2 Draft ICSI SAS- 04 on promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities

ICSI SAS – 04 Social Audit Standard on promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities

Applicability and Scope

This Social Audit Standard (‘the Standard’) is applicable to the Social Auditor as defined under sub-Regulation (f) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018 conducting the Social Audit of the Social Enterprise as defined under sub-Regulation (h) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018. This Standard deals with procedures, responsibilities and duties of the Auditor with respect to the Social Audit being conducted by him/ her of the Social Enterprises engaged in the activities prescribed under sub-regulation 2(a)(iv) of Regulation 292E of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018.

Objective

ICSI Social Audit Standard – 04 (ICSI SAS-04) aims to aid the Social Auditors with necessary instructions or guidelines for the effective Social Audit of Social Enterprises engaged in the field of “promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities”. Social Auditor shall follow the minimum criteria as specified in this proposed Social Audit Standard issued by the ICSI.

Effective Date

This Social Audit Standard will be in force with effect from –/–/20–. Social Audit Process and Documentation

Social Auditor shall conduct the Social Audit in accordance with the procedures/ mandates established and notified by the ICSI from time to time. Social Auditors shall perform their functions that provide sufficient and adequate evidence to support Social Audit. Social Auditor can acquire evidence for the effectiveness of Social Audit through inspection, observation, inquiry, consultation, interview, questionnaire, analytical procedures and/or other research techniques or any other acceptable methods as he/she deems fit. The procedures to be followed are as under:

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit;

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan;

III. Identification of Stakeholders and consultation;

IV. Visit to/inspection of the area where project/activity was implemented;

V. Collection of data, Analysis and assessment;

VI. Reporting.

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit

The Social Auditor shall define the object and scope of the Social Audit prior to conducting Social Audit. It is always better to have a proper plan prior to Social Audit and it includes nature, timing and extent of the procedures and standards to be followed while conducting Social Audit. The Social Auditor should also analyse the report, recommendations of the previous Social Audit, if any, and review the corrective actions taken by the Social Enterprise with respect to the recommendations suggested in the previous Social Audit Report. This is the first stage of Social Audit process.

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan

It is expected that the Social Auditor should intimate the audit plan to the Management of the Social Enterprise so that they can have the necessary documents and materials ready and available for the Auditor.

III. Identification of Stakeholders and Consultation

The key stakeholders who can be involved in the Social Audit process include project beneficiaries, their family members, parents, neighbours, self-help groups, peers and colleagues at workplace or educational/training institutes, recruitment agencies, supervising staff from the social enterprise, funding body, legal, accounting and compliance professionals from employers, officials of the local bodies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media, etc. The consultation must be done with the stakeholders to extract accurate and needed information.

IV. Visit to / inspection of the area where project / activity was implemented

The Social Auditor must make it a point to visit / inspect the location and this will also give him / her better opportunities both for collection of data and consultation with the stakeholders.

V. Collection of data, analysis and assessment

This activity involves identifying key issues that need to be cross checked in the Social Audit as well as how information and data pertaining to the activity undertaken by the Social Enterprise will be collected. Moreover, in Social Audit process, two types of data are crucial. Primary data collected from stakeholders and community members, followed by Secondary data collected from various other agencies. Gathering secondary information is very important in the process of Social Audit. Secondary data are inevitable for making Social Audit Reports. Information required for preparing Social Audit Reports may not be available in single point but may be in different records in different forms.

Social Auditor shall collect the relevant information through any of the following methods:

  • Documents and records
  • Demographic data relating to male, female ratio, LGBTQIA+ etc
  • National Policy for Women Empowerment
  • Articles 14, 15, 16, 39, 39A, 42 & 51A of Indian Constitution w.r.t gender equality
  • LGBTQIA+ Rights and research papers on the same
  • Registers and placement records
  • Previous Social Audit Report, if any
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Interviews
  • Observations
  • Published data from authorized sources
  • Observations.
  • Published data from authorized sources.

Evaluation should be based on certain criteria and suggestive list of such criteria is provided hereinafter. However, the list is inclusive and not exhaustive and the Social Auditor must exercise his own discretion and judgement on case to case basis. Also, the feedback from stakeholders should be considered while preparing the Social Audit Report.

