Women Hit Worst by Rising Costs of Living
Pamela used to comfortably provide food for her four children from the little wages she earned from vending water. But now the rising cost of living has made her job almost irrelevant to her needs. Her wages have stagnated yet her expenses continue to become more expensive. Pamela like many mothers worries a lot for her children’s next meal. Mothers’ traditional role of cooking for their families is getting hard hit from the current rising costs of living. Kenyans living below poverty line can hardly put food on their tables. In Kenya, the spiraling cost of living has prompted the Consumer Federation of Kenya to find a way to make consumers life a bit more bearable. The federation’s general secretary , Stephen Mutoro, at a press briefing said plans are underway to provide consumers with price lists of different outlets so as to give them an option of choosing the most affordable shopping outlets.
While this may be a solution to managing the costs of living, the most basic solution such as proving a steady income for families is still facing hurdles. In Kenya currently the rate of employment is at 40 % according to the World Central Intelligence Agency( CIA) fact book. This means at least one out every two Kenyans is unemployed. Women therefore form the bulk of the unemployed population since they are the majority of the population. These unemployed women definitely have children they must provide for. The poverty cycle is evidently grasping tight the ability of these mothers to provide for their children.
Spiraling costs of fuel and basic commodities has sent Kenyans on the street to protest against the harsh reality. Civil society groups and ordinary citizens marched on the streets of Nairobi asking the government to intervene.
The lasting solution may lie in women’s ability to mobilize and create new money- making opportunities to supplement their income or to create more employment opportunities for themselves. Women leaders have a task here, to see grass root women awaken to the solutions towards tackling the rising costs of living. If every woman gets even a minimal supplement to her income, it would be possible for them to enjoy preparing those sumptuous meals for their children again.