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UN Public Service Award Goes to Switzerland’s Federal Office for Gender Equality

7 Aug 2018


UN Public Service Award Goes to Switzerland’s Federal Office for Gender Equality
UNRISD Board Member Sylvie Durrer was in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 23 June–UN Public Service Day—to accept the UN Public Service Award presented to Switzerland for the work of the Federal Office for Gender Equality, of which she is the Director.

The prize was awarded specifically for the Office’s large-scale public-sector initiative "Switzerland Advancing Gender Equal Pay (SAGE)", launched in 2015. SAGE aims to eliminate the gender pay gap in the Swiss labour market, with a special focus on the public sector’s role of "leading by example". The first pillar of SAGE is the development and promotion of a self-test tool, Logib, allowing companies with 50 employees or more to find out whether their practice complies with the requirement of equal pay. The second pillar is a charter for equal pay in the public sector which calls for regular checks to ensure equal pay within the public administration, corporations close to the public administration, and enterprises bidding for public procurement or receiving public subsidies.

SAGE has changed the national discourse on the gender pay gap in Switzerland, building real momentum across the public sector with an increasing number of cantons, cities and communities signing up to the charter and implementing its commitments.

The UN Public Service Awards promote the role, professionalism and visibility of public service, as well as governments’ capacity to anticipate and respond to the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals through creativity and innovation, especially in the delivery of services. Other winners were:

Category 1: Reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships
Austria – Talents for Austria
Indonesia – Reducing Malaria Cases through Early Diagnosis and Treatment (EDAT)

Category 2: Making institutions inclusive and ensuring participation in decision-making
Colombia – Change Your Mind … Build Peace
Republic of Korea – Tax Administration Division
Spain – Citizen Participation Project

Category 3: Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs
Kenya – Promoting Gender-Responsive Public Service to Achieve the SDGs
Thailand – Integrated Approach of Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control
Switzerland – Switzerland Advancing Gender Equal Pay SAGE