LIST: USSIA among 40 private sector institutions awarded for promoting gender equality in 2023

Uganda Small Scale Industries Association Awarded

As part of its mission to promote women-led enterprises, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) over the weekend received Gender Equality Excellence Award 2023 courtesy of the United Nations Development Programme.

USSIA is a registered membership Non-Governmental Organization founded to create a forum and structures for supporting and enhancing growth in the Small Scale Industrial sector of Uganda for success and economic growth.

The Executive Director of the Association, Ms Veronica Namwanje thanked UNDP and the Ministry of Gender for the initiative saying this award will motivate them to work hard to achieve their overall goals of enhancing women’s contribution to the country’s development agenda.

“We are very excited about the gender equality excellence award. We have worked hard in the last two years after COVID to improve women’s status through our skills programmes in Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Apac,” Namwanje said.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) held the Gender Equality Seal Awards in partnership with the Ministry of Gender to recognise private sector institutions implementing gender equality policies in their workplaces, recruitment and management structures.

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In total, 40 private sector companies were 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.

She added; “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.

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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 in 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.”

The private sector companies awarded 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

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