International cooperation: Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa


slide1

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide2

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


Methods

Gender Mainstreaming

  • What is Gender Mainstreaming?

This is a strategy which consists in integrating a gender perspective in all areas, all spheres and at all levels in order to achieve gender equality. This method is based on the idea that it is not enough simply to «add in» a gender component late in a given project’s development. All programs, policies and budgets must consider their impact on women and men from the beginning to the evaluation.

  • How to integrate gender mainstreaming to my local/regional authority?

Examples of actions:

  • Train staff regularly on gender equality
  • Make sure that the different parts of the authority understand their role, and that gender equality objectives and actions are built into their existing plans
  • Take into account gender equality in relation to the public procurement process (e.g. service specifications for contracts)
  • Undertake an assessment of the potential impact on women and men at an early stage for any significant new or amended policies and procedures, major projects or allocation of resources
  • Analyse budgets by gender, at least for each key priority, as part of each annual budget cycle
  • Collect information, in relation to the key priorities, broken down by gender (e.g. who uses services, who responds to consultation, who is employed and in what jobs etc.)

Gender Budgeting

  • What is Gender Budgeting?

To apply the Council of Europe’s accepted definition of the term: Gender Budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary process. It means a gender-based assessment of budgets, incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality.

It is an essential step to verify if the aims of your local/regional authority in achieving gender equality have been translated into budget decisions.

In other words, this method consists in:

  1. analysing how public resources are used in terms of gender equality by focusing on resource distribution
  2. evaluating the impact of unequal distribution of public funds on women and men
  3. restructuring the budget by identifying how resources have to be redirected to reach a fairer distribution of resources.
  • How to proceed?

To analyse how public resources are divided between women and men and verify if they meet women and men’s needs, there are two complementary approaches:

  1. Identify specific budgets for planned projects in the field of gender equality
  2. Review existing budgets from a gender perspective and those budgets that might have an impact on gender equality

Gender Statistics

  • What is Gender statistics?

Gender statistics provide information on gender (in)equality in all spheres of society. It cuts across traditional fields of statistics to identify, produce and disseminate statistics that reflect the realities of the lives of women and men, and policy issues relating to gender.

  • Why should I consider this method to achieve gender equality?

Gender statistics are needed to:

  1. Raise public awareness on the real conditions of life of both women and men
  2. Provide an efficient source of information to evaluate the impact of government’s policies on the lives of women and men.
  3. Provide policy makers with sufficient baseline information to implement favourable changes to existing policies affecting women and men differently

The 3R method

  • What is the 3R method?

The 3R method was developed in Sweden in the late 1990’s to facilitate the implementation of gender mainstreaming in municipalities. The approach is to analyze an activity on the basis of the 3 R’s: Representation, Resources and Realia.

The first two R’s involves gathering statistics that are necessary to complete the analysis and that will serve as a base for discussion on how to achieve the third R.

  • Representation: to analyze gender distribution on all levels of the activity and in all decision-making processes, including examining statistics on the representation of women and men at all levels
  • Resources: to analyze how the resources of the activity are distributed between women and men and how they are used by women and men
  • Realia: to reflect upon the reasons behind why the representation and resource distribution ended up this way, bearing in mind the conclusion found in step 1 and step 2

This type of study enables to discover the division of power between women and men and the ways in which gender affects the character and the organization of an activity.

By revealing information on existing inequalities, this method helps to concretize and structure the gender mainstreaming work and gives a general analytical framework for starting a gender mainstreaming process.

  • Example of a completed 3R analysis from the Swedish Jämkom project

It is an analysis of girls and boys choices of youth study programmes.

In the first part of the analysis (Representation), not surprisingly, it emerged that boys mainly choose technically oriented subjects while girls dominated in the study programmes that had to do with care and in business and administrative programmes.

In the second part (Resources) the distribution of the costs was analysed, and it was shown that the youth study programmes that attracted boys cost between SEK 81,000 and 114,000. The programmes to which the girls were attracted cost between SEK 48,000 and 67,000. This means that far more economic resources were used on the boys.

This led to a discussion of why male-dominated study programmes are more costly than those dominated by women. The immediate answer was that the technical equipment required by the boys education cost more.

But this answer does not seem to answer the whole difference. For example, computers are necessary in most lines of study, but also on this point there was a difference in the way in which the resources were divided. Again it was the girls who were treated unfairly. The analysis gave rise to reflections about why more resources are devoted to male-dominated study programmes, and from there to how this routine could be changed.


Evaluation

In 2009, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) developed indicators to certain articles of the Charter in order to support local and regional authorities in monitoring the implementation of their action plan.

 

These ideas identifying indicators have drawn on the experiences and comments of the CEMR national associations of local and regional authorities.

 

You are invited to use indicators that you consider relevant according to the particular realities of your territory.

Article 1 – Democratic accountability

  • Percentage of men and percentage of women elected to local government

Article 2 – Political representation

  • Percentage of men and percentage of women elected to local government
  • Percentages representing the numbers of male and female candidates who were successfully elected
  • Percentages for each gender holding mandates with political responsibility within your local government (Deputy to the Mayor, Chair of a Committee, etc.)

Article 3 – Participation in political and civic life

  • Percentage of women and percentage of men in the local public consultative bodies (neighbourhood councils, consultative committees, etc.)
  • Percentage of women and percentage of men in the administration councils of associations which receive subsidies from the local authority

Article 4 – The public commitment for Equality

  • Was the signing of the charter publicised or made an event? Is so, how?
  • Has your local authority adopted an equality action plan since it signed the Charter?
  • Does your local authority issue progress reports on the implementation of the Equality Action Plan? If so, how is this done? If so, how often?

Article 5 – Working with partners to promote equality

  • Has your local authority undertaken consultations with its partner bodies and organisations, including its social partners, on your Equality Action Plan?

Article 6 – Countering stereotypes

  • Does your local authority provide training sessions or workshops for staff members and elected officials aimed at countering stereotypes based on gender?
  • If so, what percentage of your staff receives this type of training? How many are men and how many are women?
  • If so, what percentage of elected officials receives this type of training? How many of them are men and how many are women?

Article 9 – Gender assessment

  • Does your local authority undertake gender assessments relating to its principal areas of competence?
  • Does an official and endorsed equality action plan exist?

Article 10 – Multiple discrimination or disadvantage

  • What is the percentage of your territory’s population who are of different ethnic origin or immigrants? (Insofar as such surveys are legally authorised) Of this total percentage, what is the breakdown by gender, in percentage?
  • What percentage of women of different ethnic origin or female immigrants in your area is employed and what percentage is out of work?
  • What percentage of men of different ethnic origin or male immigrants in your area is employed and what percentage is out of work?
  • Has your local authority taken any specific measures to combat multiple discrimination in its local equality action plan?

Article 11 – The employer role

  • Average salary of your employees in your local administration, analysed by gender and level of position
  • Calculation in percent of the gap in salaries between the average income of male and female employees holding an equivalent position level
  • Percentage of female employees within your local authority who occupy posts traditionally viewed as masculine and vice-versa (and taking into account, if possible, the different position levels)
  • Percentage of women and percentage of men employed part-time within your local authority, for each position level if possible
  • Has your local authority adopted and implemented policies against sexual harassment in the workplace?
  • Has your local authority adopted positive actions relating to hiring/promotion policies in favour of equality between women and men?

Article 12 – Public procurement and contracts

  • In your local authority, how many major contracts were signed within the past year, the specifications of which contain provisions taking gender perspectives into account?
  • Does your local authority provide gender perspective training for local authority personnel in charge of preparing call for tenders relating to public procurement?
  • If so, how many receive such training?

Article 13 – Education and lifelong learning

  • What is the percentage of each gender employed in local educational structures, broken down by age groups (childcare/kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, etc.)?
  • What is the percentage for those holding senior/management positions in educational establishments?
  • What is the percentage of personnel employed by your local authority who have received training with respect to gender issues within the local educational structures, broken down by age groups (childcare/kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, etc.)?
  • Has your municipality carried out an evaluation of the content of the teaching materials using a gender-based approach?
  • Has your local authority taken any measures, in or with local schools and educational establishments, to promote non-traditional career choices for women and men?

Article 14 – Health

  • What percentage of the budget allocated to healthcare is set aside for actions highlighting the specific and different needs of women and men? (If local government has jurisdiction over healthcare in your area)
  • Has your local authority undertaken gender-based health education initiatives?
  • Has your local authority undertaken steps to carry out a gender-based assessment of local health services?

Article 15 – Social care and services

  • What is the percentage of each gender that benefits from the authority’s local social assistance services, broken down by category of services or care (e.g. mental illness, care for the elderly, etc.)?
  • Has your local authority evaluated feedback in terms of the needs and satisfaction of women and men who use social care and assistance services?

Article 16 – Childcare

  • Number of children under school age in your local area
  • Number of approved childcare places offered in your local area for children under school age broken down by age groups
  • Do childcare services exist for your administration’s employees?
  • If so, what is the percentage of families who use such services?

Article 17 – Care of other dependants

  • Total percentage of women and men who work part-time in the public administration and who have to care for dependants other than children (elderly persons who are vulnerable, those with a serious disability, etc.) Of this total, what are the percentages for each gender?
  • If your local authority can estimate the number of full-time carers existing in your local area devoted to the care of other dependants, what are the percentages gender-wise who are concerned?
  • How many people occupy serious full-time jobs in social care and services in your local area? What percentage of these people are women? What percentage of these people are men?
  • Does your local authority provide support to them?

