Iceland Awarded a Gold Certification under the UNDP Gender Equality Seal Programme

2 May 2022
The award was presented by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, to Þórdís Kolbrún Gylfadóttir Reykfjör…
The award was presented by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, to Þórdís Kolbrún Gylfadóttir Reykfjörð, Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, during a ceremony in New York.

Last week, it was announced that Iceland was the first donor country to be awarded a gold certification for its transformative gender equality efforts under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Gender Equality Seal Programme. This is the first time a country receives this certification, as the Seal Initiative works mainly with public and private institutions and organisations. The Seal works across the world to achieve excellency in standards to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland has led several efforts in an international and bilateral context contributing to the advancement of gender equality. It has furthermore been the main donor of the GRÓ GEST programme since its initiation in 2009. This contribution has led to 172 gender equality experts, from 31 different countries, having graduated with a postgraduate diploma degree in International Gender Studies from the University of Iceland as well as well as tens of local experts having participated in shorter courses in Malawi and Uganda. Furthermore, tens of seminars and workshops have been held throughout the years, creating a platform for transnational dialogue on gender, and there are currently two PhD fellows conducting their research, on gendered dimensions of climate change in Uganda and women peacekeepers in Ethiopia, on GRÓ GEST scholarships.

According to a joint press release by UNDP and the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP’s innovative Gender Equality Seal programme recognizes institutions that have met international standards on gender equality. Participants can achieve a bronze, silver, or gold certification. The Seal provides guidance and accompanies institutions across their organizational transformation. The UNDP Gender Equality Seal is one of the most rigorous and prestigious certifications measuring the competence and achievements of public and private institutions in advancing women's rights and corporate gender equality goals.