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The products that we use in our everyday lives – from sophisticated smartphones to simple door handles - are all designed to standards. So is also the critical infrastructure and equipment on which communities depend, such as dams and wind turbines.
Organizations use standards not just to define “what” an organization produces - i.e. the desired characteristics of the products or services it produces – but also to define the “how”- how operations should be managed to make quality reliable, and to ease the burden on the environmental and the community.
Thousands of standards are developed every year to respond to these concerns. But are standards developed in a way that takes into account women’s needs? Gender is a fundamental tenet of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The empowerment of women and girls is one of the goals, and also a pre-requisite for reaching all of the goals. So it is timely to take a look at standards through a gender lens, and ask how standards can hinder or contribute to gender equality.
Following up to the discussions by the Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies on gender mainstreaming in standardization at its last meeting in December 2016 - the first meeting of the UNECE Initiative on "Gender Responsive Standards for SDG5", will be held on 4 April 2017 at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva
The main topics of the meeting will be:
- what actions can we take to strengthen the participation of women in standards setting?
- how can standards make a difference for the empowerment of women and girls?
The approach will be hands-on, with group work on existing international standards to assess whether they are gender biased and how their contribution to gender parity could be enhanced.
The discussion and group exercises will be led by Ms. Raquel Lagunas, Senior Policy Advisor on Gender Mainstreaming at UNDP New York.
For all details please see: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45465#/