Kenya: Men Take Lion's Share of Top Positions in Saccos

14 January 2021

Only six out of 165 chairpersons of deposit-taking savings and credit co-operative societies in Kenya -- that is less than four per cent -- are women.

That is according to latest report by the Saccos Regulatory Authority (Sasra), which also shows that men dominated all other key positions, including vice-chairpersons, secretary and treasurer in the saccos that handled deposits amounting to Sh380.4 billion and Sh419.55 billion in loan disbursement as at December 2019.

And yet women, numbering 1,634,760 are 34.2 per cent of the 4.78 million sacco membership.

"Saccos must, therefore, at individual levels, put in place affirmative action policies and frameworks, which will encourage more women to ascend to these two critical organs of governance in the sacco sub-sector, notwithstanding the fact that these positions are elective," the regulator says in the report.

The report says women are best represented in the vice-chairperson post, where they occupy 25.4 per cent of all positions.

Treasurer's position

Women performed the worst in the chairman's position, where 96.4 per cent or 165 positions were held by men, leaving a paltry six positions to women.

Six hundred and seventy-nine women sit on boards, compared to 1,616 men.

The revered treasurer's position has men in 84 per cent of the positions, leaving the rest -- 16 per cent of the posts for women.

Most treasures are aged between 51 and 60 years.

Also highly coveted is the secretary post. Here, 85.2 per cent -- that is 146 men out of 171 DT-Saccos that were surveyed -- occupy the post. A younger generation aged 36 years to 50 years enjoys prominence at 43.8 per cent, followed by 40.83 per cent of people aged above 51 years to 60 years.

Youthful leadership

The chief executive's position attracts a largely youthful leadership at between 36 years to 50 years (58.5 per cent) or 100 CEOs while 10.53 per cent or 18 CEOs aged below 35 years.

Some 49 CEOs or 28.65 per cent are aged between 51 years to 60 years while 2.34 per cent or four CEOs are aged above 61 years.

Women performed relatively well as CEOs, where 23.98 per cent or 41 DT-Saccos had women CEOs.

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