Setting objectives


Based on the outcomes of policy analysis, especially of the gender inequalities and gaps identified, objectives for a new policy process are developed. Gender equality objectives are integrated in all policy, overarching or operative, and in thematic objectives reflecting the different situation of women and men in their diversities in the policy areas in order to fight persisting inequalities and gender gaps.

Gender sensitive policy objectives:

  • are woven into the overall and operational objectives of the policy programme (e.g. the overarching objective of economic independence of women and men is guiding the formulation of policy objectives in all flagship objectives)
  • are related to the different situation of women and men in the areas of intervention and aim at eliminating inequalities and discrimination (no “gender neutral” objectives)
  • need to be consistently developed and integrated into the strategy and Flagship Initiatives, employment guidelines, regulations, and guiding documents prepared for drafting policy and programming documents in the member states
  • concern quantitative objectives (e.g. increasing women’s employment rate, which needs to be translated into the full-time equivalent; at present the employment rate is measured in terms of head counting; if every hour on the labour market is counted, the employment rate is found to contain many precarious jobs/working poor) and qualitative objectives (e.g. economic independence/egalitarian gender equality model).

These policy objectives are to be extrapolated from the EU Gender Equality Strategy and from the Pact, and requirements are to be formulated for setting national and regional gender equality objectives.

Europe 2020 Strategy and Flagships

The Europe 2020 Strategy does not contain a coherent gender equality approach.  It has no gender equality objectives and the gender equality strategy or the Pact on Gender Equality is not thematically integrated into the EU 2020 strategy objectives. Gender equality is only mentioned in the context of increasing labour force participation:

Inclusive growth means empowering people through high levels of employment, investing in skills, fighting poverty and modernising labour markets, training and social protection systems so as to help people anticipate and manage change and build a cohesive society. Europe needs to make full use of its labour potential to face the challenges of an ageing population and rising global competition, policies to promote gender equality will be needed to increase labour force participation thus adding to growth and social inclusion.

Further reading

Gender CoP’s Position paper on EU2020 [pdf]

Study: Data for the evaluation of the European semester process from a gender perspective by Directorate General for Internal Policies

The EU 2020 Strategy is translated into action, in part through the Integrated Guidelines and the Employment Guidelines:

Part 1 of the guidelines does not show coherence in terms of Gender Equality/the dual approach. Gender equality is only mentioned in the context of increased employment rates. In the Employment Guidelines, the dual gender equality approach is more clearly formulated: “A visible gender equality perspective, integrated into all relevant policy areas, is (…) crucial for the implementation of all aspects of the guidelines in the Member States.” (page 6)

Core issues related to gender equality within the Employment Guidelines (which are closely connected to the European Employment Strategy) include the increase of the employment rate (GL 7), the reduction of the segmentation of the labour market, nonemployment, inequalities for men and women on the labour market (GL 7), equal pay (GL 7), reconciliation of work and family (GL 7), overcoming gender stereotypes (GL 8), the promotion of women in science, math, and technical occupations (GL 8), as well as taking women into special account when fighting exclusion and poverty (GL 10).

Although a number of gender gaps and gender inequalities are mentioned in the framework of the Employment Guidelines, the overarching gender equality objective of economic independence is not explicitly mentioned or addressed.

Further reading

Read the Gender CoP’s position paper on the preparation of the Structural Funds programming period 2014+ [pdf] on the need for coherent integration of the dual gender equality approach and its consequences for cohesion policy.


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Created: 2013/01/09   Changed: 2014/12/04