Image: Aisha Jemila Daniels/UNDP

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting well-being at work, especially for women. This crisis is deepening the gender gaps faced by women around the world, which could set us back 25 years of progress in gender equality, according to the UNDP Global Tracker of Gender Responses to COVID-19. and UN Women.

In Peru, the economic income of women has been reduced by up to 37% since the start of the pandemic, more than double that in the case of men, according to a study by the United Nations and the Institute of Peruvian Studies. In addition, in the months of mandatory quarantine there was a worrying increase in gender-based violence: calls to report cases of violence increased by 88% in 2020, as reported by the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations.

The 2030 Agenda warns that if violence and discrimination are not eradicated, fundamental rights are not protected, and access to opportunities for women and girls is not promoted, the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met by 2030. Likewise, this agenda global recognizes that the goals set will only be achieved through multi-stakeholder work and strategic alliances between government, the private sector, civil society, academia and international cooperation. In particular, it highlights the transforming power of the private sector as a dynamic actor of sustainable development.

In this framework, Red de Energía del Perú (ISA REP), a leading electricity transmission company, committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, joins the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to implement for the first time in the country the Companies for Equality program, which will develop an Integrated Management System for Gender Equality (SGIG).

“The private sector plays a fundamental role in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda. Today, more than ever, it is necessary to promote transformative and innovative alliances with companies with a purpose, such as Red de Energía del Perú, to accelerate the move towards a more sustainable, inclusive Peru. and fair, where no one is left behind”, highlights Carla Zacapa, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in the country.

For one year, UNDP will support and accompany ISA REP to address gender gaps in critical areas of its operations in order to transform its corporate DNA towards equality. Within the technical assistance, access to innovative tools will be facilitated, such as the digital platform Indic@Igualdad of the UNDP that allows the automation of the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information, to measure the gaps and generate a Gender Equality Index of the organization. Based on this diagnosis, the company’s capacities in terms of gender will be strengthened and an action plan will be formulated and executed.

“We are proud to be the first to join the Companies for Equality Program. We will continue with our commitment to create initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in Peruvian companies. It is important for us to take a more activist role on these issues to contribute to a fairer, more diverse and inclusive society”, said the General Manager of ISA REP, Carlos Mario Caro.

By incorporating the gender approach into its organizational management system, the company will be able to incorporate comprehensive measures to change its structure and culture, creating more just and decent conditions for workers. In this way, a commitment is sought from the highest level to, among other aspects, detect and eliminate gender wage gaps; increase the participation of women in leadership and decision-making positions; implement policies to improve work-life balance; increase the presence of women in traditionally male occupations, as well as the presence of men in traditionally female occupations; eradicate sexual and gender-based harassment in the workplace; use inclusive and non-sexist communication internally and externally.