|Overview : |
Uganda’s economic and political stability over the past two decades has brought new opportunities to improve social inequalities and the well-being of citizens. Since 1995, the country has made significant progress in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Notable among these, is the country’s gender responsive legal and regulatory framework, institutionalization of gender concerns in the national development planning and budgeting processes; the increase in women’s political participation, increase in female literacy rate from 45% in 1995 to 65%; and progress in the acquisition of titled land by women.
Despite these achievements, both the Beijing+20 review and the Progress of World’s Women Report (2015-2016), acknowledge that the progress has not sufficiently made rights and economic transformation real for women and girls in Uganda. Gender disparities in access and control over productive resources like land; limited share of women in wage employment in non-agricultural sectors; gender pay gaps; and sexual and gender-based violence; high maternal mortality rate and low female labour force participation are key constraints to the involvement of women in political and economic decision-making. Gender inequality is especially more pronounced in the private sector which employs over 80% of Uganda’s labour force (formally and informally).
The Government of Uganda recognizes gender equality and women’s empowerment as the cornerstone for sustainable and inclusive development. UNDP is supporting national efforts to address gender inequality and in framing solutions to overcome the current barriers to women’s economic participation. UNDP Country Programme 2021 – 2025 will continue to invest in initiatives that remove structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment, political and social participation and leadership; prevent and respond to gender-based violence: improve the integration of gender equality into natural resource management and disaster preparedness; and advance the women’s peace and security agenda.
Whilst the Government of Uganda has put in place mechanisms for gender accountability in the public sector such as the Public Finance Management Act 2015 (PFM Act 2015), none exists in the private sector. The private sector has been part of but not fully engaged in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in accordance with international norms and standards which are enshrined in the Beijing Platform of Action (1995). To address this challenge, UNDP has partnered with Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) – apex body of the private sector - to pioneer the UNDP Gender Equality Seal (GES) for Private Enterprises in Africa.
The Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Private Enterprises is an innovative tool for businesses to reduce gender gaps, promote both equality in the workplace and women’s economic empowerment. It is also a concrete tool through which the private sector can contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular, SDGs 5, 8, 10 and 17) through reducing gender gaps and promoting gender equality and competitiveness simultaneously, for an inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Seal is a collective effort by Government, Private Sector and UNDP to establish and achieve standards that promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace. It provides companies with a mechanism to level the playing field for both women and men at the workplace by promoting investment in systems that integrate gender equality into the work environment and business strategies.
The Seal is founded on internationally accepted principals, ideals, and agreements regarding human rights and gender equality, including the principles enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions the UN Global Compact Ten Principles and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP).
The GES for Private Enterprises Certification Programme will enable enterprises attain gender equality principles by establishing standards that promote an equitable work environment for men and women. Upon successful completion of the programme, participating enterprises meeting defined standards in advancing gender equality are awarded the Gender Equality Seal in recognition of their efforts to promote gender equality in both the workplace and marketplace. There are currently 77 companies participating in the GES for Private Enterprises Certification Programme in Uganda.
To this end, UNDP Uganda would like to engage two (2) consultants to technically support participating enterprises to implement the initiative. This will include supporting the companies to undertake a self-assessment, develop and implement an action plan for improvement and prepare for an independent assessment.
Objectives of the Assignment:
The overall objective of the assignment is to support companies to implement the Gender Equality Seal for Private Enterprises Certification Programme working in close collaboration with PSFU and UNDP as well as the management of the Gender Equality Committee (GEC) of selected companies and institutions. The consultants will provide technical assistance to companies in the implementation of the different steps of the gender equality seal implementation plan. The consultants will also support the companies in the elaboration of policies, processes and procedures that are customized and respond to identified gender equality gaps in respective companies/institutions.