Article 18 – Social inclusion

  • Do your social inclusion programmes incorporate a gender-based assessment?
  • What is the total number of unemployed persons surveyed in your local area?
  • What are the percentages of this total according to gender?
  • Percentage of the local population receiving social aid, broken down by category and by gender
  • Estimated percentage of women and men among the total population who do not speak the main language in use in your local area

Article 19 – Housing

  • Estimated number of people living in substandard accommodation, broken down by gender of the head(s) of household
  • Percentage of female and male single-parent families in such accommodation
  • Estimated number of people who are homeless or in a precarious housing situation, broken down by gender
  • Estimated number of people, homeless or in a precarious housing situation, who were re-housed within one year, broken down by gender

Article 20 – Culture, sport and recreation

  • Percentages for both women and men who are members of the local sporting associations administrative boards
  • Percentages for both women and men who are members of the local cultural associations administrative boards
  • Percentages of the total budget allocated to sporting equipment and activities set aside for sports viewed as traditionally female or traditionally male
  • Do you organise and finance initiatives to encourage women to practice traditionally male sport activities and vice-versa?

Article 21 – Safety and security

  • Total number of victims of incidents (including serious crime against the individual) affecting security and safety, analysed by category of crime (to be defined locally), per year
  • What are the percentages, by gender and by category, of victims?
  • Does your local authority measure people’s fear of crime using a gender-based approach?

Article 22 – Gender-based violence

  • Total number of reported incidents of gender-based violence per year
  • What percentage of these reported incidents concerned violence against women?
  • What is the percentage of incidents reporting violence against men?
  • Has your local authority undertaken any measures to prevent gender-based violence (e.g. public awareness campaigns, training of specialised personnel, etc.)?
  • Does your authority provide or finance specific support measures for victims of gender-based violence (e.g. refuges, shelters, etc.)?

Article 23 – Human trafficking

  • Does your authority provide or finance specific support measures for victims of human trafficking?

Article 26 – Mobility and transport

  • Has your local authority drawn up a transport or mobility plan which takes into account the specific habits and needs of women and men?
  • Overall number of people using public transport, by gender
  • Number of people using public transport, analysed by gender, and by zone or by route or by means of transport (to be defined according to your local context)
  • Does your local authority measure satisfaction among the population with the local mobility and transport infrastructures, taking into account the views of women and men separately?

Article 27 – Economic development

  • Does your local authority undertake and/or finance measures to encourage women trainees to learn skills traditionally seen as male, and vice versa?
  • Does your local authority undertake and/or finance measures to encourage employers to recruit women trainees in relation to skills and positions traditionally seen as male, and vice versa?

Article 30 – Twinning and international cooperation

  • Among your local authority’s European twinning or international co-operation actions, are there any projects concerning equality between women and men?
  • Number of women and men taking part in twinning activities per year

Atlas of signatories of the Charte


Atlas of the signatories

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


About the Observatory

Why create the Observatory?

The Charter encourages signatories to take specific measures to implement the provisions set out in the document: among which figures foremost the drafting of an action plan for equality. However, all signatories have not been able to draft action plans. At meetings organised by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and its national associations, it became clear that the signatories were lacking examples of good practices and expertise in order to move forward from the signatory stage to the implementation stage.

 

Based on this observation, in order to respond to the growing demand of support from signatories and to continue CEMR’s engagement for equality, the CEMR Executive Bureau decided, at a meeting in Warsaw on the 28th of September in 2011, to establish the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life.

 

The Observatory has received financial support from the Swedish Government through the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) for a period of 3 years (March 2012 – March 2015) to carry out its activities.

 

Objectives of the Observatory

The main objective for the Observatory is to help European local and regional authorities to develop local policies for equality between women and men, in particular through the realisation of the objectives outlined in the Charter. How? By supporting the development of action plans, the monitoring of the implementation and the evaluation of the impact on the ground. The Observatory is also in charge of increasing the visibility of the Charter and promoting exchanges between the signatories.

 

The Standing Committee for Equality of women and men in local life

The CEMR Committee of women elected representatives of local and regional authorities became the Standing Committee for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life, following a decision by the CEMR Policy Committee in Brussels on the 12th and 13th of December 2011. It is composed of elected representatives nominated by the national associations of CEMR that have expressed their interest to participate in the work of the Committee. Its role is to decide on the overall objectives and to follow the work of the Observatory.

 

Since June 2018, the Committee is chaired by Mr. Emil Broberg, Councillor of the region of Östergötland (Sweden), and third Vice-President of SALAR.

 

The national coordinators of the Observatory

The Observatory has established a network of national coordinators composed of administrators and experts working with the Charter from CEMR’s member associations.

 

This network is in charge of supporting the Observatory’s activities in monitoring the implementation of the Charter by maintaining contact with the signatories and disseminating information related to the Charter at national level.

 

Current work

The CEMR Standing Committee for Equality and the expert group on gender equality prepared a gender equality position paper and action plan (adopted in June 2018) to guide the work of the Observatory of the 2018-2020 period.

 

“Local equality: Going the distance to achieve gender equality” is available for download here.


The signatories of the Charter

The Charter is addressed to all the local and regional authorities in Europe who wish to engage in the promotion of equality between women and men in their territory as a part of a coherent and ambitious strategy.

 

As of November 2017, 1688 signatories in 35 countries have been identified by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and its national associations.

 

If your local/regional authority already signed the Charter, contact the Secretariat of the Observatory to get your access codes and add your data in the Atlas of Signatories.

 

If your local/regional authority wishes to sign the Charter, consult the Sign the Charter section to know the procedure.

 

 

 


The text of the Charter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Part I of the Charter introduces the six fundamental principles:

  1. Equality of women and men constitutes a fundamental right
  2. To ensure the equality of women and men, multiple discrimination and disadvantage must be addressed
  3. The balanced participation of women and men in decision making is a pre-requisite of a democratic society
  4. The elimination of gender stereotypes is fundamental to achieving equality of women and men
  5. Integrating the gender perspective into all activities of local and regional government is necessary to advance equality of women and men
  6. Properly resourced action plans and programmes are necessary tools to advance equality of women and men

The Part II describes the specific steps which should be carried out by the signatories in order to implement the provisions of the Charter.

 

The Part III presents the 30 articles by areas of competences:

  • Democratic accountability
  • Political role
  • General framework for equality
  • The employer role
  • Public procurement and contracts
  • Service delivery role
  • Planning and sustainable development
  • Regulator Role
  • Twinning and international co-operation

A signatory form is available on the last page of the Charter, to be returned to the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and to the national association (more information on Sign the Charter section).

 

The full text of the Charter is downloadable in PDF in 28 languages:

 

GB
BA BH CR MN SER TUR

 


The Charter in brief

How was the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men role in Local Life born?

 

In 2004, the European Commission supported an ambitious project initiated by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR): the elaboration of a portrait of a virtual town in which gender equality is fully achieved.

 

By identifying examples of various methods put in place, CEMR provided a concrete tool for local and regional authorities on how they could work with equality. The result of the project was the publishing of the brochure the Town for Equalitygathering examples of good practices from around one hundred European cities and communities in eleven of their fields of expertise.

 

During the project, it became clear, that there was a lack of expertise and of instruments enabling the setting up of global gender equality policies at local and regional level.

 

Once the Town for Equality was virtually established, CEMR wished to encourage local and regional authorities to take a further step in making this reality by making a political commitment. This is how the idea of establishing the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life was born.

 

The Charter was launched in 2006 within the framework of a project (2005-2006) supported by the European Commission, through its 5th Community Action Programme for equality between men and women.

 

What is the Charter?

 

The Charter was drawn up by CEMR in collaboration with the project partners and its national associations. The outcome of the Charter reconciles different visions of equality in Europe and compiles a summary of the proposals of all the contributors (about hundreds of local and regional representatives). Moreover, the Charter takes into account the different competences of local and regional authorities in Europe.

 

By signing the Charter, local and regional actors take a strong and formal public commitment to the principle of equality and are encouraged to implement policies and concrete actions in cooperation with institutions and organisations in their territories.

 

The Charter is a public instrument laying down rights, but not binding. CEMR is aware that it is a very demanding work to realise all the objectives outlined in the Charter, that’s why, CEMR recommends signatories to implement the Charter progressively and identify priority fields for intervention.


CEMR and Gender Equality

Since 1983, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) works actively to promote equality between women and men in the decision-making process.

 

The structuring of the action of CEMR’s women elected representatives

 

In 1983, two hundred women representatives of European municipalities, provinces and regions met on the occasion of the first “Meeting of women local and regional elected representatives of the European Community” organised by CEMR in order to allow for the debating of the “Renewal of European Society” over a period of three days.

 

By emphasizing the principle according to which local and regional authorities have a primordial role to play in ensuring a “balanced development” of the European Community, women elected representatives insisted on three points: the participation of European women in local and regional assemblies, the actions carried out by the European Institutions to promote equal opportunities and the impact of Community policy on local and regional authorities.

