On International Women’s Day please take a moment to consider how well your social and sustainable procurement practices support gender equality.
Government buyers who comply with the international Standard on Sustainable Procurement (ISO 20400) published in April 2017 are expected to ensure that their suppliers behave ethically, that the products and services purchased are sustainable and that such purchasing decisions help to address social, economic and environmental issues. The standard refers to ensuring gender equality in marketing, the provision of information and contracts.
For example, are you aware of the Victorian government Major Projects Skills Guaranteewhich includes quotas and actively encourages the use of Victorian apprentices, Victorian trainees and/or engineering cadets who are generally under-represented in industry vocational training such as women, and/or individuals who face barriers to vocational training or the workforce more generally such as indigenous, people with disability, older adults, or recently retrenched employees?
Is your organisation aware of the Women’s Empowerment Principles which are designed to assist the private sector to focus on key elements that promote gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community?
With the theme for IWD 2018 being ‘Leave No Woman Behind. Together We Can Empower Women Across the Globe’, CourtHeath is proud to announce that it is now officially a supporter of the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The Principles have been developed as a joint initiative between UN Women and the UN Global Compact, to which CourtHeath is also a signatory.
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
- Promote education, training and professional development for women
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.
CourtHeath was fortunate enough to recently attend an event hosted by Sustainability Victoria for those who have taken the Take2 pledge with guest speaker, Dr Paul Hawken. The event highlighted the value of the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Described on his website as an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and author Hawken is an impressive speaker. His presentation focussed on his most recent project and book Drawdown, which he described as "the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming". Indeed, Drawdown offers 100 practical solutions to global warming.
Many of the solutions in Drawdown are consistent with the Principles: ranked 6th ‘Educating Girls’ and 7th ‘Family Planning’, if implemented, would collectively reduce CO2 by more than 115 Gigatons. The Drawdown website says:
Education lays a foundation for vibrant lives for girls and women, their families, and their communities. It also is one of the most powerful levers available for avoiding emissions by curbing population growth. Women with more years of education have fewer and healthier children, and actively manage their reproductive health…
Education also shores up resilience and equips girls and women to face the impacts of climate change. They can be more effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water, even as nature’s cycles change. They have greater capacity to cope with shocks from natural disasters and extreme weather events. [source]
Drawdown also suggests that if women smallholders were given equal access to productive resources, between 100 and 150 million people would no longer go hungry. [source]
The International Day of Women is an occasion that has been part of the UN calendar since 1975 (although it is believed that its origins date back to the early 1900s in New York). On this day, the UN Women National Committee Australia provides an alarming statistic that 70% of the casualties in the 2004 Asian tsunami were women. It highlights that this shocking outcome can be directly related to gendered roles:
Why are women and children 14 times more likely to die or be injured in the wake of a natural disaster?
Following the Boxing Day tsunami, a simple lesson shook us all: many girls didn’t know how to climb trees. Boys did. Climbing to safety, more boys survived than did girls. This is only one example of how gendered roles and action can mean the difference between life and death. There are many more.
Women’s knowledge and expertise as leaders, planning for and responding to disasters and conflict can help protect and empower women and girls so that they can survive and thrive. [source]
Both Drawdown and UN Women demonstrate the power women can have, in not only enhancing their own safety and economic prosperity, but driving change on a global level. We at CourtHeath support the Women’s Empowerment Principles and encourage others to also show their support on this important day.
For more information and to formally show your support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, please click here.
* * *
A participant in the UN Global Compact, CourtHeath seeks to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the Global Compact with business and government organisations in Victoria.
Image: UN Women/Samir Jung Thapa
Julia Cornwell McKean.
[category courtheath's blog]
gender equality, procurement, international women's day