Advancing Gender Equality

Case Studies from Across the Commonwealth

image of Advancing Gender Equality

The Commonwealth Secretariat has been a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and gender equality since the 1976–85 UN Decade for Women, and of gender mainstreaming since the UN 4th World Conference on Women, to which our 1995 Plan of Action on Gender and Development was a Commonwealth contribution.

This publication brings together case studies prepared in connection with the end-of-term review of the 2005–15 Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality. The case studies are based on submissions and interviews with government representatives, gender specialists and other stakeholders, including civil society organisations, from 20 countries representing all regions of the Commonwealth.

The examples were selected to demonstrate a range of strategies that can be employed to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Together they help to show what perpetuates gender inequality and offer approaches that can be adopted to help end unjust discrimination.



The Women Enterprise Fund, Kenya

Kenya has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and is now classified as a middle-income country by the World Bank (2014). Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play an important role in the Kenyan economy. It is estimated that the sector employs about 7.5 million Kenyans or 80 per cent of the country’s total employees outside of agriculture and is also a key engine for job creation (Wanjohi 2014). Recognising the critical role small businesses play in the Kenyan economy, the government through Kenya Vision 2030 underscored the need to strengthen MSMEs by improving their productivity and innovation.


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