More than 50 delegates from different institutions private companies, public institutions and development partners gathered for three days to discuss on how to further promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the private sector.
The workshop which ran from Friday 30 August to September 1, 2019 was in line with the ongoing initiative dubbed the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme that aims to promote gender equality in the Rwandan private sector which is being implemented by Private Sector Federation and GMO under the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The workshop was particularly an opportunity to discuss on persisting gender gaps in the private sector and devise strategic measure to close this gap.
Speaking at the event the Chief Gender Monitor commended efforts by the private sector to promote gender accountability and reiterated Rwanda's commitment to build a society that does not leave anyone behind.
‘‘Promoting Gender Equality and accountability is not a personal choice rather a national commitment for sustainable development,’’ said the Chief Gender Monitor
‘‘Gender Equality is one of the principles enshrined in the Rwandan Constitution& in other laws. We have to ensure this principle is respected,’’ she added.
Mr. Ntagengerwa Theoneste who is the Spokesperson for the PSF said that the private sector is committed towards promotion of gender equality. He said hat the Gender Equality Seal initiative came at a right time.
''We are committed to make Gender Equality Seal a success. We are ready to keep collaborating with our members and other programme implementing institutions.'' He said.
In his remarks, the UNDP The Resident Representative Mr. Stephen Rodriquez said that the GES programme about the process of change that creates opportunities for both men and women to live a better live. It starts with a personal commitment& serves as the institutional self evaluation tool on promotion of gender equality.
''We will continue to be a partner towards implementation of this initiative. Let’s keep being agents of change in this Journey of promoting gender equality,'' He said.
Since 2017, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the GMO have been jointly implementing the project dubbed promoting gender accountability in the Private Sector in Rwanda supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women.
The project aims at promoting gender equality in the private sector using the Gender Equality Seal (GES) certification approach which offers participating companies a solid system for promoting gender equality in the work place.
The GES certification initiative is designed in a manner that awards a gender seal to participating companies and public institutions that demonstrate progress in closing gender gaps in the work place. Before companies are awarded with the gender seal, they go through a gender equality diagnosis process which identifies gender gaps and good practices.
Six pillars of GES
The diagnosis exercise is based on the six GES pillars which are eliminating gender based pay gaps, increasing women's role in decision making, enhancing work life balance at the work-place, enhancing women's/men's access to non-traditional jobs, eradicating sexual harassment at work as well as using inclusive, non-sexist communication.
After the gender equality diagnosis exercise, companies develop gender equality action plans to address identified gender gaps and successful implementation of the action plan qualifies the participating company for one of the 3 gender seal types.