IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender Disparities and Economic Growth in Kenya: A Social Accounting Matrix Approach


  • Bernadette Mukhwana Wanjala
  • Maureen Were


Realizing high economic growth and generating gainful employment present major challenges for Kenya. This paper analyzes the gendered employment outcomes of various investment options in Kenya using Social Accounting Matrix multiplier analysis. Results reveal that Kenya's agriculture sector accounts for the highest increase in employee compensation (mainly benefiting skilled labor and disproportionately benefiting men), while its manufacturing sector accounts for the largest share of job creation. Although women stand to benefit more from employment creation, most of these new jobs are informal with low wages. Kenya's gender disparities are a reflection of existing disparities in its labor market and socioeconomic structure. Therefore, policies aimed at addressing the constraints that limit women's effective participation in the Kenyan labor market, including increasing productivity and raising women's skills, are important for allowing men and women to benefit equally from employment and growth-promoting opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernadette Mukhwana Wanjala & Maureen Were, 2009. "Gender Disparities and Economic Growth in Kenya: A Social Accounting Matrix Approach," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 227-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:227-251
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700902893114

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon, Robert J, 1995. "Is There a Trade-off between Unemployment and Productivity Growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Toche, P., 2001. "Is There A Growth-Unemployment Trade-Off?," Economics Series Working Papers 9962, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Sinha, Anushree & Khan, Haider, 2008. "Gender and Informal Sector Analysis in India: Economy Wide Approaches," WIDER Working Paper Series 065, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Amanda Ellis & Jozefina Cutura & Nouma Dione & Ian Gillson & Clare Manuel & Judy Thongori, 2007. "Gender and Economic Growth in Kenya : Unleashing the Power of Women," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6810.
    5. Martin Zagler, 2009. "Economic growth, structural change, and search unemployment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 63-78, January.
    6. Jane Kabubo-Mariara, 2003. "Wage determination and the gender wage gap in Kenya: Any evidence of gender discrimination?," Research Papers RP_132, African Economic Research Consortium.
    7. Patrick Toche, 2001. "Is There a Growth-Unemployment Trade-Off?," Economics Series Working Papers 62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Employment; gender analysis; social accounting; JEL Code: J16;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:227-251. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.