Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) – the global standard setting organisation for the jewellery supply chain - has strengthened its ongoing commitment to gender equality by signing the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) ‘Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standard Development’. The UNECE’s Declaration is intended to help achieve gender equality, empower women and girls, which in the RJC's case will be across jewelry supply chains.
“Multi-stakeholder dialogues and concerted efforts across all sectors are needed to advance gender equality as a key driver for the 2030 Agenda," commented UNECE Executive Secretary, Olga Algayerova. "Standards offer powerful tools to harness this potential. I welcome the Responsible Jewellery Council among the 65 organizations worldwide to date who, by signing the UNECE Declaration, have committed to take concrete action for gender inclusive standards development, gender responsive standards and gender balance, at all levels.” RJC’s Executive Director, Iris Van der Veken added, "the signing of this declaration marks a great milestone in RJC history. While the issues on gender equality are complex and deeply-rooted, businesses can play a critical role in changing attitudes, building responsible practices throughout the value chain, and creating inclusive and safe work environments."
Chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council, David Bouffard concluded: “It is our shared responsibility as an industry to drive gender equality forward. In order to make an impact and help reduce the gender gap, businesses need to embed gender equality practices into their corporate strategies. Through our partnership with the UNECE we will be focusing on further developing materials to support RJC members, to help them take practical steps towards improving the gender balance in their companies, and throughout the jewellery supply chain.”
The UNECE Declaration recognises and supports organisations like the RJC to implement action plans to improve gender balance, empower women, share practices and inspirational stories across the world. Since its launch in 2019, the declaration has so far been signed by 65 standards organisations around the world. Gender quality is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the United Nations 2030 Agenda and has been embedded as an integral part of the RJC’s Code of Practices standard. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2020’ found that it will take more than 100 years to close the gender gap at the current rate of progress. By focusing on empowerment and promoting inclusion through standards will help towards economic growth, ensuring safe and secure working environments for all workers.