The second cohort of eight private sector companies have on Tuesday been recognized for promoting gender equality and accountability in their business.
The recognized companies are among the companies that enrolled for the gender equality seal certification programme, initiated in 2017.
The gender equality seal certification programme helps to promote gender equality and accountability in the private sector through promoting gender responsiveness in their plans, processes and procedures. The programme is implemented by Gender Monitoring Office in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women.
The eight recognized companies are Bank of Kigali, Development Bank of Rwanda, Mata Tea Company, MTN Rwanda, Nyabihu Potato Company, Rwanda Energy Group, Rwanda Interlink Transport Company (RITCO) and Wolfram Mining and Processing Company Ltd.
The recognized companies went through gender self-assessments, developed action plans and started to implement the plans in order to bridge identified gender gaps.
The private sector federation was also recognized for championing gender equality in the private sector.
While officiating the recognition event, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Prof. Bayisenge Jeannette said that the private sector is expected to be the engine of economic transformation, thus it is critical that men and women benefit and contribute equally in the sector.
"There are persisting challenges that need more attention during development of private sector company action plans including negative cultural norms and stereotypes in male dominated or female dominated sectors. In addition, women also still face specific barriers compared to their male counterparts in accessing financial services such as credits for investments. Such challenges need to be addressed by the private sector through their action plans" the minister said.
In 2019, the first cohort composed of 8 companies and 2 public institutions which developed their action plans to address gender gaps were recognized for this important step towards promoting gender equality. An evaluation process for this group already started, which will lead to their certification.
So far, 22 private sector companies and 5 public institutions whose work contributes to private sector development have enrolled into the Gender Equality Seal certification Programme.
The Gender Equality Seal certification Programme promotes gender equality and accountability in the private sector through eliminating gender based pay gaps, increasing women's role in decision making, enhancing work-life balance, enhancing women's/men's access to non-traditional jobs, eradicating sexual harassment at work and promoting the use of inclusive and non-sexist communication.