NAIROBI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) on Saturday urged Kenya to address the gender gap in vocational training in order to boost economic growth.
Karin Fueg, the Deputy Director of UN Women in Kenya, said in Nairobi that few women look into the lucrative sectors of technical fields such as manufacturing, housing and construction which are heavily male dominated.
"There is no one solution to the vocational training gender gap but there is need for deliberate and concerted efforts from government, training institutions as well as women themselves to be more proactive and seek out existing opportunities," Fueg said during celebrations to mark the International Widows day.
Fueg said many existing training programs and interventions continue to direct women towards stereotypical training and occupations such as tailoring, hairdressing and basket weaving.
She called for more investment from government, private sector and donors to address the gender gap in vocational training including enhancing access to training facilities and opportunities for vulnerable women particularly disadvantaged women such as those living in rural areas through infrastructure support.
Fueg also stated the need to explore options that will increase the participation of poor and vulnerable women many of whom lack the time to attend training due to their multiple roles in society as homemakers.
She said Kenya key's development challenge is the growing unemployment especially among the youth and other vulnerable groups.
The UN official said that for Kenya to realize its development agenda and become an industrialized nation, increased productivity is key and this is in turn linked to human capital capacity.
Fueg said it is encouraging that Kenya is heavily investing in vocational training as demonstrated in the increase in funding towards the sector.
In the 2018/2019 budget, the government has allocated 160 million U.S. dollars toward technical and vocational training, an increase from 60 million dollars in the previous financial year.