WCO Members of the Virtual Working Group on Gender Equality & Diversity gathered on the 12th of April to discuss recent achievement and current work to promote gender equality and diversity in Customs. The meeting provided an opportunity for representatives from 14 Customs administrations (Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, the Maldives, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to exchange. Information was shared on recent achievements including the launch of the Compendium on Gender Equality and Diversity in Customs showcasing examples from 17 Customs administrations around the world. VWG Members were also informed on the progress of current work including the enhancement of the WCO Blended Training Package on Advancing Gender Equality and Diversity in Customs.
Argentina Customs, who participated in the VWG for the first time, shared information on recent initiatives launched to promote gender and diversity policies in the administration, including development of a protocol and trainings targeting managers to prevent gender based violence in the workplace and a guide on how to promote and implement gender sensitive language in internal and external communication.
Jamaica Customs Agency, who also recently joined the VWG, shared information about their work to implement gender mainstreaming in the administration. This process has included the development of a comprehensive Gender Action plan and plans to prevent sexual harassment and gender based violence in the workplace. Other initiatives launched include gender sensitization training for senior managers and ensuring the application of gender sensitive and inclusive language in all policy documents.
Zambia Revenue Authority also shared information about a two day workshop recently organized by the administration targeting women traders which aimed at sensitizing traders on customs policies and procedures. The workshop, which gathered 100 participants, also provided information on topics such as Customs ethics, e-services and the Customer Service Centre and aimed at better understanding the particular challenges faced by women traders and served to create awareness within Customs on how these needs can be better met.
The WCO looks forward to continue working closely with its Members to drive this agenda forward.
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