 

The second meeting, in 1986 was held in Saint Jacques de Compostelle, a city that was chosen since the women representatives’ desired to take action by standing by their Spanish and Portuguese counterparts at the time of their countries’ joining the European Community. Several subjects of concern fostered their discussions: for example, supporting the Community’s 1986-1990 programme in favour of equal opportunities and the need for actions vis-à-vis the governments in view of the adoption of new directives relating to the equal treatment of men and women in their professional lives. The women elected representatives also requested that the Community, in its transformation into the European Union, incorporate the principle of equal opportunities for men and women into the new Treaty on European Union.

 

The British Delegation, with the support of two key women in CEMR’s actions for equality, Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton and Doreen Fleming, submitted a resolution providing for the creation of a structure within CEMR which would allow for the monitoring and the support of the policies of the European Communities’ Commission as well as the actions of the European Parliament’s Commission on Women’s Rights in favour of equality.

 

More than 150 women local and regional elected representatives met in Antwerp in 1988, on the occasion of the third meeting organised under the theme “the responses of European local and regional authorities faced with the challenges of contemporary society”. Women representatives also highlighted, as was the custom at these meetings, local problems, in particularly violence in the cities, the integration of migrant women and initiatives aimed at youth.

 

The 4th meeting in Heidelberg in 1992, was above all significant in light of the creation of the standing CEMR Committee of women elected representatives of local and regional authorities with the mission to increase the presence of women in politics and to promote their role in European construction. Through this committee, women representatives from different European countries have the opportunity to discuss their respective national situations, to exchange their experiences in view of transferring best practices in terms of equality and to monitor the evolution of European policies in this area.

 

The launching of actions aimed at Central and Eastern Europe

 

In the beginning of the 1990s, the members of CEMR’s Committee of women elected representatives of local and regional authorities placed importance on the need to establish contacts with the women elected representatives of the Central and Eastern European countries in view of their future membership in the EU. The different meetings organised between 1994 and 1998 played a decisive role in opening this dialogue.

 

The Dublin Conference in 1995 was a pivotal step for the women local and regional elected representatives of CEMR. The conference coincided with the setting up of the Committee of the Regions, a European representative body of local and regional authorities, instituted by the Maastricht Treaty. The women elected representatives of CEMR worked hard to raise the awareness of the members of this institution with regard to the question of respect for equal opportunities. Following an ad hoc resolution, a working group was created. This working group drew up recommendations aiming to strengthen the presence of women within the national delegations of the Committee of the Regions named by the governments, as well as to ensure a monitoring of the dimension of equal opportunities in the opinions adopted by this institution.

 

Creation of a European network of women elected representatives of local and regional authorities

 

At the 20th General Assembly of European Municipalities and Regions in Thessaloniki in May.

 

1996, CEMR’s Committee of women elected representatives launched a European Network of women local and regional elected representatives in order to improve the exchange of information and best practice in favour of equality at local level in Europe.

 

This network, made up of nearly 1600 women elected representatives from 34 European countries set up information tools for elected representatives on local level, organised seminars on “the presence of women in local politics”, in view of the local elections taking place in the host countries a research on the presence of women in politics, particularly at local level in different EU countries, was also conducted. This research enabled, for the first time, specific data to be assembled on women’s participation in local politics in Europe.

 

At occasion of the Executive Bureau meeting held in Sintra in 2000, a resolution was adopted; recommending that a regular evaluation be undertaken on the application of the principle of the equality of men and women within CEMR, its national associations and member local and regional authorities.

 

At the 21st General Assembly of European Municipalities and Regions in Oulu in 2000, local and regional representatives approved a strategic action plan for governance and equality which constituted a genuine framework for achieving a balanced representation of men and women within local and regional authorities, the CEMR member national associations and the governing bodies of the organisation.

 

European and International inroads

 

The turn of the century brought to light CEMR’s political commitment in favour of equality on the international scene. In June 2000, a CEMR delegation of women local and regional elected representatives participated in the “Beijing+5” Conference organised by the United Nations in co-operation with IULA. The European women local and regional elected representatives were able to share their experiences of local life in Europe with their counterparts from all over the world and speak of the results achieved in this area as well as persisting barriers.

 

Five years after the World Conference on Women in Beijing, at which time a Platform for Action for the development of the status of women was launched, the New York Conference provided the opportunity to assess the progress accomplished since then. The theme of the 23rd Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly was therefore “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twentyfirst century”. At the close of this event, the role of local authorities was recognised in the action plan for the implementation of “Beijing+5”.

 

From “The town for Equality” to the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life”

 

The objective of “The town for equality” was to depict, with the help of CEMR’s network, a virtual portrait of a town that takes gender equality into account in all of its policies. The results of the project, which led to the organisation of several seminars involving elected representatives, local officials and representatives from civil society, were published in the “The Town for Equality, a guide of methodology taking into account the best practices in Europe on this subject. Once town for equality was virtually established, local and regional authorities were encouraged to take a step in this direction through a political commitment. “The European Charter for the equality of women and men in local life” was the resulting project.

 

For further information: 25 years of actions towards equality in Europe

 

 

Current work

 

The CEMR Standing Committee for Equality and the expert group on gender equality prepared a gender equality position paper and action plan (adopted in June 2018) to guide the work of the Observatory of the 2018-2020 period.

 

“Local equality: Going the distance to achieve gender equality” is available for download here.

 


Get informed

 

 

The first step to undertake, before drafting your action plan, is to conduct a diagnostic and review a wide range of information to gain a better understanding of the situation of gender equality in your local or regional authority.

 

The diagnostic will help you analyse the current situation in your local/regional authority from a gender perspective and will provide you with information on the needs and the interests of both women and men. You will also be able to identify areas where there are gaps and which areas you need to focus on. 

 

Suggested actions

  • Conduct a demographic study by gender of your population (e.g.: total population, population with foreign nationality or immigrant background, households, workforce according to the socioprofessional category, unemployment rate, etc.)
  • Go through the chapters of the Charter compare it with the information you have for each field of competency of your local or regional authority
Examples of fields of competencies Examples of information to be collected
The political role
  • number of women and men elected
  • number of women and men holding office (Deputy mayors, members of executives, etc.)
The employer role
  • number of women and men employed in different roles
  • pay of women and men in those different roles
  • number of complaints of sexual harassment
The service delivery role
  • number of women and men using specific services
  • number of women and men satisfied with services provided
  • resources allocated to women’s and men’s activities (e.g. sport/health promotion)
Planning and sustainable development
  • users of public transport by gender
  • rates of women and men in poverty
  • Use national or international information on key gender issues (e.g. national gender statistics), as well as information from relevant local projects
  • Identify where you do not have information broken down by gender (sex-disaggregated data). This might help you to identify areas for intervention in the future, in particular in relation to priority areas for your local authority. 

 

 


Draft

Within a reasonable timescale (not to exceed 2 years) following the date of the signature of the Charter, your local or regional authority commits itself to develop, adopt and implement an action plan.

How to prepare your action plan?

One does not build an action plan on one’s own! Surround yourself with a team, for example:

  • Use an existing equality committee (if it exists)
  • Establish a steering group, responsible for developing and following-up the action plan, ideally composed of administrative staff and elected representatives from all main services involved in the implementation of the actions and external representatives from civil society
  • Ensure that any such group has the political support and the authority to hold others within the council to account for meeting the priority objectives
  • Ensure that the group either has involvement from elected members of the authority, or has clear ways of reporting to the elected member(s) responsible for equality

 

Make sure that there are budgets available to deliver the priorities including for consultation.

 

Do not neglect follow-up and evaluation! Agree now how progress will be reported and reviewed: agree on indicators of progress towards the objectives with timescales for delivery, foresee a population-based survey and a gendered analysis of credits. This will be more efficient if it is integrated with existing planning and performance monitoring processes.

 

Before you start discussing what further actions that need to be taken, remember to identify the competencies of your local or regional authority and to establish a list of actions and policies already made in your municipality, in the framework of equality between women and men, which constitutes a step forward in making your municipality more equal.

 

Secondly, prioritize the new actions planned in a consensual and objective way and establish criteria to evaluate them (e.g. impact of the action, logistics, financial means, political acceptability).

 

Thirdly, keep in mind that this is about implementing actions to promote equality of women and men and not only of women!

How to transfer your actions into an action plan?

Your action plan should at least present:

  • your objectives
  • your priorities
  • measures to be adopted
  • ressources to be affected
  • proposed timetable

 

In order to structure your action plan, you can use the following items for each planned action:

  • concise description of the action to perform
  • elements found during the diagnostic
  • description of the purpose
  • reference to the article that it is meant to relate to
  • person, department or organisation in charge of the implementation of the action
  • supporting the implementation of the action
  • deadline for the implementation of the action
  • state of the implementation of the action (new, on-going or achieved)
  • logistics and finance to mobilize
  • communication and training plan foreseen
  • indicators to measure the impact of the action

And then?

Once the action plan adopted by your local or regional authority, publish it widely.

  • Make all elected members and employees aware of the plan by taking it to the highest body of the authority
  • Publish it on the web site or other regular communication with the electorate
  • Send it to those who have taken part in the earlier consultation processes
  • Inform local NGOs and media
  • Offer to attend meetings with local organisations etc. to discuss the equality action plan

 

You could also join a copy of your action plan in your signatory form on the Atlas of the Observatory website.

