THE Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) has emphasised the importance of addressing gender gaps through its ranks in order to realise growth.
March 21, 2023
3 min read
RSL firm on addressing gender gaps in its ranks
Acting RSL Commssioner General, 'Mathabo Mokoko
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This was underlined by the RSL Acting Commissioner General, ’Mathabo Mokoko at the official opening of the first high-level World Customs Organisations - East and Southern Africa (WCO – ESA) gender inclusivity and diversity policy dialogue this week.
“Being a diverse and inclusive organisation makes us stronger, more resilient, and insightful. It assists us in better understanding the present, anticipating future difficulties and possibilities, and managing the pace, complexity, and cross-cutting nature of change,” Mokoko said in her remarks.
Inclusive diversity, she added, in all of its manifestations, ethnic, gender, or otherwise, is essential to RSL’s long-time success.
The theme for this year, “Advancing gender inclusivity and diversity in the ESA region,” is a call for action for organisations not to carry any gender stereotypes.
In a study conducted by WCO in 2016, women make up approximately 36 percent of officers employed by Customs administrations, with the figure ranging from 8 to 60 percent depending on the country.
It is worth noting that the statistics reveal that women hold approximately 30 percent of top managerial positions on average. These numbers show that there is still room for improvement in terms of equitable representation of Customs administrations.
“Let me give you comfort that as RSL we are not far behind in addressing the gender gaps within the organisation. Gender has become part of the RSL agenda and has gained momentum through Customs Mordernisation Programme (CMP) and the Lesotho Tax Modernisation Project (LTMP) where research and survey were undertaken, followed by the drafting of the Gender Strategy, Training, and The Gender Action plan,” the Acting Commissioner General added.
It further emerged during the dialogue that encouraging gender equality, inclusion, and diversity within Customs is not only a matter of fundamental rights but also a precondition for developing effective administrations capable of adapting to the fast-changing issues that globalisation and modern society offer.
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The World Customs Organisation (WCO) began its work to promote gender equality and diversity in customs in 2013 when it hosted the international conference “Women in Customs, Commerce, and Leadership,” which drew 160 participants from 50 nations.
This conference addressed subjects such as the obstacles encountered by female traders and the necessity to include women’s organizations in international trade negotiations. The outcome of this conference was the Gender Equality Organizational Assessment Tool (GEOAT), which aims to assist Customs Administrations in assessing their policies, practices, and activities to determine where to address gender equality issues as part of their reform and modernization agenda.
The RSL on the other hand has established a Gender Desk to ensure that the policies within the organisation are gender sensitive.
The RSL in collaboration with other SACU member states joined forces under Capacity Building and Gender Mainstreaming to ensure that Customs Administrations are involved in the discussion on the Trade Facilitation Space to include Border Agencies and all other minority groups who are economic operators as part of the Border SACU CMP agenda.