Gender mainstreaming, employment and youth - UNDP

Gender mainstreaming, employment and youth - UNDP

Information dated: 2017

Eugenia Piza Lopez

Team Leader

Gender Cluster for Latin America and the Caribbean

Email: eugenia.piza-lopez [at] undp.org

genderequalityseal [at] undp.org

Across the world, women and youth constitute particularly vulnerable groups facing a range of barriers to the full enjoyment of their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. This is illustrated by the disproportionate representation of women and youth among the unemployed and underemployed whereas decent employment is a key conduit for poverty reduction and economic empowerment.

UNDP supports economic empowerment of youth and women by (i) enhancing their employability through skills development, knowledge and capacity, and the establishment of business services in support of entrepreneurship; (ii) facilitating access to finance, markets and other resources that contribute to their productive capacities and competitiveness; (iii) supporting the development and implementation of institutional and policy frameworks conducive to youth and women employment and entrepreneurship, etc..

UNDP prioritizes gender mainstreaming as the main strategy to achieve gender equality. The approach to gender mainstreaming is a dual one: i) gender-specific targeted interventions to support the empowerment of women and girls; and ii) promoting the introduction of gender concerns in the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of all policies and programmes including those related to private sector development and trade.

Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Public and Private Enterprises

An example of UNDP’s support towards women economic empowerment and gender equality is the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for Public and Private Enterprises which contributes to the economic empowerment of women.

UNDP supports governments to implement a Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme to close persistent gender gaps in the workplace. The initiative leverages the central role that the private sector can play in creating equitable conditions for men and women, which is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme helps companies to establish Gender Equality Management Systems offering a clear path to identify gender gaps in the workplace, integrate comprehensive measures to create fairer and more decent conditions for all workers and sustain results achieved through continuous improvement.

Companies which are awarded the Seal are recognized for meeting specific standards to promote gender equality in the workplace, as well as for reducing gender gaps such as gender pay gaps, horizontal/vertical occupational segregation, turnover and absenteeism gaps, and others. For participating companies, it supports a more efficient and equitable workplace, increases staff performance, increases creativity and innovation, reduces turnover and absenteeism, supports accountability practices and enhances public image.

The Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme offers governments a solid platform to reduce inequalities in the workplace, promote good labour practices and policies, strengthen relationships with the private sector and support south-south cooperation.

The key areas for Gender Equality Seal Certification include:

  • Eliminating gender-based pay gaps;
  • Increasing women’s roles in decision-making;
  • Enhancing work-life balance;
  • Enhancing women’s and men’s access to non-traditional jobs;
  • Eradicating sexual harassment at work;
  • Using inclusive, non-sexist communication.

Companies implement a wide range of measures to ensure equal opportunities, to correct imbalances and to mainstream gender equality throughout the organizational system. Some of these measures include the standardization of wage policies, the creation of leadership programs for the advancement of women, the extension of maternity and paternity provisions, the creation of work-life balance measures such as flexi-time and telecommuting, the elimination of discriminatory practices in recruitment and selection, the development of training programs to correct segregation in specific male-dominated or female-dominated occupations, and more.

UNDP provides tools and guidance to all stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the Certification Programme, such as helping governments to create the standards, develop the regulatory tools, build the institutional arrangements, select and train advisors and auditors who can accompany enterprises throughout the process and, ultimately, determine whether they have met the criteria to earn the Gender Equality Seal certification. Some of these tools and guidance include: