UNDP Suriname has embarked on the Gender Equality Seal, a corporate certification process, which recognises country offices’ ability to deliver on gender equality. Besides establishing the minimum acceptable standard for gender mainstreaming in programming to ensure that UNDP is truly realizing development for all, the Seal requires country offices to review all external and internal programmatic and operational aspects of its work. Ultimately the Gender Equality Seal is an incentive and tool, which guides country offices in improving and optimizing the delivery of sound gender equality results.
Women make up the majority of the poor worldwide. They are, due to their often disadvantaged position in the labor market and their socially assigned roles, more vulnerable to economic shock. Environmental issues such as climate change impact poor women and men differently. Women are further subjected to gender-based violence in the public and private sphere, and discrimination in design and practice of the law limits women’s ability to claim their full rights and to influence policies. These are only some of the inequalities women face; the persistence of these inequalities despite worldwide commitment to Human Rights and awareness about the innumerable social and economic benefits of gender equality, is truly puzzling.
UNDP supports the Government of Suriname in the three programmatic areas Environment and Energy, Democratic Governance, and Poverty Reduction. UNDP Suriname recognises, that in order to ensure just and sustainable development for all, the specific implications of e.g. economic and financial instability, climate change vulnerability and weak governance systems for women and ethnic minorities, need to be better understood and adequately integrated into all interventions.
UNDP Suriname is committed to contributing to the knowledge on gender dynamics and inequality in Suriname and to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Gender Equality Seal process has to that effect been embraced as an opportunity for self-reflection and advancement. Important steps towards improved capacities and management for gender equality have already been taken, and last week the office welcomed Andrea Castano, from the Gender Cluster of the UNDP Regional Hub in Panama.
Panama is assisting Suriname in conducting an in-depth review of projects to fully exhaust existing potentials. In this way UNDP Suriname is deliberately assembling all the components and pieces required for effective and quality gender-mainstreaming. The UNDP Gender Equality Strategy will guide all future developments, with the long-term objective of stimulating increasingly transformative contributions to gender equality. The Gender Equality Seal is only the beginning.