The Gender Equality Seal

women_lifted out of poverty

The promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment is essential to UNDP’s development approach both as a basic human right and the strategy to achieve sustainable development. It is acknowledged in the agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals as a fundamental right, and as a driver of progress across all development goals. Gender Equality is the sole focus of one of the SDGs - Goal 5 - and is also integrated into the other goals.

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”.

First and foremost, gender equality is a matter of human rights. It is also a driver of development progress. Unless women and girls are able to fully realize their rights in all spheres of life, human development will not be advanced. – Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

As UNDP Rwanda operationalizes all aspects of UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2014-2017, and the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy, 2014-2017, the country office has adopted the Gender Seal Certification Process.

The UNDP Gender Equality Seal is a corporate certification process that recognizes the good performance of UNDP Country Offices in delivering transformational gender equality results. It rests on the insight that increasing synergies between different domains of gender mainstreaming can catalyze both organizational transformation and development results. It generates a comprehensive snapshot of the competence, credibility and contribution of the concerned office to promoting gender equality.

The Seal is a global brand that aims to be recognized by government counterparts, civil society partners, donors and the public as a guarantee of UNDP’s commitment, expertise and effectiveness in protecting and advancing women's rights and gender equality.

The Gender Equality Seal benchmarking exercise proposes three levels of certification Gold, Silver, and Bronze. 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 is currently involved in the implementation phase. After a 9 month implementation period a final certification assessment will be conducted in 2016.

Implementing Gender Seal Mainstreaming 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 Gender Mainstreaming is the responsibility of Senior Management, which doubles as the CO’s Gender Focal Team (GFT). 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 personal and professional levels.

Click here to get: Gender Equality Strategy: UNDP Rwanda (2014-2017)

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