The Gender Equality Seal

The promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) is essential to UNDP’s development approach as a 1) human right; 2) strategy to achieve sustainable development. The UNDP Strategic Plan (2014-2017) reinforces that “sustainable human development will not be fully achieved unless women and girls are able to contribute on an equal basis with men and boys to their societies”.

The UN system wide policy (UN SWAP) on GEWE provides the blue print for making gender mainstreaming operational within the UN system. The UNDP Gender Seal is part of the organization-wide strategy for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment across all areas of its work. It is a corporate tool developed to certify the level of gender mainstreaming across all programmatic and operational aspects of the country office’s work.

Implementing Gender Seal Mainstreaming GEWE into the country office’ programming framework is the responsibility of each and every staff. Gender must be integrated at all stages of the programme/project cycle; from design to implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation. In Rwanda, a Gender mainstreaming practical handbook has been developed to guide staff of the UN Agencies and Implementing Partners of the UN projects to systematically mainstream gender in their ongoing projects.

Accountability for GEWE is the responsibility of Senior Management, which doubles as the CO’s Gender Focal Team (GFT) at the national level. All staff members are expected to have a basic understanding of gender issues in terms of their importance for UNDP's mandate and goals, and the implications of gender equality at the personal and professional levels.

By the end of the assessment in 2014, UNDP Rwanda achieved a ‘Bronze’ certification based on fulfilling 63% of benchmarks. The country office has updated its Gender Equality Action Plan for the Silver certification and currently is involved in the implementation phase. After a 9 month implementation period a final certification assessment will be conducted in 2016. Out of the 7 focus areas in the Action Plan, UNDP Rwanda has proven to be competent in the following 3 areas: Management Accountability System, Communication and Knowledge Management, and Partnership.

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