 

The work on the action plan does not stop at this stage. You should:

  • report, on regular basis, publicly on progress made in implementing the plan
  • revise your action plan as circumstances require and send it for approval to the decision-making bodies of your local or regional authority
  • draw up a further plan for each following period

Prioritise

This step consists in analysing the information obtained from Get informed and Consult phases in order to decide on a number of high-level priorities to concentrate on, in order to make a real difference over the next few years, taking account of your authority’s political priorities, and the resources likely to be available.

 

The priorities do not need to be issues that can be resolved quickly – for example they may require changes in attitudes and practices which might take some time to achieve, or require significant resources, but where progress can be made year by year.

 

We are aware that the local and regional authorities that have signed the Charter have different competences, resources and priorities. For this reason, you are not asked to take action on every article but to decide on your own priorities and timescales. It is better to have a smaller number of clear but achievable objectives than a large number that in reality are not followed through, and therefore do not lead to any change.

 

To decide what your priorities are, read carefully each article one by one and identify those which will allow you to achieve a realistic and feasible action plan of good quality.

 

This approach leads to a first step of drafting an action plan. Once the first action plan completed, you can decide to expand to other articles of the Charter along the way that the actions are carried out, or establish a new action plan with other prioritised articles.

 

Once you have your provisional list of high-level priorities:

  • Consult again on this list and the reasons for its selection;
  • Agree your definitive list of high-level priorities, once you have taken into account the feedback from this second consultation;
  • Ensure that the political leadership in the authority support the agreed priorities and are committed to taking action on them and allocating the required resources;
  • Ensure that the senior officers and civil servants of the authority understand and are committed to implementing the agreed priorities

Get inspired

 

Examples of guide on how to elaborate action plans by national associations:

 

Guide for designing, managing and evaluating local equality action plans (in Spanish) – by EUDEL, the Basque association of municipalities

 

Supporting guide on the European Charter for Equality for municipalities in Luxemburg (in French) – by SYVICOL, the Association of Luxembourg Cities and Municipalities

 

Toolbox for the first action plan (in French) – by SYVICOL, the Association of Luxembourg Cities and Municipalities

 

A-Z gender equality guide for municipalities (in Lithuanian) – by the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania

 

Examples of action plans from different countries:

 

Iceland

Action Plan of the City of Reykjavik (in English)

 

Sweden

Development plan for Gender mainstreaming, action plan City of Malmö (in English)

 

Switzerland

Action Plan City of Bern (in German)

Action Plan City of Bern(in French)

 

 

 


Consult

 In order to identify the main priorities in your work on equality of women and men, you must start by consulting relevant organisations and bodies actively working in areas related to gender equality.

 

Suggested actions

  • Review your existing consultation activities and processes check if any existing responses are analysed by gender. If that is the case, verify if there are any differences between women and men’’s answer
  • Consult elected representatives of your authority, employees and trade unions, local NGOs, as well as service users and potential service users, on what they think are the local priorities from among the different articles of the Charter
  • Include all sections of the population in this exercise, e.g. young people, older people minority ethnic people (including migrants and those seeking asylum), lesbian and gay people, people with disabilities, people of different religions and beliefs, those suffering social exclusion, victims of violence and women in prostitution in the consultation
  • Share and compare experiences with neighbouring signatories (e.g. in the framework of inter-municipal cooperation) or with other signatories (through a twinning partnership for example).

Democratic accountability


General framework for equality

General framework for equality

Article 8 – General Commitment

  1. The Signatory will, in relation to all its competences, recognize, respect and promote the relevant rights and principles of equality of women and men, and combat disadvantage and discrimination related to gender.
  2. The commitments set out in this Charter apply to a Signatory only where they, or relevant aspects of them, fall within its legal powers.

Article 9 – Gender Assessment

  1. The Signatory undertakes, in relation to each of its areas of competence, to undertake gender assessments, as set out in this Article.
  2. To this end, the Signatory undertakes to draw up a programme for implementation of its gender assessments, in accordance with its own priorities, resources and timescales, to be included or taken into account in its Equality Action Plan.
  3. Gender assessments shall include, as relevant, the following steps:
      • Reviewing existing policies, procedures, practices and patterns and volumes of usage, in order to assess whether they disclose any unfair discrimination, whether they are based on gender stereotypes, and whether they adequately take into account any specific needs of women and men
      • Reviewing the allocation of resources, financial and other, for the above purposes
      • Identifying the priorities and, as appropriate, targets in order to tackle the relevant issues arising from these reviews, and to bring about identifiable improvements in service delivery
      • Undertaking, at an early stage, an assessment of all significant proposals for new or amended policies, procedures and changes in resource allocation, to identify their potential impact on women and men, and to make final decisions in the light of this assessment
      • Taking account of the needs or interests of those experiencing multiple discrimination or disadvantage.

Article 10 – Multiple Discrimination or Disadvantage

  1. The Signatory recognizes that discrimination on any grounds such as sex, race, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation is prohibited.
  2. The Signatory further recognizes that despite this prohibition, many women and men suffer from multiple discrimination or disadvantage, including socio-economic disadvantage, which has a direct impact on their ability to exercise the other rights set out and referred to in this Charter.
  3. The Signatory commits itself, across the range of its competences, to take all reasonable actions to combat the effects of multiple discrimination or disadvantage including:
      • ensuring that the issues of multiple discrimination or disadvantage are addressed in its Equality Action Plan and gender assessments
      • ensuring that issues arising from multiple discrimination or disadvantage are taken into account when undertaking actions or measures under the other articles in this Charter
      • undertaking public information campaigns to combat stereotypes and to promote equal treatment for those women and men who may suffer multiple discrimination or disadvantage
      • taking specific measures to address the particular needs of migrant women and men.

The employer role

The employer role

Article 11

  1. The Signatory in its role as employer recognises the right to equality of women and men in regard to all aspects of employment, including work organisation and working conditions.
  2. The Signatory recognises the right to the reconciliation of professional, social and private life and the right to dignity and security in the workplace.
  3. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable measures, including positive action within its legal powers, in support of the above rights.
  4. The measures referred to in (3) include the following:

a) a review of relevant policies and procedures relating to employment within its organisation, and the development and implementation of the employment part of its Equality Action Plan to address inequalities over a reasonable period of time, and inter alia covering:

      • Equal pay, including equal pay for work of equal value
      • Arrangements for reviewing pay, remuneration, pay systems and pensions
      • Measures to ensure fair and transparent promotion and career development opportunities
      • Measures to ensure a balanced representation of women and men at all levels, in particular to address any imbalance at senior management levels
      • Measures to tackle any sex-based job segregation, and to encourage employees to take on nontraditional employment
      • Measures to ensure fair recruitment
      • Measures to ensure appropriate, healthy and safe working conditions
      • Procedures for consultation with employees and their trade unions ensuring a balanced participation of women and men on any consultation or negotiating body

b) Opposing sexual harassment in the workplace by making a clear statement that such behaviour is unacceptable, by supporting victims, by introducing and implementing transparent policies to deal with perpetrators, and by raising awareness of the issue;

c) Moving towards a workforce at all levels of the organisation which reflects the social, economic and cultural diversity of their local population;

 d) Supporting the reconciliation of professional, social and private life by:

      • introducing policies which allow, where appropriate, adjustments of working time and arrangements for care for dependants for employees
      • encouraging men to take up their entitlement to leave to care for dependants.

Public procurement and contracts

Public procurement and contracts

Article 12

  1. The Signatory recognizes that, in carrying out its tasks and obligations in relation to public procurement, including contracts for the supply of products, the provision of services, or the execution of works, it has a responsibility to promote equality of women and men.
  2. The Signatory recognizes that this responsibility is of particular significance where it proposes to contract out to another legal entity the provision of an important service to the public, for which the Signatory is by law responsible. In such cases, the Signatory will ensure that the legal entity that wins the contract (whatever its type of ownership) has the same responsibilities to ensure or promote equality of women and men as the Signatory would have had if it had provided the service directly.
  3. The Signatory further undertakes to implement, wherever it considers appropriate, the following steps:
    1. for each significant contract it proposes to enter into, to consider the relevant gender implications and the opportunities for lawfully promoting equality;
    2. to ensure that contractual specifications take into account the gender equality objectives for the contract;
    3. to ensure that the other contractual terms and conditions for the relevant contract take into account and reflect those objectives;
    4. to use the power under European Union public procurement legislation to lay down performance conditions concerning social considerations;
    5. to make its staff or advisers responsible for public procurement tasks and the letting of contracts aware of the gender equality dimension of their work, including via training for this purpose;
    6. to ensure that the terms of a main contract include the requirement that sub-contractors should also comply with the relevant obligations to promote gender equality.

The service delivery role

The service delivery role

 

Article 13 – Education and Lifelong Learning

  1. The Signatory recognises the right to education for everyone, and further recognizes the right of access for all to vocational and continuing training. The Signatory recognises the vital role of education, at all stages of life, in delivering true equality of opportunity, in providing essential life and employment skills, and in opening up new possibilities for professional and vocational development.
  2. The Signatory undertakes, within the range of its competences, to secure or promote equal access to education and vocational and continuing training for women and men, girls and boys.
  3. The Signatory recognises the need to eliminate any stereotyped concept of the roles of women and men in all forms of education. In order to do this it undertakes to carry out or promote, as appropriate, the following measures:
    1. The revision of educational materials, of school and other educational programmes and teaching methods, to ensure that they combat stereotypical attitudes and practices
    2. The undertaking of specific actions to encourage non-traditional career choices
    3. The specific inclusion, within courses of civic education and education for citizenship, of elements that emphasize the importance of the equal participation of women and men in the democratic processes.
  4. The Signatory recognises that the ways in which schools and other educational establishments are governed represents important models for children and young people. It therefore undertakes to promote the balanced representation of women and men at all levels of school management and governance.

