The Virtual Working Group progresses with the WCO Gender Equality and Diversity in Customs agenda

22 June 2022

The WCO Virtual Working Group (VWG) on Gender Equality & Diversity (GED) met through an online meeting on the 16th of June to discuss forward planning and recent progress on implementing GED in Customs. In total, representatives from 17 countries participated in the meeting (Argentina, Australia, Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Liberia, Mauritius, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe). In addition, newly nominated regional focal points from three Regional Offices for Capacity Building (ROCB) in Asia Pacific, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya participated in the meeting.

The meeting provided an opportunity to give an update of the forward plans for WCO’s work on promoting the GED agenda, which includes the following objectives:

  1. Develop  a second edition of the Compendium of GED in Customs
  2. Monitor the work of Members in implementing GED, in line with the WCO Declaration on GED in Customs and the Gender Equality Organizational Assessment Tool (GEOAT)
  3. Promote an exchange of experiences of GED in Customs through the Virtual Working Group meetings and the conferences with the Network for GED in Customs, in that regard Members were informed that a chair will be elected for the VWG.
  4. Create regional chapters of the WCO GED in Customs Programme, supported by regional focal points within each ROCB that can assist the WCO Secretariat in following up on the progress of the GED work in national administrations in their respective regions.
  5. Develop a pool of GED trainers following a train-thetrainers workshop, to facilitate knowledge sharing and support GED activities, a profile for these trainers will be elaborated and shared at the next VWG meeting in October 2022.

A presentation was also shared by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on their Women in Leadership Programme. Ukraine Customs also shared progress on their work, including the establishment of a Gender Equality working group, the translation of the GEOAT into Ukrainian and the development of e-learning courses on gender mainstreaming. Finally, Indonesia Customs shared information on the latest progress of their work, including the organization of dedicated training eventson GED using WCO training modules on the CLiKC! platform and the GEOAT.

Members were invited to share and showcase their experiences and express their interest,in contributing to the next edition of the Compendium for GED in Customs. Further information on the timelines of the various objectives as well as the profile for GED trainers will be shared at the next meeting in October 2022.

Members expressed appreciation for the various presentations shared and for the value of exchanging experiences on GED to learn from each other’s work.

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