UNDP and the Ministry of Women of Panama award the Gender Equality Seal to five Panamanian institutions.
On February 2, five Panamanian institutions were certified with the Seal of Gender Equality in Public Institutions, one of them with the Gold Seal, two with the Silver Seal and three with the Bronze Seal. The Seal recognizes the commitment and efforts made by the institutions in terms of gender equality and the empowerment of women, both within the institutions and in the services they offer. Panama thus becomes the second country in the world with the most institutions awarded with the Seal of Equality in Public Institutions.
The award event was led by the Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program Iziar Gonzalez and the Minister of Women Juana Herrera and was attended by the authorities of each of the awarded institutions.
During the ceremony, the Minister reiterated the National Government’s commitment to reducing gender gaps and empowering women. For her part, the UNDP Representative pointed out that the Seal of Gender Equality in Public Institutions is a rigorous and valuable global certification that allows defining a roadmap to achieve concrete results, in the short term, that facilitate the closing of gender gaps and the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda. To achieve this, he added, political will on the part of national stakeholders is necessary.
The progress achieved by the institutions from 2021 to date is very relevant, the main ones are highlighted below.
The National Secretariat of Science and Technology (SENACYT), received the Gold Seal for its sustained commitment to address gender gaps in science and technology since 2018, when it participated in the pilot implementation of the Seal. SENACYT has led the recent approval in 2023 of the National Policy for Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation 2040 and its Action Plan to 2025, which establishes clear goals and strategies to increase the effective and meaningful participation of women in the sector, particularly in the production of scientific knowledge and technological development and innovation. Results are already evident in the increased participation of women in the science and technology sector in Panama, with the first indigenous women, through increased access to training, specialization in postgraduate and doctoral degrees of excellence’ and strengthening their leadership in scientific development and innovation (i.e. promoting women’s participation and leadership in technical research teams).
The Ministry of Labor and Local Development (MITRADEL) was awarded the Silver Seal for the various initiatives implemented to improve work environments and promote labor equality. The SIGénero Panama program to commit companies to labor equality, favoring processes of change in organizational structures and corporate policies to reduce gender gaps (salaries, promotion, sexual and labor harassment, among others), through which 9 large companies, with about 23,000 workers, have advanced in gender equality practices.
The Electoral Tribunal (TE) was recognized with the Bronze Seal for the strategies developed to increase women’s political participation, such as the issuance of Decree 64 (2/12/22), to ensure compliance of political parties with the gender parity established in the Electoral Code and the monitoring of its application, and public communication campaigns to promote women’s political participation and tolerance and respect in the political debate.
The Institute for Human Development (INADEH) also received Bronze recognition for its efforts to break gender gaps in professional training, particularly by promoting the access of more women to traditionally masculinized areas.
Finally, the Municipality of Panama (MUPA) received the Bronze Seal, among others, for its efforts to promote the employment of women in the framework of local development projects.