By Immy Mulekatete
Gold Gender Equality Seal Awarded to UNDP Rwanda
May 16, 2023
Imagine this: Women constitute 51.5% of Rwanda's population according to Rwanda’s 5th Population and Housing Census of 2022 but still face disparities, earning less than men and being underrepresented in certain sectors of the economy (World Bank). If Rwanda is to progress as a society, women must have a fair go. Acknowledging this imperative, UNDP Rwanda Country Office put its processes and procedures to the test and emerged with Gold!
We are delighted to announce that we have recently been awarded the coveted Gold Gender Equality Seal. This recognition is a testament to our unwavering commitment to advancing gender equality and empowering women through our internal measures.
A Commitment to Gender Equality
Maxwell Gomera, Head of the UNDP Rwanda Office, expresses the significance of this achievement, stating, “This recognition reflects our dedication to promoting gender equality within our organization and beyond. We believe that empowering women is not just a moral imperative but also a smart development strategy."
The Gender Equality Seal is awarded to organizations that have demonstrated a strong commitment to gender equality, by meeting a set of rigorous criteria, including:
- A gender-responsive organizational culture
- A commitment to gender equality in hiring and promotion practices
- A commitment to providing equal opportunities for career development
- A commitment to addressing sexual harassment
Initiatives Driving Change
UNDP Rwanda has been working to promote gender equality for many years. The country office has implemented a number of initiatives to support women, including:
- The promotion of women in leadership positions, encouraging their recruitment, retention, and promotion. This policy has yielded positive results, with women holding various management positions within the office.
- Ensuring that women have equal opportunities for career development by offering training and capacity-building initiatives. These initiatives empower women to take on leadership roles and contribute effectively to the organization's development.
- The establishment of a dedicated mother's room at our office, ensuring that working mothers have a comfortable and supportive space to attend to the needs of their infants. This initiative not only recognizes the importance of breastfeeding and nurturing mother-child bonding but also acknowledges the crucial role that mothers play in the workplace and society. By providing a safe and private area, we empower our female employees to balance their professional and personal responsibilities with ease, fostering an environment where gender equality thrives.
- Support to all parents during the early stages of their child's life. That's why we have implemented generous parental leave policies, providing 16 weeks of paid leave for all parents, and extending it to 26 weeks for birth mothers. These policies promote a healthy work-life balance and enable parents to fully embrace their role in caring for and bonding with their new-borns.
- Prioritize the development of gender-related skills among our UNDP staff through comprehensive capacity-building support. Our commitment to continuous learning and skill development empowers our staff to drive positive change and contribute to advancing gender equality both within our organization and in the communities we serve.
These initiatives have helped to create a more gender-equal workplace at UNDP Rwanda. The country office is now recognized as a leader in gender equality and is committed to continuing its work to promote gender equality in Rwanda.
Extending Commitment Beyond
UNDP Rwanda's commitment to gender equality extends beyond its internal operations. We strive to support other institutions in Rwanda in their efforts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. Through partnerships with civil society organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders, we aim to drive gender equality initiatives throughout the country.
More than 10 institutions have received the gold gender equality seal in Rwanda, led by UNDP Rwanda in collaboration with the Gender Monitoring Office and the Private Sector Federation. Additionally, the Rwanda Standards Board has launched national gender standards that institutions must fulfil to operate their businesses.
Praise from Rwanda Government Chief Gender Monitor
The Rwanda Government Chief Gender Monitor, Rose Rwabuhihi, has praised UNDP Rwanda for its achievement of the Gold Gender Equality Seal."This is a great achievement for UNDP Rwanda," said Rwabuhihi. "It is a recognition of the country office's commitment to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. UNDP Rwanda is a role model for other organizations in Rwanda and I hope that its success will inspire others to work towards gender equality."
Rwabuhihi noted that gender equality is essential for Rwanda's development. "Rwanda cannot achieve its development goals without the full participation of women," she said. "UNDP Rwanda is helping to create a more gender-equal society and I am proud of its work."
Why Gender Equality Matters
The pursuit of gender equality is vital for sustainable development. Empowering women enables their contribution to economic growth, improves health and education outcomes, and helps alleviate poverty. The achievement of the Gold Gender Equality Seal by UNDP Rwanda is a recognition of the country office's commitment to creating a more gender-equal society and it is an inspiration to other organizations in Rwanda. Let's together continue pushing for a more inclusive world where everyone wins.
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