Include the gender approach in local policies
The Norwegian government initiated a three-year program in 2012 to promote Gender Equality in municipalities. The program focuses on improving quality of services and efficiency of municipal work by raising general awareness on gender equality.
To encourage municipalities to reflect on their situation, they were invited to look at the following questions:
- Have you examined whether the services that are offered are equal for women and men, girls and boys?
- Do you have access to gender disaggregated statistics for citizens in your municipality?
- Are there underlying patterns based on gender in the planning, the service provision and in the formulation of policies?
The twenty municipalities participating in the program receive both guidance and financial support to implement activities and pilot projects aiming to improve gender equality at local level. The activities include trainings, studies and organization of meetings to exchange experiences.
The prerequisite for the pilot projects is that they must target gender equality of services and/or planning. Most of the municipalities have chosen to focus on working with gender equality in their role as employers in the health – and child care sector. However, the themes of the pilot projects vary. To coordinate the work, most municipalities have established working groups composed by representatives from sectors where the pilot projects are implemented and, in most cases, elected representatives. Moreover, most of the activities have been anchored in a working plan.
One of the main purposes of the program is to encourage municipalities to include gender equality further in their work as service providers and executive authorities. The program underlines the importance of integrating a gender perspective in all areas, at all levels and by all employees in municipalities, both in decision-making processes concerning resource-distribution and also as a part of daily operations in municipal services.
In addition to the gender perspective, most of the municipalities in the program have participated in a course focusing on equality and diversity, allowing them to widen the perception further.
As a part of the program, a webpage has been launched: www.likestilt.no.
This webpage collect examples of good practices from municipalities in the field of gender equality, in their role as employers, service providers and urban developers. The examples are also categorized by different thematic areas such as age, child care, ethnicity, public health, culture, school, social care etc.
For more information please visit : www.likestillingssenteret.no (Information in Norwegian)