Women and girls in Kenya often have more care responsibilities than men at work and home. As women are typically expected to be the primary caregivers, looking after a child takes up around 20 per cent of their time.
Women are expected to prioritize care work over paid work, education, and other opportunities, which limits their autonomy, opportunities to succeed and traps them in poverty.
This inequality is due primarily to traditional ideas about men's and women's roles, suggesting that women's work, whether paid or unpaid, is less critical and requires less skill than men's. These ideas contribute to the disproportionate burden of unpaid care and domestic work on women, limiting their ability to participate in decision-making processes and negotiate a more equitable distribution of unpaid care and domestic work within households.
When they enter the labour market, women are often relegated to more vulnerable occupations, including employment in the informal economy, particularly domestic work.
Kenya has approximately two million domestic workers, with women constituting about 80 per cent of this workforce.
Domestic and paid care work continues to be undervalued and invisible, with many women, girls, migrants, and vulnerable people experiencing discrimination. Although Kenya has made significant progress regarding expanding labour rights through legislative and statutory regulations, rights and regulations for domestic and paid care workers are yet to be fully enforced.
For Kenya to achieve inclusive and sustainable development, it needs to invest in advancing gender equality and recognizing and valuing women's contributions to the country's economy and society.
6 years (2023-2029)
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, and the generous Canadian public.
What are we doing?
Strengthening the skills and knowledge of paid care workers to claim and defend their rights to decent work and working with the employers of domestic workers to raise their awareness of these rights.
Increasing awareness and promoting the adoption of positive social norms and behaviours that acknowledge the importance of paid and unpaid care work and help reduce and more equally share the burden of care work across Kenyan society.
Raising the presence and voice of care workers in important policy discussions and decisions by strengthening Kenyan organizations that support women's and workers' rights to become better care work advocates.
What do we hope to achieve?
Time to Care brings a rights-based, feminist, and intersectional approach to strengthening local groups and organizations' existing leadership, programming, advocacy work, and collective action. The project will support these groups to advance gender equality for women and girls by improving Kenya's paid and unpaid care work conditions.
Time to Care will work on the following:
- Increase the adoption of gender-equitable social norms around paid and unpaid care work.
- Strengthen the skills and knowledge of paid care workers to advocate for and claim their rights.
- Increase the implementation of gender-transformative legislation, policies, and practices supporting paid and unpaid care work in Kenya.
Our project partners
- Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA)
- Youth Alive! Kenya