Gender equality objectives for the Structural Funds period 2014+

The following objectives are to be pursued when drafting national or regional Operational Programmes, except when socioeconomic analysis shows no need to tackle a certain problem.

The overarching objective “economic independence of men and women” (Gender Equality Strategy) has been on the agenda of the European Union for a long time and reflects the egalitarian gender equality model. All other objectives support the overarching objective or are preconditions for reaching it:

  • Reducing gender inequalities in employment, social protection (Gender Equality Pact)
  • Lasting increase of women’s participation in employment and strengthening of their professional advancement (ESF Regulation)
  • Increasing the employment rate, especially the employment rate of women (Europe 2020, Employment Guidelines, Gender Equality Strategy); increasing the number of high quality workplaces for women (Women’s Charter)
  • Eliminating obstacles to gender equality related to women’s participation in the labour market, all forms of discrimination (Integrated guidelines, Europe 2020 and Gender Equality Pact), educational stereotypes, precarious jobs and involuntary part-time work, women’s share of unpaid care work (Women`s Charta), adequate labour market qualifications, and access to life long learning (Employment guidelines)
  • Tackling non-employment (employment guidelines)
  • Fighting the gender pay gap  Employment guidelines
  • Dismantling gender-based inequalities (Gender Equality Pact) Protection against social exclusion, especially for  older women (Employment guidelines), requiring all measures for poverty reduction to take into account gender equality issues (Strategy), promotion of female entrepreneurship (Gender Equality pact, ESF Regulation)
  • Dismantling of gender-based labour market segregation (Employment guidelines, Women’s charterESF Regulation)
  • Dismantling gender stereotypes in education, vocational training (ESF Regulation), and employment (Gender Equality Pact)
  • Empowering women to enter non-traditional professions, e.g. “green jobs” or other innovative sectors (Gender Equality Strategy)
  • Equal pay for equal and equivalent work (Employment guidelines, Women’s Charter)
  • Reconciliation of private and professional Life (Europe 2020, Womens´s Charter, ESF Regulation) in all phases of life (Gender Equality Pact)

Central guidelines for coherent integration of gender equality

Besides gender equality objectives related to the ESF thematic policy areas or aiming at certain areas of intervention (e.g. employment, unemployment) requirements for the coherent integration of gender mainstreaming into the systems of implementation, monitoring, and guidance of the ESF processes are formulated in different documents. These requirements clarify the differences between the gender mainstreaming strategy and the areas of intervention for gender equality.

  • Article 7 – Promotion of equality between men and women:

The Member States and the Commission shall promote equality between men and women through mainstreaming as referred to in Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No [CPR] throughout the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programmes. Through the ESF, they shall also support specific targeted actions within any of the investment priorities as referred to in Article 3, and in particular Article 3 (1)(a)(iv), with the aim of increasing the sustainable participation and progress of women in employment, thus combating the feminisation of poverty, reducing gender-based segregation and combating gender stereotypes in the labour market and in education and training, promoting reconciliation of work and personal life for all and equal sharing of care responsibilities between men and women. (ESF Regulation)

  • Member States are supposed to further develop gender disaggregated statistics and indicators and use agreed indicators (CPR Regulation)
  • All data about participants and results are to be arranged by gender. Each Operational Programme contains:
    • … a description of specific actions for the promotion of gender equality and the avoidance of any form of discrimination based on gender during the planning, design, and implementation of the Operational Programmes
    •  … a description of the OP’s contribution to the promotion of gender equality as well as provisions for taking into account gender aspects within the OP and the corresponding  operational level. With the proposal for the OP, Member States deliver a statement from the national gender equality body concerning the measures mentioned (Common Strategic Framework)
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Created: 2014/02/05   Changed: 2014/12/04