 

Article 14 – Health

  1. The Signatory recognizes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of a high standard of physical and mental health, and affirms that access to good quality health care and medical treatment and preventative health care for women and men is essential for the realization of this right.
  2. The Signatory recognizes that in securing equal opportunities for women and men to enjoy good health, medical and health services must take account of their different needs. They further recognise that these needs arise not only from biological differences, but also from differences in living and working conditions and from stereotypical attitudes and assumptions.
  3. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable actions, within the range of its responsibilities, to promote and secure the highest levels of good health of its citizens. To this end, the Signatory undertakes to carry out or promote, as appropriate, the following measures:
  • Incorporating a gender based approach to the planning, resourcing and delivery of health and medical services
  • Ensuring that health promotion activities, including those aimed at encouraging a healthy diet and the importance of exercise, include a recognition of the different needs and attitudes of women and men
  • Ensuring that health workers, including those involved in health promotion, recognise the ways in which gender affects medical and health care, and take into account women’s and men’s different experience of that care
  • Ensuring that women and men have access to appropriate health information.

 

Article 15 – Social Care and Services

  1.  The Signatory recognises that everyone has the right to necessary social services and to benefit from social assistance in the event of need.
  2. The Signatory recognises that women and men have different needs which may arise from differences in their social and economic conditions and other factors. Therefore in order to ensure that women and men have equal access to social care and social services the Signatory will take all reasonable measures to:
  • Incorporate a gender based approach to the planning, resourcing and delivery of social care and social services
  • Ensure that those involved in the delivery of social care and social services recognise the ways in which gender affects those services, and take into account women’s and men’s different experience of that care.

Article 16 – Childcare

  1. The Signatory recognizes the essential role that good quality, affordable childcare, available to all parents and carers, whatever their financial situation, plays in promoting true equality between women and men, and in enabling them to reconcile their work, public and private lives. The Signatory further recognizes the contribution that such childcare makes to the economic and social life and fabric of the local community and of society at large.
  2. The Signatory commits itself to make the provision and promotion of such childcare, directly or through other providers, one of its priorities. It further undertakes to encourage the provision of such child care by others, including the provision of, or support for, child care by local employers.
  3. The Signatory further recognizes that the upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility between men and women and society as a whole, and undertakes to counter the gender stereotype according to which child care is seen as being mainly the task or responsibility of women.

 

Article 17 – Care of other Dependants

  1.  The Signatory recognises that women and men have responsibilities to care for dependants other than children and that this responsibility may affect their ability to play a full role in economic and social life.
  2. The Signatory further recognises that such caring responsibilities fall disproportionately on women and are therefore a barrier to equality of women and men.
  3. The Signatory commits itself to counter this inequality by, as appropriate:
  •  Making the provision and promotion of high quality, affordable care for dependants, directly or through other providers, one of its priorities
  • Providing support and promoting opportunities for those suffering social isolation as a result of their caring responsibilities
  • Campaigning against the stereotype which assumes that caring for dependants is primarily the responsibility of women.

Article 18 – Social Inclusion

  1. The Signatory recognises that everyone has the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion and furthermore that women, in general, are more likely to suffer from social exclusion because they have less access to resources, goods, services and opportunities than men.
  2. The Signatory therefore undertakes, across the full range of its services and activities, and working with social partners, to take measures within the framework of an overall co-ordinated approach to:
  • Promote the effective access of all of those who live or risk living in a situation of social exclusion or poverty, to employment, housing, training, education, culture, information and communication technologies, social and medical assistance
  • Recognise the particular needs and situation of women experiencing social exclusion
  • Promote the integration of migrant women and men, taking into account their specific needs.

 

Article 19 – Housing

  1. The Signatory recognizes the right to housing, and affirms that access to good quality housing represents one of the most essential human needs, vital to the well-being of the individual and his or her family.
  2. The Signatory recognizes further that women and men often have specific and distinct needs in relation to housing which must be taken fully into account, including the fact that:
    1. On average, women have less income and resources than men, and therefore require housing that is affordable for them;
    2. Women are the head of household in most single parent families, with consequent needs for access to social housing;
    3. Vulnerable men are often over-represented amongst the homeless.
  3. The Signatory therefore commits itself, as appropriate:
    1. To provide or promote access to housing of an adequate size and standard and with a decent living environment for all, and accessible to essential services;
    2. To take steps to prevent homelessness, and in particular to provide assistance to the homeless, based on criteria of need, vulnerability and nondiscrimination;
    3. To assist, according to their powers, in making the price of housing accessible to those without adequate resources.
  4. The Signatory also undertakes to ensure or to promote the equal right of women and men to be the tenant, owner, or other form of property-holder, of their home, and also, to that end, to use its powers or influence to ensure that women have equal access to mortgages and other forms of financial assistance and credit for housing purposes.

 

Article 20 – Culture, Sport and Recreation

  1. The Signatory recognizes the right of everyone to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the arts.
  2. The Signatory furthermore recognizes the role that sport plays in contributing to the life of the community and to securing the rights to health as outlined in Article 14. It also recognises that women and men have the right to equal access to cultural, recreational and sporting activities and facilities.
  3. The Signatory recognizes that women and men may have different experiences and interests in relation to culture, sport and recreation and that these may be the result of gender-stereotyped attitudes and actions, and therefore commits itself to carry out or promote measures including, as appropriate:
  • Ensuring as far as is reasonable that women and men, boys and girls have equal provision and access to sporting, recreation and cultural facilities and activities
  • Encouraging women and men, boys and girls to take part equally in sports and cultural activities, including those traditionally seen as predominantly “female” or “male”
  • Encouraging artists and cultural and sporting associations to promote cultural and sporting activities which challenge stereotypical views of women and men
  • Encouraging public library services to challenge gender stereotypes in their stock of books and other materials and in their promotional activities.

Article 21 – Safety and Security

  1.  The Signatory recognizes the right of each woman and man to security of the person, and to liberty of movement, and that these rights cannot be freely or equally exercised if women or men are unsafe or insecure, whether in the private or public domain, or if they feel unsafe or insecure.
  2. The Signatory further recognizes that women and men, in part due to different obligations or lifestyles, often face differing problems of safety and security, which need to be addressed.
  3. The Signatory therefore commits itself:
    1. to analyse from a gender perspective the statistics concerning the volume and patterns of incidents (including serious crime against the individual) that affect the security or safety of women and men, and if appropriate to measure the level and nature of fear of crime or other sources of insecurity;
    2. to develop and implement strategies, policies and actions, including specific improvements to the state or design of the local environment (for example, transport interchanges, car parks, street lighting), or to policing and related services, to enhance the practical security and safety of women and men, and to seek to reduce their respective perceptions of lack of safety and security.

 

Article 22 – Gender-Based Violence

  1.  The Signatory recognizes that gender-based violence, which disproportionately affects women, constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights and is an offence to the dignity and to the physical and emotional integrity of human beings.
  2. The Signatory recognises that gender-based violence arises from the idea, on the part of the perpetrator, of the superiority of one sex over the other in the context of an unequal relationship of power.
  3. The Signatory therefore commits itself to establish and strengthen policies and actions against gender-based violence, including:
  • Providing or assisting specific support structures for victims
  • Providing public information, in each of the mainly used local languages, on the assistance available in the area
  • Ensuring that professional staff have training in identifying and supporting victims
  • Ensuring that there is effective co-ordination between the relevant services such as the police, health and housing authorities
  • Promoting awareness-raising campaigns and educational programmes aimed at potential and actual victims and perpetrators.

 

Article 23 – Human Trafficking

  1. The Signatory recognizes that the crime of human trafficking, which disproportionately affects women and girls, constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights and an offence to the dignity and to the physical and emotional integrity of human beings.
  2. The Signatory undertakes to establish and strengthen policies and actions to prevent human trafficking including as appropriate:
  • Information and awareness-raising campaigns
  • Training programmes for professional staff responsible for identifying and supporting victims
  • Measures to discourage demand
  • Appropriate measures to assist victims including access to medical treatment, adequate and secure housing and language translation.

Planning and Sustainable Development

Planning and Sustainable Development

Article 24 – Sustainable Development

  1. The Signatory recognizes that, in planning and developing strategies for the future of its area, the principles of sustainable development must be fully respected, involving the balanced integration of the economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions, and also, in particular, including the need to promote and achieve equality of women and men.
  2. The Signatory therefore commits itself to take into account the principle of equality of women and men as a fundamental dimension of all its planning, or development of strategies, for the sustainable development of its area.

Article 25 – Urban and Local Planning

  1. The Signatory recognizes the importance of its spatial, transport, economic development and land use policies and plans in creating the conditions within which the right to equality of women and men in local life may be more fully achieved.
  2. The Signatory commits itself to ensure that, in drawing up, adopting and implementing such policies and plans.
  • the need to promote effective equality in all aspects of local life is fully taken into account,
  • the specific needs of women and men, in relation for example to employment, access to services and cultural life, education and family responsibilities, based on relevant local and other data, including the signatory’s own gender assessments, are properly taken into account
  • high quality design solutions are adopted which take into account the specific needs of women and men.

