13 companies sign-up for the UNDP Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Private Enterprises

Oct 19, 2016

Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Assistant Administrator and Director UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (top – centre) graced the UNDP Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Private Enterprises in Uganda – the first of its kind in Africa.

KAMPALA: Thirteen companies have today committed to implement the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Private Enterprises.

From manufacturing, ICT and service sectors, the 13 pioneer companies include: Nile Breweries, Simba Telecom, NBS Television, Alam Group of Companies, Graphic Systems, Standard Chartered Bank, DFCU Bank Limited, Finance Trust Bank, Delight Uganda Ltd, Victorious Education Services, Aloesha Organic Natural Health Products Limited, Eye to Eye Consult Limited and Hostalite Limited.

“Today, Uganda has made history becoming the first country in Africa to have its Private sector committing to the UNDP Gender Equality Seal for Private Enterprises. The country is now a torch bearer for gender equality in Africa’s private sector,” Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Assistant Administrator and Director UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, who was present at signing ceremony said.

He called on the private sector to use this as a learning opportunity that would enable them to increase their profitability, productivity as well as enhance their partnerships.

Mr. Patrick Bitature, the Chairperson for Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) called on members to not only sign for the Seal but also ensure that it’s well-executed.

“It’s great to be the first country in Africa to sign the Gender Equality Seal. We however need to do this well because it is the execution that will matter at the end of the day,” Mr. Bitature stated.

He further stated that that this seal was not only for big companies but also for the small and medium size companies as well as those in the informal sector. Adding that the seal was also an opportunity for the private sector to change its mindset towards gender equality and realise that bringing women to business is good economics.

“This is how we shall achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal 5 on gender equality,” Mr. Bitature said.

Ms. Rosa Malango, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda called on the members of the private sector not to forget those in the informal sector, asking: “How do we include the women in the informal sector?” She called on private sector and all other stakeholder to reflect on this as we make strides towards gender equality. 

Mr. Gideon Badagawa, the Executive Director of PSFU described the gender seal as one of the major pathways for the private sector to participate in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGs whereas Ms. Almaz Gebru, the UNDP Uganda Country Director defined the Gender Seal Certification programme as catalytic innovation that attracts investment in systems that integrate gender equality into work environments and business strategies.

“We know these things, we experience them daily in our businesses but we do not know how to streamline them. I have signed because I want to learn how to integrate gender into my businesses because I work with and support several young women,” stated Ms. Julian Omalla, popularly known as mama cheers the founder and managing director of Delight Uganda Limited one of the companies that signed the commitment. 

About the Gender Equality Seal

The Gender Equality Seal is a certification programme that enables businesses to increase productivity, profitability and partnerships. Pursuit of Gender Equality at the workplace sets in motion employee performance schemes that reduce gender-gaps.  

The process also triggers innovations for gender-appropriate product design and customer services; and enables networking with global companies that support the sustainable development goals.

Originally pioneered in; Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile, the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme is now expanding globally. Over 400 companies across eleven countries of Latin America have been certified since 2009.

These companies have reported witnessing a broad range of benefits, including; a better work environment, greater productivity, efficiency, improved relationships among staff, employee commitment, a reduction in absenteeism and attraction of diversity of talent.