Rwanda has taken a bold step towards achieving a gender-equal society with the launch of the first-ever National Gender Standards. Led by the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), Private Sector Federation (PSF), and Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), with support from the United Nations Development Programme and UN Women, the initiative provides guidance and best practices for organizations to adopt and implement gender-sensitive policies and practices in their workplaces.
This significant achievement aims to promote inclusivity and equity in all sectors of society, creating more opportunities for every parent, child, and family to thrive.
Mr. Murenzi Raymond, the Director General of the Rwanda Standards Board, said, “Building a better world requires the participation of everyone, equally. Promoting gender equality is a cornerstone to spurring inclusive sustainable development, and standards being benchmarks for safeguarding the quality and safety of people, products, and services, we are grateful to the contribution and participation of all partners and stakeholders who have made the dream come true today as we launch this first Rwanda Standard on promoting and ensuring Gender Equality accountability”.
Tonight, Rwanda celebrates the Gender Equality Seal Certification Awards, recognizing nine companies and public institutions that have excelled in creating gender-equal working environments. The Institutions are; Bank of Rwanda, National Industrial Research and Development Agency, Ministry of Trade and Industry, CIMERWA Pls, INKOMOKO, SINA GERARD Enterprise (Nyirangarama), NCBA Bank, Mata Tea Company and Rwanda Energy Group (REG). Other institutions to be recognized include Legacy clinics and Kitabi Tea companies.
These organizations have been certified by the Gender Monitoring Office and some will receive a Gold certification from the Gender Monitoring Office of the Government of Rwanda. This prestigious recognition is awarded to institutions that have demonstrated a strong commitment to gender equality through their policies, practices, and culture.
Ms Rose Rwabuhihi, the Head of the Gender Monitoring Office, said, “We are thrilled to recognize institutions for their exceptional commitment to promoting gender equality in the workplace. They have demonstrated that gender equality is not only a moral imperative but also a business imperative. With the standards launched today, we are optimistic about having more inclusive and equitable workplaces.”
Jeanne Mubiligi, the Acting Chairperson of the Private Sector Federation, added, “The private sector is the driver of our economy, and if we are to achieve our social-economic goals as a country, we cannot have a male-dominated private sector. That’s why, at the Private Sector Federation, we are ready to continue working closely with all our partners to make sure that gender promotion in the private sector is a reality.”
The National Gender Standards are available to all institutions, regardless of size or sector, and will be enforced by the Rwanda Standards Board. The standards will complement the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for financial institutions launched by the National Bank of Rwanda and the Entrepreneurship desk run by the Gender chamber at PSF.
Maxwell Gomera, Head of UNDP in Rwanda, said, “The goal of achieving a gender-equal society is achievable and within grasp. Together we can create a world in which every parent, every child, and every family has an opportunity to flourish. It starts with agreeing on common standards of conduct that we can all aspire to.”
The adoption and implementation of gender standards in workplaces is crucial for creating more inclusive and equitable workplaces, promoting gender equality, and reaping the many benefits that come with a diverse and inclusive workforce. These include improving employee morale, increasing productivity and creativity, and enhancing the institution’s reputation and brand image. By promoting gender equality and diversity, organizations can also better reflect the diversity of their customers and clients, leading to increased business success.