Kampala, 8 December 2023: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) held the Gender Equality Seal Awards in partnership with the Government of Uganda.
A total of 40 private sector companies have been awarded the Gender Equality Seal (GES) Gold, Silver and Bronze certification which is part of a global UNDP initiative promoting investment in systems that integrate gender equality within workplaces and business strategies.
A further 50 companies received recognition for undertaking steps within the GES certification.
Ms. Elsie Attafuah, UNDP Resident Representative, emphasized the role of Uganda’s private sector institutions in championing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace.
“Today we are celebrating the contribution of the private sector in the promotion of gender equality, women’s participation, leadership and elimination of gender-based violence in the workplace,” Ms. Elsie Attafuah noted.
“This is driven through our global flagship programme – the Gender Equality Seal initiative. This initiative demonstrates how Public-Private Partnerships can accelerate development interventions for promoting equality and empowerment of women in business strategies and operations.”
The GES is a tool for private enterprises and public institutions to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reducing gender gaps and promoting both equality in the workplace and women’s empowerment; promoting equality in employment, decent work, inclusive growth and economic empowerment; and encouraging fair, inclusive and sustainable growth.
Ms. Susan Ngongi, UN Resident Coordinator, further commended the GES-awarded institutions.
“Through the Gender Equality Seal private sector companies have made great strides to promote gender equality, particularly in management systems, remuneration, professional development and performance, work-life balance, and prevention of sexual harassment. I also wish to recognize private sector companies that have gone beyond the Seal and put further initiatives in place to address gender equality in the workplace.”
Uganda was the first country to pioneer the GES in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 and, spearheaded by UNDP in partnership with PSFU, the GES has since attracted over 90 companies from different sectors including manufacturing, banking, telecommunications, hospitality, media, health and ICT. Companies undertaking the GES certification process commit to achieving gender equality by transforming their corporate processes through the incorporation of gender perspectives into their overall management system.
The GES-certified companies are integrating comprehensive measures to change their organizational structure and culture, creating fairer and more decent conditions for workers. UNDP Uganda Country Office is leading the Gender Equality Seal by example, having twice (2018-2022 and 2023-2026) secured a Gender Equality Seal Gold Certification for development agencies.
Hon. Betty Amongi, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, gave closing remarks at the GES Awards ceremony. “The recognition of the award is not because there is no problem. It is a recognition that we have a problem,” said Hon. Betty Amongi.
“I want to thank these companies who have taken the bold step of making a Sexual Harassment Policy. If we want to engender the workplace we must focus on the private sector. For companies that have participated, I want to thank you, I want to congratulate you, and I want to encourage you to set an example for other companies.”
In her remarks, Sarah Kagingo, the Vice Chairperson of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) Board, said through working with UNDP, they were able to roll out the Gender Equality Seal Certification which has enabled private sector companies to mainstream gender in their workplaces and integrate policies and practices to address gender inequalities and promote women’s empowerment.
“As PSFU, we have been at the helm of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through implementing gender-inclusive and transformative programmes; supporting members and individual private sector companies to mainstream gender in their workplaces by enrolling on the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programmes, which is a tool of excellence in promoting gender equality,” she noted.
She added: “PSFU is now a gender-sensitive institution from staff to the Board and its Human Resource Management Manual was revised in April 2018 to introduce Family-Friendly Policies at Workplace that support young parents who are the majority. As an institution, we are investing in gender-responsive practices in the workplace, including the establishment of a child-care facility at our offices in Nakasero. The institution is leading by example.”
Uganda’s private sector companies awarded today with the Gender Equality Seal certification include:
Housing Finance Bank Limited – Gold
Gudie Leisure Farm Limited – Gold
Uganda Breweries Limited – Gold
National Housing Construction Company – Gold
Nile Natural Fruits Product – Gold
Diamond Trust Bank – Gold
RECO Industries – Gold
Hima Cement Limited – Gold
Nina Interiors – Gold
The Medical Concierge Group – Gold
NFT Consult Ltd – Gold
Centenary Bank – Gold
Graphic System Uganda – Gold
Fireworks Advertising – Gold
Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited – Gold
Desire Beauty Products Ltd – Gold
Kiira – Motors Corporation Ltd – Gold
Federation of Ugandan Employers – Silver
Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) – Silver
National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) – Silver
Kyamuhunga Tea Company – Silver
AMFRI Farms Limited – Silver
Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU) – Silver
Finding XY – Silver
Fairway Hotel Limited – Silver
Steel and Tube Ltd – Silver
Finance Trust Bank – Silver
Bageine and Company Limited – Bronze
Rwenzori International Hotel Ltd – Bronze
Margherita Technical Institute – Bronze
Victorious Education Services – Bronze
Uganda Small Scale Industries Association – Bronze
K-Roma Limited – Bronze
ALFASAN Limited – Bronze