Gender equality is a human right and a business imperative. Despite a commitment to gender equity on the corporate agenda, however, progress has not matched aspirations.
In July 2012, SAI, in partnership with UN Women Egypt, finalized the Gender Equity Seal as an auditable standard and certification system. The Gender Equity Seal leverages SAI’s extensive experience in management systems for social performance.
The Gender Equity Seal provides a ‘gender lens’ — a specialized standard — that can be easily integrated into a company’s standard audit whether against an external or company code. In addition to performance criteria, GES details specific criteria for policies, procedures, training and other management systems components. The intent is to provide companies with a clear roadmap to measure and improve their capacity to implement gender equity policies and demonstrate their progress.
The GES was drafted and refined after extensive public consultation, including a multi-stakeholder survey and one-on-one interviews.
The Gender Equity Seal is founded based on relevant ILO Conventions and international human rights instruments. It includes criteria on equal pay and equal treatment in relation to recruitment, employment and termination of contracts as well as provision of a safe working environment with an effective sexual harassment policy, and flexible, nondiscriminatory work practices.
The Gender Equity Seal complements other initiatives, such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles’ Reporting Guidance (modeled on the GRI framework) and the Calvert Women’s Principles.
About UN Women: In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Website: www.unwomen.org
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