The Gender Monitoring Office, in partnership with the United Nations Agency for Development (UNDP) and the Private Sector Federation (PSF), is rolling out a Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for private sector that aims to help private companies to mainstream gender equality principles within their labor practices.
Through the implementation of the programme, the companies will be supported to establish, promote and achieve gender equality standards through creating equitable working conditions for men and women at work.
According to the Deputy Chief Gender Monitor at Gender Monitoring Office Mr. Kabera Jean Paul, promoting equitable working environment at workplace leads to greater staff performance and commitment and contributes to reducing turnover and absenteeism among staff.
It also helps to maximize staff working capacities and mitigate subjective elements that may later generate gender discrimination among staff.
Implementation of the programme focuses on six key areas including elimination of gender pay gap, promotion of equal participation in decision making and enhancing work-life balance for men and women for them to efficiently balance their work and family responsibilities.
There is also strategizing on how to enhance women’s access to non-traditional jobs, eradicate sexual harassment at work as well as promoting the use of inclusive, non-sexist communication.
Companies interested to participating to the programme will be followed up and supported to achieve gender equality requirement and standards in order to be certified with bronze, silver or gold seals, depending on their level of compliance.
Apart from creating equitable working conditions which makes staff more committed and much productive, the gender certification also increases positive reputation for companies to attract more clients and potential best employers.
Companies Welcomed the Initiative for Promotion of Gender Equality in the Private Sector
In a meeting with Ecobank Rwanda senior management to introduce the programme last week , the Managing Director Ms. Alice Kilonzo –Zulu said that the Programme comes at a right time and added that Ecobank is much committed to promoting Gender Equality through creating equitable working environment for both men and women - to keep ensuring that Ecobank remains a desirable company where all employee would wish to remain and grow their carrier.
It is estimated that gender inequality in the labour market cost Sub-Sahara Africa about USD 95 billion annually, according to the study by International Monetary Fund. To date, over 1,700 companies have been certified in 13 countries worldwide and Rwanda is among the first countries in Africa to introduce the Gender Equality Certification Programme.