Sl.
No.
Particulars
A. Promoting gender equality
1 Initiatives taken for increasing the participation of marginalized genders in leadership roles.
2 Ensuring balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making.
3 Details of campaigns conducted for raising awareness about gender equality and number of people participated in the campaign.
4 Assistance for creating formal and informal mentorship programmes that focuses on gender equality of marginalized genders.
5 Details of leadership training programmes conducted to support gender equality initiatives.
6 Initiatives taken for equality of opportunity and equal access to justice.
7 Initiatives taken for equality of pay.
8 Assistance given to prevent and combat violence against marginalized genders.
9 Initiatives taken for engaging marginalized genders with others.
10 Details of effective use of media, technology, advanced techniques, etc. for promoting equality of marginalized genders in the target area/section.
11 Initiatives taken for assisting/ providing primary and higher education to marginalized genders.
12 Assistance given to protect the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking marginalized genders.
13 Assistance given for subsidized healthcare programmes, providing nutritious food, facilitating legal aid, financial assistance for shelter and other basic needs.
14 Details of vocational training provided to women in rural communities to be self-sufficient through transforming their local waste and resources into a means of livelihood.
15 Initiatives taken to spread awareness about gender equality and LGBTQIA+ rights.
16 Initiatives taken to address and reduce the cases of violence against women
17 Initiatives taken to improve access to healthcare, education and training and equal participation and access in general to people irrespective of gender.
18 Initiatives taken to spread awareness about women’s rights including rights against violence and gender equality.
19 Initiatives to bridge the literacy gap between men and women.
B. Promoting empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities
1 Details of poverty eradication programs conducted for addressing the needs and problems of the women and LGBTQIA+ communities’ living below the poverty line.
2 Initiatives taken for eradicating all forms of discrimination against women and LGBTQIA+ communities.
3 Details of micro credit facilities provided for the upliftment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities and initiatives taken for enhancing access to the system.
4 Details of financial assistance or any other assistance or initiatives take for promoting and supporting women entrepreneurs.
5 Assistance given to women entrepreneurs in their journey from starting up to scaling up and expanding their ventures.
6 Measures taken for rehabilitation of women and LGBTQIA+ communities engaged in the act of begging.
7 Scholarship for school and higher education of women and LGBTQIA+ communities and awareness about the existence of such scholarships
8 Initiatives taken for elimination of violence against women and LGBTQIA+ communities including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.
9 Initiatives taken for elimination of practices like child, early and forced marriage, and genital mutilation.
10 Initiatives taken for enhancing the use of technology to promote the empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities.
11 Initiatives for enhancing women and LGBTQIA+ community’s participation in policy and decision-making processes in all fields in society.
12 Awareness programmes organised for women and LGBTQIA+ communities to report and speak out about any incidents of sexual harassment from responsible persons like teachers, school staff, and from friends, relatives and neighbours.
13 Initiatives taken to increase awareness among women and LGBTQIA+ communities about their rights guaranteed under various laws, rules and regulations.
14 Programmes conducted to raise awareness on the needs of differently abled women and LGBTQIA+ communities and eliminate stigma and discrimination against them.
15 Initiatives taken and/or financial assistance provided for the empowerment of differently abled women and LGBTQIA+ communities by investing in their education and supporting their transition from school to work.
16 Initiatives taken to reduce violence against sex workers and to establish health and social services for them and their families.
17 Initiatives taken to protect the human rights of sex workers and to increase their access to HIV or other sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment centres.
18 Initiatives taken to rehabilitate the children of sex workers.
19 Initiatives to increase the female to male Labour Force Participation Rate.
20 Initiatives to increase the Board-level participation of women.

I. Reporting

The Social Audit Report shall include information about the objective set out at the beginning of the Social Audit, methodologies adopted, observations, findings and recommendations if any. The Social Auditor shall also identify the challenges faced in implementation of the projects / activities and suggest areas for improvement based on observation, interview and feedback received from stakeholders. The Social Auditor shall also list out the limitations of the audit process which might include inability to identify all stakeholders, non-availability of proper response from stakeholders, social stigma about LGBTQIA+ community and so on and point out the extent to which such limitations impact the Audit Report. The Report of Social Audit shall be as per the format notified by the ICSI from time to time.

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To Read Related post Social Audit Standard

Sl.
No.
Draft Social Audit Standards
1 Draft Social Audit Standard on eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality (ICSI SAS-01)
2 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting health care including mental healthcare, sanitation and making available safe drinking water (ICSI SAS-02)
3 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting education, employability and livelihoods (ICSI SAS-03)
4 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities (ICSI SAS-04)
5 Draft Social Audit Standard on ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation (ICSI SAS-05)
6 Draft Social Audit Standard on protection of national heritage, art and culture (ICSI SAS-06)
7 Draft Social Audit Standard on training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports (ICSI SAS-07)
8 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting incubators of Social Enterprises (ICSI SAS-08)
9 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting other platforms that strengthen the non-profit ecosystem in fundraising and capacity building (ICSI SAS-09)
10 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting livelihoods for rural and urban poor including enhancing income of small and marginal farmers and workers in the non-farm sector (ICSI SAS-10)
11 Draft Social Audit Standard on slum area development, affordable housing and other interventions to build sustainable and resilient cities (ICSI SAS-11)
12 Draft Social Audit Standard on disaster management, including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities (ICSI SAS-12)
13 Draft Social Audit Standard on promotion of financial inclusion (ICSI SAS- 13)
14 Draft Social Audit Standard on facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities (ICSI SAS-14)
15 Draft Social Audit Standard on bridging the digital divide in internet and mobile phone access, addressing issues of misinformation and data protection (ICSI SAS-15)
16 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting welfare of migrants and displaced persons (ICSI SAS-16)

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