As part of the policy analysis, relevant gender issues or gender gaps in the areas of intervention are identified. This includes a gender analysis or a gender impact assessment describing not only gender gaps, inequalities and discrimination in the area of intervention (e.g. cohesion, crisis, socioeconomic situation, labour market and unemployment, poverty), but also the causes, determinants, and effects of gender inequalities. Only gender disaggregated data are used.
Gender differences and discrimination are not only identified but their underlying roots and causes are uncovered (using research from the various fields of intervention) which is a pre-condition for setting gender equality objectives for a policy programme.
The analysis does not only cover thematic gender aspects (e.g. concerning economic growth, innovation, social inclusion, or employment) but also evaluates the gender aspects within structures and procedures of cohesion policy (e.g. budget issues, decision making procedures, etc.).
A gender sensitive policy analysis needs to:
- integrate gender as a guiding question at all stages of analysis of the entire policy process and cycle, rather than merely adding a “gender chapter”;
- assess the different impacts of policies on women and men in their diversity in each part of the analysis;
- assess the different economic circumstances and social realities of women and men (e.g. effects of crises on women and men, influence of access to resources, influence of share of paid and unpaid work, or feminization of poverty);
- examine the degree to which the common gender equality objectives of the EU have been met and what factors hinder progress.
Cohesion report findings from a gender perspective
The Cohesion Report has not coherently integrated gender equality or the gender mainstreaming strategy into all its analytical issues and conclusions. It contains two “marginalized” chapters on gender equality (p. 189) and equal opportunities (p. 231), mostly related to the 2000–2006 period of the Structural Funds. These chapters discuss gender equality mainly in terms of the increased employment rate of women.
This increase in the female employment rate is correct insofar as “head counting” is concerned. However, a more in-depth study of working patterns and working time reveals a different picture for women in the European Union: a decrease in paid working hours and an increase in precarious employment (see EP, 2010/2018(INI)).
In the Cohesion Report, reference is made to the EU Gender Equality objective “economic independence of women and men”, but there is no assessment of the impact of the different gender regimes practiced by the MS, despite the EU gender equality objectives following an “egalitarian” gender equality model. No reference is made to the European Commission evaluation findings that more efforts are needed to effectively promote gender equality in the cohesion policies.
The GenderCoP’s consultation on the Fifth Progress Report on Economic and Social Cohesion [pdf]
Draft Opinion of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality for the Committee on Regional Development on the Commission’s 5th Cohesion Report and the Strategy for the post 2013 Cohesion Policy [MS word]