UNDP Liberia Awarded bronze medal for Gender Equality Seal

May 22, 2024

Each year UNDP’s senior management team, including the Administrator Achim Steiner, honors its country offices with Gender Equality Seal certificates. Deserving country offices are recognized and celebrated for their achievements in putting gender equality at the heart of the workplace and development work. 

While awarding the UNDP Liberia, the UNDP Regional Director for Regional Bureau of Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa said, “This country changed approach for addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), shifting from informal to formal legal processes at the community level.” 

It is at this hybrid ceremony that UNDP Liberia was amongst the 14 Country Offices in Regional Bureau of Africa that received bronze medal for gender equality seal development. In 2022, UNDP ramped up support for community-driven advocacy by providing small grants to five Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to mobilize and train Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) on how to recognize and promptly report SGBV and other harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) and domestic violence. CBOs were trained on human and women’s rights, national and international laws relating to GBV and the rights of women and girls including how to lobby county administrations to prioritize ending GBV in their development plans and budgets. 

It is through such practices that UNDP Liberia remains committed to accelerating and significantly scaling up results in gender equality and women empowerment. The country office is also committed to helping governments place gender equality at the core of all political, economic and environmental dialogues and decisions. 

The UNDP Liberia Resident Representative a.i, Louis Kuukpen said the country office is firmly committed to gender equality and women's empowerment at all levels. “Through collaborations with the Government of Liberia, civil society organizations, and the private sector, UNDP paves the way for increased investment in women and influences across various sectors,” Kuukpen emphasized. 

It is through some of the projects and initiatives such as the Liberia Elections Support Project (LESP), Rule of Law, Spotlight Initiative, Growth Accelerator, and the Accelerated Community Development Programme (ACDP) that the work of UNDP is manifested through its interventions designed with the Government and partners. As a result, these initiatives demonstrate the government and UNDP's deliberate efforts towards tangible investments in gender equality and women's empowerment. 

Kuukpen also states that achieving gender equality is not just about women but rather benefits everyone including male allies who play a crucial role in women’s empowerment. They influence their positions to dismantle discriminatory structures, champion policies supporting women's advancement, and become vocal advocates against gender-based violence. "By actively listening, mentoring, and sponsoring women, male allies not only empower individuals but also create a more inclusive environment where everyone thrives" Kuukpen said.

The Gender Equality Seal is a corporate quality assurance initiative developed by the UNDP Bureau of Programme and Policy Support (BPPS), in collaboration with UNDP Regional Bureaus and Country Offices aimed at engaging multiple stakeholders in both the private and public sector to incorporate Gender Equality in the forefront of their agenda. 

With the persistence and prevalence of economic gender gap, unequal representation in leadership position and work environment is insensitive to women’s needs. UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal attempts to ensure that companies and institutions transform their organizational structures and culture and business operations to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with goal 5 - Gender Equality.