Celebrating Progress: UNDP South Africa Awarded Bronze Certification of the UNDP Gender Equality Seal for Development programme

April 5, 2024

UNDP South Africa Team

UNDP South Africa

In a landmark achievement signalling its commitment to gender equality and empowerment, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa has been bestowed with the prestigious Bronze Certification of the UNDP Gender Equality Seal for Development programme. This recognition underscores UNDP South Africa's unwavering dedication to advancing gender equality within its operations and programming, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards fostering inclusive development and societal transformation.

The UNDP Gender Equality Seal for Development is UNDP’s global flagship initiative aimed at bolstering gender capacities and fostering transformative gender equality outcomes. This pioneering program not only encourages but also incentivizes development organizations to embed gender considerations into every aspect of their work. It underscores the principle that genuine commitment to gender equality not only amplifies the impact of an organization but also strengthens its capacity to effect meaningful change. By prioritizing gender mainstreaming, organizations affirm their dedication to promoting equality and ensuring that their actions align with their principles.

The Bronze Certification awarded to UNDP South Africa represents a culmination of sustained efforts and commitment towards mainstreaming gender equality across all facets of its operations. This esteemed recognition acknowledges the strides made by UNDP South Africa in integrating gender perspectives, promoting women's leadership and participation, and addressing gender-based disparities within its policies, programs, and organizational culture. By meeting the stringent criteria set forth by the Gender Seal Programme, UNDP South Africa has demonstrated exemplary leadership in championing gender equality, setting a precedent for other entities to emulate.

Through targeted initiatives (grant/seed funding to women, business support to female-led SMMEs, and COVID-19 recovery assistance to women), advocacy and awareness campaigns (gender-responsive policy recommendations, knowledge creation, and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide awareness campaigns), and capacity-building efforts (various skills training opportunities to women, training of public officials on gender-responsive budgeting, and the implementation of the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions programme), UNDP South Africa has actively worked towards dismantling barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating opportunities for women and girls to thrive in all spheres of society. From promoting women's economic empowerment to enhancing access to education and healthcare, UNDP South Africa's holistic approach to gender mainstreaming reflects its unwavering commitment to leaving no one behind in the pursuit of sustainable development.

In reacting to the award, UNDP South Africa Deputy Resident Representative and Leader of the Country Office Gender Focal Team, Mr Gabriel Dava, said “the recognition of UNDP South Africa's Bronze Certification holds profound implications for advancing inclusive development and fostering a more equitable society. By embedding gender equality principles into our policies, programs, and organizational practices, UNDP South Africa is poised to catalyze positive change that transcends boundaries and transforms lives.” 

With the Bronze Certification serving as a testament to its commitment and progress, UNDP South Africa remains steadfast in its resolve to advance gender equality, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of development. Moving forward, UNDP South Africa pledges to build upon this achievement, redoubling its efforts to promote gender equality, empower women and girls, and create a future where every individual has the opportunity to thrive, irrespective of gender. Together, let us celebrate this momentous occasion and reaffirm our collective commitment to building a more just, inclusive, and gender-equal world.


Some UNDP gender highlights include; 

  • Gender-Based Violence (GBV): UNDP organized two awareness campaigns (Orange Day and Not in My Name) across 7 GBV hotspot provinces, reaching 2,000 community members. We also supported the development of a National Strategic Plan for GBVF crisis (2021).

  • Social Cohesion: UNDP built capacity of 100 women leaders in Rural KwaZulu-Natal on peace-building, resulting in empowered peacebuilders contributing to safer communities (2023). The Country Office supported the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
     in developing the National Human Rights Charter on HIV, TB, and STIs (2022/2023).

  • Governance: UNDP trained 51 election observers through a UNDP-developed gender module, ensuring gender parity in observer mission to Zimbabwe elections (2022/23). We launched the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions, with 19 departments vowing to participate (2022/23). We also supported Parliament of South Africa in developing Women’s Charter for Accelerated Development (2021).

  • Nature, Climate, and Energy: Mainstreamed gender into the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE)'s Nationally determined contributions. We trained staff on gender mainstreaming in protected area management (2022). Our Just Energy Transition programmes integrated gender, training women in energy sector and equipping them with skills for economic opportunities (2022/2023/2024).

  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Supported 699 women informal traders affected by COVID-19 (2021). Provided sex-disaggregated accommodation for flood victims in KZN contributing Wendy houses, and provided recovery grants to female informal traders (2022). 

  • Inclusive Growth: The Country Office implemented skills training programmes for women in the automotive industry and supported female-owned SMMEs in the network service provision industry. We have supported over 500 female entrepreneurs in various entrepreneurship support initiatives through seed/grant funding and business training (2020-2024).