Article 26 – Mobility and Transport

  1. The Signatory recognizes that mobility and access to means of transport are essential conditions for women and men to be able to exercise many of their rights, tasks and activities, including access to work, education, culture and essential services. It also recognizes that the sustainability and success of a municipality or region depends to a significant degree on the development of an effective, high quality transport infrastructure and public transport service.
  2. The Signatory further recognizes that women and men often have, in practice, different needs, as well as patterns of usage, in relation to mobility and transport, based on factors such as income, caring responsibilities or hours of work, and that consequently, women frequently form a greater proportion of users of public transport than men.
  3. The Signatory therefore commits itself:
    1.  to take into account the relevant mobility needs, and the patterns of transport usage, of women and men respectively, including those from urban and rural communities;
    2.  to ensure that the transport services available to citizens in the area of the authority assist in meeting the specific as well as common needs of women and men, and in realising the real equality of women and men in local life.
  4. The Signatory further commits itself to promote the progressive improvement of the public transport services in and for its area, including intermodal connections, in order to address the specific and common needs of women and men for regular, affordable, safe and accessible transport, and to contribute to its sustainable development.

Article 27 – Economic Development

  1. The Signatory recognizes that the achievement of a balanced and sustainable economic development is a vital component of a successful municipality or region, and that its activities and services in this field can contribute significantly to the advancement of equality of women and men.
  2. The Signatory recognises the need to increase the rate and quality of employment of women, and further recognises that the risk of poverty linked to long term unemployment and unpaid work is particularly high for women.
  3. The Signatory commits itself, in relation to its activities and services in the field of economic development, to take fully into account the needs and interests of women and men, and the opportunities to advance equality between them, and to take the appropriate actions to this end. Such actions may include:
  • Assistance to women entrepreneurs
  • Ensuring that financial and other support to enterprises promote gender equality
  • Encouragement to women trainees to learn skills and achieve qualifications for jobs traditionally seen as “male” and vice versa
  • Encouragement to employers to recruit women apprentices and trainees in relation to skills, qualifications and positions traditionally seen as “male”, and vice versa.

Article 28 – Environment

  1. The Signatory recognizes its responsibility to work towards a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment in its area, including local policies in relation to waste, noise, air quality, biodiversity and the impact of climate change. It recognizes the equal right of women and men to benefit from its services and policies in relation to the environment.
  2. The Signatory recognizes that in many places the lifestyles of women and men differ, and that women and men may tend to differ in their use of local services and public or open spaces, or confront different environmental problems.
  3. The Signatory accordingly commits itself, in developing its environmental policies and services, to have full and equal regard to the specific needs and lifestyles of women and men respectively, and to the principle of solidarity between the generations.

The regulator role

The regulator role

Article 29 – Local Government as Regulator

  1. The Signatory, in carrying out its tasks and competences as regulator of relevant activities within its area, recognizes the important role that effective regulation and consumer protection plays in ensuring the safety and well-being of its local population, and that women and men may be differentially affected by the relevant regulated activities.
  2. The Signatory commits itself, in carrying out its regulatory tasks, to take into account the specific needs, interests and circumstances of women and men.

Twinning and international co-operation

Twinning and international co-operation

Article 30

  1. The Signatory recognizes the value of twinning and of European and international co-operation by local and regional governments, in bringing citizens closer together, and in promoting mutual learning and understanding across national frontiers.
  2. The Signatory commits itself, in its activities in the fields of twinning and European and international co-operation:
  • to involve women and men, from different backgrounds, on an equal basis in these activities
  • to use its twinning relationships and European and international partnerships as a platform for exchange of experience and mutual learning on issues relating to equality of women and men
  • to integrate a gender equality dimension into its decentralised co-operation actions.

The European Union and Gender Equality

 

 

Equality between women and men is one of the European Union’s founding values. It goes back to 1957 when the principle of equal pay for work of equal value became part of the Treaty of Rome. Over the past few decades, the EU has notably worked for:

  • Equal treatment legislation;
  • Gender mainstreaming (integration of a gender perspective into all policies);
  • Specific measures for the advancement of women.

 

The Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 establishes the Commission’s work programme in terms of gender equality for the 2016-2019 period. It is a comprehensive framework outlining the Commission’s commitments to promote gender equality in all its policies as well as into EU funding programmes. The Commission has defined the following priority areas for action:

  • equal economic independence for women and men;
  • equal pay for work of equal value;
  • equality in decision-making;
  • dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence; and
  • promoting gender equality beyond the EU.

 

The strategic engagement highlights the contribution of gender equality to economic growth and sustainable development and continues to corroborate the 2011-2020 European Pact for gender equality. It builds on the priorities and experiences of the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015; the five key areas identified in 2010 remain valid today.

 

Every year progress is reported and presented in the Report on equality between women and men in the EU.

 

 


Presentation

Presentation

The Atlas of signatories of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life is a tool for identifying signatories of the Charter, action plans and good practices. It aims to promote best practices in the field of gender equality in local life, to facilitate exchanges between signatories and to encourage the development of decentralized cooperation and twinning projects.


Find a signatory

The Atlas of signatories of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life is a tool for identifying signatories of the Charter, action plans and good practices. It aims to promote best practices in the field of gender equality in local life, to facilitate exchanges between signatories and to encourage the development of decentralised cooperation and twinning projects.


Good practices

The Atlas of signatories of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life is a tool for identifying signatories of the Charter, action plans and good practices. It aims to promote best practices in the field of gender equality in local life, to facilitate exchanges between signatories and to encourage the development of decentralized cooperation and twinning projects.


Signatory


event Calendrier 1

event Calendrier 1

event Calendrier 1

event Calendrier 1event Calendrier 1

event Calendrier 1

event Calendrier 1


Soon available

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


European Union programmes

Your local/regional authority is looking for financial support for a project with a European dimension in the field of gender equality? You can apply for a European Union grant by replying to calls for proposals published on the European Commission website. DG Justice and Consumers issues calls for proposals under two programmes:

 

Justice programme (2014-2020)

Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme (2014-2020)

 

Previous Programmes 2007-2013

The Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme replaced three earlier funding programmes which expired in 2013:

  • Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme
  • Daphne III Programme
  • Progress Programme: Anti-discrimination and Gender Equality strands
 

European Social Fund (ESF)

The ESF supports activities in the Member States that promote women’s employment, including projects that:

  • Promote women’s access to, and participation in, all levels of the labour market and help close pay gaps and support women’s financial independence;
  • Promote women entrepreneurs and women’s participation in science and technology, in particular in decision-making positions;
  • Combat gender stereotypes in career selection and the professions, and promote lifelong learning; and
  • Reconcile work and family life and offer support for childcare facilities and carers of dependants. Support the integration migrant women into the labour market.

More information: http://ec.europa.eu/esf/home.jsp?langId=en

 

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)

EIGE regularly publishes calls for tenders and expressions of interest on their website.


Other programmes

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS Nordic Gender Equality Fund 2017

 

Every year the Nordic Council of Minister’s Gender Equality Fund grants funding for Nordic cooperation activities in which at least three organisations from at least three Nordic countries collaborate to promote gender equality. These grants target a large scale of non-commercial actors, among them, local and regional authorities involved in activities and cooperation in the field of gender equality in the Nordic Region. The funding requested should be between 50 000 and 500 000 DKK.

 

THIS FUNDING SCHEME ONLY CONCERNS LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS FROM THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

Support can be granted for the projects involving the following activities:

  • Nordic conferences/meetings
  • Investigations/studies
  • Network development
  • Projects
  • Participation of voluntary organisations in Nordic or international conferences/courses/meetings

Moreover, at least three Nordic countries, where the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands can count as one. Funding may also be granted for activities involving collaboration in neighbouring areas (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as North-West Russia) in which at least two Nordic countries are participating. The primary applicant should come from a Nordic country, the Faroe Islands, Greenland or the Åland Islands.

 

-Deadline for this year is 31 March 2017-

 

IMPORTANT DATES FOR THE FUND 2017

 

March 1: Call opens

March 31: Call closes

May: Decisions are communicated to the applicants

June: Contracts are signed

 

 

More information and application on NIKK website.


slide3

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide4

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide5

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide6

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide7

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide8

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


slide9

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


The political role

The political role

 

Article 2 – Political Representation

  1. The Signatory recognizes the equal rights of women and men to vote, to be a candidate for and to hold elected office.
  2. The Signatory recognises the equal rights of women and men to participate in the formulation and implementation of policy, to hold public office and to perform all public functions at all levels of government.
  3. The Signatory recognizes the principle of balanced representation on all elected and public decision making bodies.
  4. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable measures in support of the above rights and principle, including:
      • to encourage women to register to vote, to exercise their individual voting rights and to be a candidate for public office
      • to encourage political parties and groups to adopt and implement the principle of balanced representation of women and men
      • to this end, to encourage the political parties and groups to take all lawful steps, including by adopting quotas where deemed appropriate, to increase the number of women selected as candidates and thereafter elected
      • to regulate its own procedures and standards of conduct, so that potential candidates and elected representatives are not discouraged by stereotypical forms of behaviour and language, or by harassment
      • to adopt measures to enable elected representatives to reconcile their private, work and public life, for example by ensuring that timetables, working methods and availability of dependent care allow all elected representatives to participate fully.

