score of 0.692. Overall, these scores remain consistent from the previous year though the lived realities for women and girls is markedly different, particularly in terms of the statistics based on age, marital status, and geographical location.  COVID significantly increased inequalities between men and women in education attainment, health outcomes, representation in parliament, and participation in the labor market. Kenya’s gender equality commitments regarding the advancement of gender equality, women, and girl’s empowerment are enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya, legal and policy environment and outlined in the gender machinery’s mandates.

Young women and adolescent girls are the most vulnerable group in Kenya. They are particularly vulnerable to poverty especially at the household and community level exacerbated by gender-based violence, harmful cultural attitudes, and beliefs. Limited control over benefits from land and other resources limits women’s participation in the economy, particularly as producers and market actors. Women’s unequal  and unpaid care work limits women’s contribution to and benefits from productive activities, their mobility, and access to market resources.

To address these issues, USAID’s strategic entry point looks at vulnerability through the eyes of adolescent girls and young women and working with local actors and entities, facilitate Kenyan-owned, -led, and -managed interventions to shift harmful gender norms, address teenage pregnancies and prevent and respond to gender based violence. This is expected to align with the Government of Kenya’s priorities and commitments, the USG National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality as well as USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment policy.