Social-Legal Environment and Women Participation in the Securities Market in Kenya

Nathan Mwenda Mutwiri, Caroline Jebiwott Kimutai


Securities markets are essential vehicles of raising capital, portfolio diversification and liquidity management among investors. Investors aim to generate extra returns while keeping their risk at manageable levels. Active participation of women in stock markets in Kenya is key in ensuring a level playing field for both men and women in matters development and investment. In Kenya the concentration of women investors in the Securities market has been increasing with the aim of bridging the gender gap among stockholders gradually. As at June 2020, women comprised 34% of the total investors in the Nairobi securities exchange. This reflects an increase in the number of investors to 513,063 from 273,234 in the year 2010. However, despite this increase the number of women investors was lower than male investors; women only held investment worth ksh 2.4 Billion (25%)  as compared to Ksh 7.1 billion (75%) held by men. This clearly indicates that there is a myriad of gender related issues that prevent participation of women in stock market. This study investigated the social- legal factors that affect women participation in the stock market. The study adopted a positivist research philosophy, and a descriptive correlation design. STATA software tool was used to analyze data and the findings were presented in tables, graphs and charts. The study findings were; financial literacy levels among women in Kenya is low, some cultures in Kenya undermine women and condemn them to household chores and  various family responsibilities, traditional beliefs and practices hinder women from participating in the stock market and the matrimonial property and land laws in Kenya are biased against women. The study recommends that learning institutions should incorporate financial literacy programs directed at women to help in bringing change in attitude towards participation in the securities market, younger generation of women in the society should be mentored by those who have carved out a niche for themselves in the securities market, there is need also to establish clear legal and regulatory frameworks and gender-disaggregated data gathering measures to guarantee women’s secure rights to land, including the right to inherit, own, access, control, and participate in land governance.

Keywords: Securities market, social legal environment, women participation, financial literacy

DOI: 10.7176/EJBM/13-20-14

Publication date:October 31st 2021

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