The ESF – and the other Structural Funds – are uniquely placed to address employment challenges by integrating a gender perspective at all stages in the policy planning and implementation phases.
Spotlight on the flagships
In the preparation for the next Structural Funds period, integrating a gender perspective is essential in order to meet the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy in a way that supports development towards a gender equal society. By focusing on gender inequalities in relation to the EU 2020 headline targets (EXAMPLES: employment rate of men and women, school drop-out rate of men and women) and in the Flagship initiatives (EXAMPLE: Digital Agenda – access of men and women to IT), ESF funding can effectively target key issues which will help achieve these targets.
Without gender mainstreaming, the EU 2020 targets simply will not be achieved.
Three of the EU 2020 flagships focus more directly on employment and social policies and thus are more relevant for the ESF. These are:
- An agenda for new skills and jobs, with a target of 75% of 20–64 year olds being employed by 2020
- Youth on the move, with targets of reducing school drop-out rates to below 10% and at least 40% of 30–34 year olds completing third-level education
- The European platform against poverty, with a target of at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion
Increasing the understanding of how both economic growth and the current European crisis impact women and men differently will strengthen the quality of the implementation of the flagship priorities funded by the ESF and other Structural Funds.