South Africa has made steady progress towards raising the representation of women in senior management service (SMS) which now stands at 45.5%. However, this pace has been slow and drawn out over the years since independence in 1994. There is therefore need to accelerate the pace of gender transformation in the public service to reach the set target of 50% women representation in SMS and help in the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) aspirations, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNDP and the Department for Public Service and Administration have entered into a partnership to use the UNDP Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions (to accelerate the rate of gender transformation and women empowerment within the public service). The Gender Equality Seal recognizes the efforts made by public institutions to achieve substantive gender equality between men and women and therefore to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Currently, there 30 countries and 83 Public Institutions implementing the GESPI.
The partnership between UNDP and DPSA has led to extensive consultations country wide, starting at national level and across all the nine provinces in South Africa. The response to the introduction of the Public Seal has been positive and very well received across the country, with most departments/sectors indicating that the seal will enable them to accelerate their gender equality programmes and assist them in achieving the sustainable development goals.
The launch of the Gender Equality Seal for public Institutions in South Africa took place on 29th August 2023. The launch took place during the Women’s conference and was attended by 200 women in senior management positions in the public sector -to mark the celebration of women’s month.
The Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions is an enabler and accelerator for achieving gender equality goals for the public service in South AfricaGabriel Dava, UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa
During the launch, the Director General for DPSA led the delegates in reading a pledge, indicating their commitment to rolling out the Public Seal in South Africa. The pledge was inscribed on a mousepad and was given as a gift to remind the users of the pledge as they use it on a daily basis.