Objectives and indicators


The gender perspective must be both mainstreamed into the overarching objectives of a project and take the form of specific gender-equality objectives.

Setting objectives

When setting objectives, the gender equality objectives of the Operational Programme, the Member State’s thematic gender equality objectives and in addition the EU gender equality targets should be taken as a starting point. However it is the gender analysis that provides the main foundation for formulating specific gender equality objectives for the project; in this way, objectives will be tailored to the project’s unique field of intervention. The objectives must concern participation or impact.

The key question is: what contributions can and must the project make to promoting gender equality? Resources, actions and institutional arrangements must be designed to ensure that the gender equality objectives are implemented in the project. Monitoring must be carried out to ensure that the objectives are being met; if not, adjustments must be made to the project strategy.

Requirements for setting gender equality objectives

Key issues with respect to a project’s gender equality objectives include the following:

  • The objectives must be based on a thorough gender analysis of its specific field of intervention;
  • They must take into account the gender equality objectives of the ESF, of the Member State’s Operational Programme, other national gender equality objectives or strategies, and EU gender equality targets and strategies;
  • The project plan must clearly state how the project objectives contribute to promoting equality between women and men in the area of intervention;
  • Indicators to assess how well gender equality is being achieved in the project  must be developed both for general project objectives and specific gender equality objectives;
  • A plan for monitoring and evaluation from a gender perspective must be made.

Good practice

The Finnish ESF Valtava Programme recommends asking the following general questions when assessing the goals and objectives of a project:

  1. Are both men and women visible in project goals?
    2. Is attention given to the gender perspective in the objectives?
    3. Is promotion of gender equality evident in the objectives?

Good practice

In Belgium, the ESF recommends  formalising the objectives, commitment and implementation of the gender strategy in a document, i.e. producing a charter signed by all the partners. They have developed a procedure for how to integrate a gender perspective into the PCM method.

Click here to discover the project planning method supported by the ESF with a view to maintaining coherence and efficiency, increasing awareness and providing input to the process of reflection about gender issues. 

Good practice

In Sweden, the national gender equality objectives are taken as a starting point for assessing the potential of ESF projects to contribute to gender equality and project objectives. Here is an example from ESF Jämt in Sweden:

Q: “Do your operations contribute to gender equality?”

A: “Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. Find out whether your operations are contributing to the goals set out in Swedish gender-equality policy by looking at the following questions. If your answers reveal that your operations are having a negative effect or are not contributing to the goals, even though they could, you need to continue this discussion and discover how you can do things differently.”

Sub-goal 1: Equal distribution of power and influence

Women and men shall have the same rights and opportunities to be active citizens and to shape the conditions for decision-making.

  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s opportunities to be active citizens? How?
  • Can our operations affect the distribution of power and influence between women and men? How?
  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s opportunities to exercise power and influence? How?

Sub-goal 2: Economic equality

Women and men shall have the same opportunities and conditions with regard to education and paid work that provide them with the means to achieve lifelong economic independence.

  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s financial situations? How?
  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s opportunities and conditions for paid work, education and enterprise? How?

Sub-goal 3: Equal distribution of unpaid care and household work

Women and men shall take the same responsibility for household work and have the same opportunities to receive care on equal terms.

  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s opportunities to share unpaid household work? How?
  • Do our operations affect women’s and men’s opportunities to share unpaid care work? How?

Sub-goal 4: Men’s violence against women must stop

Women and men, girls and boys, shall have equal rights and opportunities to physical integrity.

  • Do our operations affect men’s violence towards women? How?
  • Do our operations affect the right of women and men, girls and boys, to physical integrity? How?
  • Do our operations affect (or have the potential to affect) the sexualisation of the public sphere? How?

Source: Momentum [pdf]


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Created: 2013/01/10   Changed: 2014/12/04