Road agencies must adhere to gender law, says minister
The Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen has faulted three roads agencies – Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), and Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) – for sidelining female engineers in its recruitments, saying they had missed one-third gender rule target.
Murkomen is now pushing to have women occupy the position of chairperson of KeRRA and KURA boards.
In KeRRA, for instance, out of the 47 regional managers, there are only two women.
“I have spoken to the KeRRA board and management that in the next three years that number (female managers) must go beyond ten engineers. I believe I will convince the President to make sure the next chair of KeRRA should be a woman,” Murkomen said yesterday during the launch of Women in Construction Forum 2023.
The event brings together women developers, contractors and all associates in the construction sector to promote, recognise and advance their role in the male-dominated industry.
Among the three agencies, only Kura has 30 per cent of the total staff being female, though this is still slightly below the one-third gender rule. The low number of females in the ministry, however, mirrors a global trend.
A 2022 report by Dalber and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) indicates that globally, only 13 per cent of all construction companies are women-owned.
In Kenya, the report shows that a paltry 7.3 per cent of engineers registered by the Engineers Board of Kenya, 15.5 per cent of contractors, and 17 per cent of registered quantity surveyors are women.
“I wish to encourage industry players to take the necessary steps and ensure the construction workplace is inclusive and adaptive,” said Murkomen.