RWANDA LEADS THE WAY IN PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY
UNDP Africa Launches Innovative Gender Seal Training
Image: UNDP; The training, which took placed in Kampala, Uganda, brought together participants from the private sector, government institutions and UNDP country offices.
From 26 to 30 November 2018, UNDP Africa rolled out a certification programme to help professionals gain expert knowledge and implement policies aimed at achieving the Gender Equality Seal in Africa’s public and private sectors. The training, which took placed in Kampala, Uganda, brought together participants from the private sector, government institutions and UNDP country offices.
Uganda was identified as the host training centre as it is one UNDP’s gold-certified country offices, where a number of private companies are implementing the programme.
Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa are among the first cohort of countries to take part in this training.
Comprised of online and face-to-face training sessions, the training aims to help regional experts and facilitators acquire the necessary tools that will enable them to effectively engage with public and private companies. African countries are expected to tap into these experts’ knowledge as they roll out the Gender Equality Seal and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The programme was pioneered by UNDP in Latin America in 2009 to provide tools and guidance to eliminate gender-based pay gaps; increase women’s roles in decision-making and their access to non-traditional jobs; enhance work-life balance; eradicate sexual harassment at work; and use inclusive, non-sexist communication.
To date, 1,700 public and private companies are engaged in the implementation of the programme and 400 companies have been certified.
As he welcomed the participants, Mr. Lamin Manneh, Director of UNDP’s Regional Service Centre in Africa, observed that Africa’s gender-related pay gap (captured in UNDP’s 2016 Africa’s Human Development report) averages about 30% and expressed his hope that this training could contribute to addressing this important obstacle to gender equity.
The Gender Seal programme was undertaken by UNDP Latin America in 2009 and has resulted in substantive progress in the implementation of gender equality in the private sector.
Already, a thousand companies have undertaken the Gender Seal certification in Latin America. From their perspective, the implementation of this policy has added social value and offered a broad range of benefits including better work environment, increased productivity, greater diversity and efficiency.
As the private sector has a key role to play in achieving the SDGs, there is a high expectation that the Gender Seal implementation will boost the achievement of SDG5 in Africa.
At end of the intensive training, participants are expected to support the rolling out the Gender Equality Seal by private sector companies in Africa. Furthermore, opportunities for collaboration as well as sharing practical experience from private companies in Latina America and Africa will be enhanced.