5. The Signatory commits itself to promote and apply the principle of balanced representation to its own decision-making and consultative bodies, and in its appointments to external bodies.

However, where the authority does not currently enjoy a balanced representation of women and men, it will implement the above on a basis no less favourable to the minority gender than its current gender balance.

6. It furthermore commits itself to ensure that no public or political post to which it appoints or elects a representative is, in principle or in practice, restricted to or seen as the normal role of one gender, due to stereotypical attitudes.

Article 3 – Participation in Political and Civic Life

  1. The Signatory recognizes that the right of citizens to participate in the conduct of public affairs is a fundamental democratic principle, and that women and men have the right to participate equally in the governance and public life of their region, municipality, and local community.
  2. In relation to the different forms of public participation in its own affairs, for example via advisory committees, neighbourhood councils, eparticipation or participatory planning exercises, the Signatory commits itself to ensure that women and men are able to participate equally in practice. Where existing means of participation do not lead to such equality, it undertakes to develop and test new methods.
  3. The Signatory undertakes to promote the active participation in its political and civic life of women and men from all sections of the community, in particular of women and men from minority groups who may otherwise be excluded.

Article 4 – The Public Commitment for Equality

1. The Signatory shall, as the democratic leader and representative for its community and territory, make a formal public commitment to the principle of equality of women and men in local life, including:

      • the announcement of the signing of this Charter by the Signatory, following debate in and adoption by its highest representative body
      • an undertaking to fulfil its commitments under this Charter, and to report publicly, on a regular basis, on progress in implementing its Equality Action Plan
      • an undertaking that the Signatory, and its elected members, will adhere to and uphold good standards of behaviour, in relation to gender equality

2. The Signatory will use its democratic mandate to encourage other political and public institutions and private bodies, and civil society organisations, to take actions to ensure, in practice, the right to equality of women and men.

Article 5 – Working with partners to promote equality

  1. The Signatory undertakes to co-operate with all of its partners, from the public and private sectors as well as the organisations of civil society, in order to promote greater equality of women and men in all aspects of life within its area. It will in particular seek to co-operate with its social partners to this end.
  2. The Signatory will consult with its partner bodies and organisations, including its social partners, in developing and reviewing its Equality Action Plans, and on other major issues related to equality.

Article 6 – Countering Stereotypes

  1. The Signatory commits itself to counter and, so far as possible, prevent prejudices, practices and use of language and images which are based on the idea of the superiority or inferiority of either of the sexes, or on stereotyped roles for women and men.
  2. To this end, the Signatory will ensure that its own public and internal communications are fully in accordance with this commitment, and that they promote positive gender images and examples.
  3. The Signatory will also help its staff, by training and other means, to identify and eliminate stereotypical attitudes and behaviour, and will also regulate standards of behaviour in this regard.
  4. The Signatory will conduct activities and campaigns to raise awareness of the detrimental role played by gender stereotypes to the achievement of equality of women and men.

Article 7 – Good Administration and Consultation

1. The Signatory recognizes the right of women and men to have their affairs handled equally, impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time, including:

      • The right to be heard before any individual decision which might affect them adversely is taken
      • The duty of the authority to give reasons for its decisions
      • The right to relevant information on matters affecting them.

2. The Signatory recognizes that, across the range of its competences, the quality of its policies and decision making are likely to be enhanced if all those who may be affected have an opportunity, at a formative stage, to be consulted, and that it is essential that women and men are given in practice equal access to relevant information, and equal opportunity to respond.

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself to take the following steps as appropriate:

  • Ensuring that arrangements for providing information take into account the needs of women and men, including their respective access to information and communication technologies
  • Ensuring that where consultation takes place, those whose views are otherwise least likely to be heard are able to participate equally in the consultation process, and that lawful positive actions are taken to ensure that this happens
  • Conducting, where appropriate, separate consultation activities for women.

International Conference of Local Elected Women

International Conference “Gender Equality, a Priority for Global Development”

On the initiative of Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and Anne Hidalgo, 1st Deputy Mayor of Paris and Chair of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality, a Global Conference gathering local elected women from all over the world will take place from Wednesday 30 January to Friday 1 February 2013 at Paris City Hall.
 
This Conference is organised jointly by the women’s networks of UCLG, Metropolis, UCLGA (NLEWA), FLACMA (RedLamugol) and CEMR, and will allow us to debate on three main working areas of the Standing Committee:
 
The participation of women in local decision-making;

  • The role of women in innovative financing and access to basic services;
  • Safer cities for women.

Entitled “Gender Equality, a Priority for Global Development”, this event will aim at proposing ideas for reflection and a roadmap to ensure that the participation of women in decision making in all fields (politics, economy, financial and human development) becomes a priority to the Global Agenda Post-2015.
 
This conference is not only for women local and regional elected representatives, but also for men that are interested in the topic of equality between women and men in local life.
 
On this occasion, the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life will officially launch its website.


One Billion Rising

One billion women and men are expected to strike, dance and rise against violence against women on 14 February 2013. This event, called ‘One billion rising’, has been initiated by V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, and aims at gathering as many people as possible to challenge and shatter the global acceptance of violence against women.

 

The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, among others, is going to be part of this global call for action, and will organise an event in Nicosia on 14 February 2013 at the Mall of Cyprus in partnership with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, Creativity Dance Studio and Mix FM Radio 102.3.

 

More information: http://onebillionrising.org/


1st European Forum on Best practices in Gender Equality

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.


Article 1

1. The Signatory recognizes that the right to equality of women and men is a fundamental prerequisite of democracy, and that a democratic society cannot afford to ignore the skills, knowledge, experience and creativity of women. To this end, it must ensure, on a basis of equality, the inclusion, representation and involvement of women from different backgrounds and of different age groups in all spheres of political and public decision-making.

 

2. The Signatory, as the democratically elected body responsible for promoting the well-being of its population and area, therefore commits itself to promote and advance the practical application of this right in all of its spheres of activity – as democratic leader of the local community, provider and commissioner of services, planner and regulator, and as employer.


Article 2 – Political Representation

1. The Signatory recognizes the equal rights of women and men to vote, to be a candidate for and to hold elected office.


2. The Signatory recognises the equal rights of women and men to participate in the formulation and implementation of policy, to hold public office and to perform all public functions at all levels of government.


3. The Signatory recognizes the principle of balanced representation on all elected and public decision making bodies.


4. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable measures in support of the above rights and principle, including:

  • to encourage women to register to vote, to exercise their individual voting rights and to be a candidate for public office
  • to encourage political parties and groups to adopt and implement the principle of balanced representation of women and men
  • to this end, to encourage the political parties and groups to take all lawful steps, including by adopting quotas where deemed appropriate, to increase the number of women selected as candidates and thereafter elected
  • to regulate its own procedures and standards of conduct, so that potential candidates and elected representatives are not discouraged by stereotypical forms of behaviour and language, or by harassment
  • to adopt measures to enable elected representatives to reconcile their private, work and public life, for example by ensuring that timetables, working methods and availability of dependent care allow all elected representatives to participate fully.

5. The Signatory commits itself to promote and apply the principle of balanced representation to its own decision-making and consultative bodies, and in its appointments to external bodies.


However, where the authority does not currently enjoy a balanced representation of women and men, it will implement the above on a basis no less favourable to the minority gender than its current gender balance.


6. It furthermore commits itself to ensure that no public or political post to which it appoints or elects a representative is, in principle or in practice, restricted to or seen as the normal role of one gender, due to stereotypical attitudes.


Article 3 – Participation in Political and Civic Life

1. The Signatory recognizes that the right of citizens to participate in the conduct of public affairs is a fundamental democratic principle, and that women and men have the right to participate equally in the governance and public life of their region, municipality, and local community.

 

2. In relation to the different forms of public participation in its own affairs, for example via advisory committees, neighbourhood councils, eparticipation or participatory planning exercises, the Signatory commits itself to ensure that women and men are able to participate equally in practice. Where existing means of participation do not lead to such equality, it undertakes to develop and test new methods.

 

3. The Signatory undertakes to promote the active participation in its political and civic life of women and men from all sections of the community, in particular of women and men from minority groups who may otherwise be excluded.


Article 4 – The Public Commitment for Equality

1. The Signatory shall, as the democratic leader and representative for its community and territory, make a formal public commitment to the principle of equality of women and men in local life, including:

 

  • the announcement of the signing of this Charter by the Signatory, following debate in and adoption by its highest representative body
  • an undertaking to fulfil its commitments under this Charter, and to report publicly, on a regular basis, on progress in implementing its Equality Action Plan
  • an undertaking that the Signatory, and its elected members, will adhere to and uphold good standards of behaviour, in relation to gender equality

 

2. The Signatory will use its democratic mandate to encourage other political and public institutions and private bodies, and civil society organisations, to take actions to ensure, in practice, the right to equality of women and men.

 


Article 5 – Working with partners to promote equality

1. The Signatory undertakes to co-operate with all of its partners, from the public and private sectors as well as the organisations of civil society, in order to promote greater equality of women and men in all aspects of life within its area. It will in particular seek to co-operate with its social partners to this end.

