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U.S. Stakeholders for Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) on Gender Responsive Standards Sought

3/23/2020
ANSI News

Please respond by April 10, 2020

A new Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has been formed to develop guidance related to the development of gender responsive standards.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as the U.S. member body to ISO, is invited to nominate up to two experts to serve on the JSAG. Additionally, ANSI will form a virtual U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to support the effort. Interested stakeholders are invited to contact ANSI by close of business on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Gender responsive standards aim to meet the needs of all users/genders. The new JSAG supports the ISO Gender Action Plan, which provides an operational framework to deepen the understanding of gender representation in ISO work; assess the gender implications of standards; and ensure that ISO work and activities include a gender perspective. According to ISO, research has shown that standards can have "unintended outcomes on different genders, negatively impacting women's empowerment and gender equality Some examples include the standards on safety belts, on equipment used in construction and mining or the standards related to clinical studies."

The JSAG Convenors have identified the following skills, profiles, and experience for the JSAG's experts:

  • academic backgrounds related to gender issues, experience in research, gathering and analyzing data;
  • strong standardization backgrounds, knowledge of the ISO (and IEC) standards development processes and ideally involved with committees that are already developing gender responsive standards;
  • HR professionals who are champions of gender policies and procedures within their organizations.

The ISO Gender Action Plan is a response to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development (established in 2016), which aims to provide a practical framework for standards bodies seeking to make the standards they develop, and the standards development process they follow, gender responsive. On May 2019, ISO, together with IEC and ITU (and many ISO NSBs), signed the declaration and agreed to develop and implement a gender action plan for gender responsive standards and standards development.

The declaration supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."

To support this effort ANSI seeks JSAG members and members of a virtual U.S. Technical Advisory Group TAG. Prospective participants can contact Steven Cornish scornish@ansi.org by April 10, 2020.

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