 

2. The Signatory will consult with its partner bodies and organisations, including its social partners, in developing and reviewing its Equality Action Plans, and on other major issues related to equality.


Article 6 – Countering Stereotypes

1. The Signatory commits itself to counter and, so far as possible, prevent prejudices, practices and use of language and images which are based on the idea of the superiority or inferiority of either of the sexes, or on stereotyped roles for women and men.

 

2. To this end, the Signatory will ensure that its own public and internal communications are fully in accordance with this commitment, and that they promote positive gender images and examples.

 

3. The Signatory will also help its staff, by training and other means, to identify and eliminate stereotypical attitudes and behaviour, and will also regulate standards of behaviour in this regard.

 

4. The Signatory will conduct activities and campaigns to raise awareness of the detrimental role played by gender stereotypes to the achievement of equality of women and men.


Article 7 – Good Administration and Consultation

1. The Signatory recognizes the right of women and men to have their affairs handled equally, impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time, including:

  • The right to be heard before any individual decision which might affect them adversely is taken
  • The duty of the authority to give reasons for its decisions
  • The right to relevant information on matters affecting them.

2. The Signatory recognizes that, across the range of its competences, the quality of its policies and decision making are likely to be enhanced if all those who may be affected have an opportunity, at a formative stage, to be consulted, and that it is essential that women and men are given in practice equal access to relevant information, and equal opportunity to respond.

 

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself to take the following steps as appropriate:

  • Ensuring that arrangements for providing information take into account the needs of women and men, including their respective access to information and communication technologies
  • Ensuring that where consultation takes place, those whose views are otherwise least likely to be heard are able to participate equally in the consultation process, and that lawful positive actions are taken to ensure that this happens
  • Conducting, where appropriate, separate consultation activities for women.

Article 8 – General Commitment

1. The Signatory will, in relation to all its competences, recognize, respect and promote the relevant rights and principles of equality of women and men, and combat disadvantage and discrimination related to gender.

 

2. The commitments set out in this Charter apply to a Signatory only where they, or relevant aspects of them, fall within its legal powers.

 


Article 9 – Gender Assessment

1. The Signatory undertakes, in relation to each of its areas of competence, to undertake gender assessments, as set out in this Article.

 

2. To this end, the Signatory undertakes to draw up a programme for implementation of its gender assessments, in accordance with its own priorities, resources and timescales, to be included or taken into account in its Equality Action Plan.

 

3. Gender assessments shall include, as relevant, the following steps:

  • Reviewing existing policies, procedures, practices and patterns and volumes of usage, in order to assess whether they disclose any unfair discrimination, whether they are based on gender stereotypes, and whether they adequately take into account any specific needs of women and men
  • Reviewing the allocation of resources, financial and other, for the above purposes
  • Identifying the priorities and, as appropriate, targets in order to tackle the relevant issues arising from these reviews, and to bring about identifiable improvements in service delivery
  • Undertaking, at an early stage, an assessment of all significant proposals for new or amended policies, procedures and changes in resource allocation, to identify their potential impact on women and men, and to make final decisions in the light of this assessment
  • Taking account of the needs or interests of those experiencing multiple discrimination or disadvantage.

Article 10 – Multiple Discrimination or Disadvantage

1. The Signatory recognizes that discrimination on any grounds such as sex, race, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation is prohibited.

 

2. The Signatory further recognizes that despite this prohibition, many women and men suffer from multiple discrimination or disadvantage, including socio-economic disadvantage, which has a direct impact on their ability to exercise the other rights set out and referred to in this Charter.

 

3. The Signatory commits itself, across the range of its competences, to take all reasonable actions to combat the effects of multiple discrimination or disadvantage including:

  • ensuring that the issues of multiple discrimination or disadvantage are addressed in its Equality Action Plan and gender assessments
  • ensuring that issues arising from multiple discrimination or disadvantage are taken into account when undertaking actions or measures under the other articles in this Charter
  • undertaking public information campaigns to combat stereotypes and to promote equal treatment for those women and men who may suffer multiple discrimination or disadvantage
  • taking specific measures to address the particular needs of migrant women and men.

Article 11

1. The Signatory in its role as employer recognises the right to equality of women and men in regard to all aspects of employment, including work organisation and working conditions.

 

2. The Signatory recognises the right to the reconciliation of professional, social and private life and the right to dignity and security in the workplace.

 

3. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable measures, including positive action within its legal powers, in support of the above rights.

 

4. The measures referred to in (3) include the following:

 

a)  a review of relevant policies and procedures relating to employment within its organisation, and the development and implementation of the employment part of its Equality Action Plan to address inequalities over a reasonable period of time, and inter alia covering:

  • Equal pay, including equal pay for work of equal value
  • Arrangements for reviewing pay, remuneration, pay systems and pensions
  • Measures to ensure fair and transparent promotion and career development opportunities
  • Measures to ensure a balanced representation of women and men at all levels, in particular to address any imbalance at senior management levels
  • Measures to tackle any sex-based job segregation, and to encourage employees to take on nontraditional employment
  • Measures to ensure fair recruitment
  • Measures to ensure appropriate, healthy and safe working conditions
  • Procedures for consultation with employees and their trade unions ensuring a balanced participation of women and men on any consultation or negotiating body

b)  Opposing sexual harassment in the workplace by making a clear statement that such behaviour is unacceptable, by supporting victims, by introducing and implementing transparent policies to deal with perpetrators, and by raising awareness of the issue;

c)  Moving towards a workforce at all levels of the organisation which reflects the social, economic and cultural diversity of their local population;

d) Supporting the reconciliation of professional, social and private life by:

  • introducing policies which allow, where appropriate, adjustments of working time and arrangements for care for dependants for employees
  • encouraging men to take up their entitlement to leave to care for dependants.

Article 12

1. The Signatory recognizes that, in carrying out its tasks and obligations in relation to public procurement, including contracts for the supply of products, the provision of services, or the execution of works, it has a responsibility to promote equality of women and men.

 

2. The Signatory recognizes that this responsibility is of particular significance where it proposes to contract out to another legal entity the provision of an important service to the public, for which the Signatory is by law responsible. In such cases, the Signatory will ensure that the legal entity that wins the contract (whatever its type of ownership) has the same responsibilities to ensure or promote equality of women and men as the Signatory would have had if it had provided the service directly.

 

3. The Signatory further undertakes to implement, wherever it considers appropriate, the following steps:

 

a) for each significant contract it proposes to enter into, to consider the relevant gender implications and the opportunities for lawfully promoting equality;

 

b) to ensure that contractual specifications take into account the gender equality objectives for the contract;

 

c) to ensure that the other contractual terms and conditions for the relevant contract take into account and reflect those objectives;

 

d) to use the power under European Union public procurement legislation to lay down performance conditions concerning social considerations;

 

e) to make its staff or advisers responsible for public procurement tasks and the letting of contracts aware of the gender equality dimension of their work, including via training for this purpose;

 

f)  to ensure that the terms of a main contract include the requirement that sub-contractors should also comply with the relevant obligations to promote gender equality.


Article 24 – Sustainable Development

1. The Signatory recognizes that, in planning and developing strategies for the future of its area, the principles of sustainable development must be fully respected, involving the balanced integration of the economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions, and also, in particular, including the need to promote and achieve equality of women and men.

 

2. The Signatory therefore commits itself to take into account the principle of equality of women and men as a fundamental dimension of all its planning, or development of strategies, for the sustainable development of its area.

 


Virginia Woolf Basqueskola for women elected representatives

 

The Association Basque of Municipalities EUDEL, has created a school for women local elected politicians, “the Virginia Woolf Basqueskola” together with the Basque Institute for Women – Emakunde and the Directorate for Victims of Gender Violence of the Basque Government. The school takes its name from the famous English writer, which was one of the promoters of modern feminism though, her book “A room of One’s Own” from 1929.  

 

The main objective of the school is to offer a place for women politicians to share experiences and to create a common network with other European local elected women. By providing coaching, practical tools and strategies the school aims to empower women in their political carrier.

 

The school is founded on studies showing that women and men engaged in politics neither have the same point of departure, nor the same way of living or approach to politics. Women shares common experiences that can benefit the society as a whole, therefore the ultimate goal for every society should be to achieve greater inclusion of women in mixed areas of politics and public accountability.

 

By bringing up strategies to meet and to compensate these different obstacles, the Virginia Woolf school will function as a tool enabling both women and men politicians to get an equal weight in public policy. The school is open for women politicians from both small and larger towns, with or without previous knowledge or experience having worked with gender equality issues/policies. It is anchored in a European context of existing networks of elected women and also open women engaged in civil platforms.

 

“Virgina Woolf Basqueskola” offers workshops, trainings and seminars for elected women to acquire knowledge and develop skills to manage the work in both large and small municipalities and also to stay informed on current debates and arguments constituting the basis for equality policies. It also offers coaching and provides practical tools for implementation of policies favouring gender equality at local level.

 

The school officially opened in June 2012 and a training-program started in September 2012. The themes that are brought up will be based on the needs and demands of participants. The three main fields focus on “Political responsibility and personal life”, “Gender communication and leadership” and “Gender Equality debates and arguments”.

 

So far, a seminar on coaching leadership development has been organized as well as on the topic of implementing gender mainstreaming in municipality policies. Gender budgeting has been used as an example of a strategy to address the challenges of the gender mainstreaming approach. Discussions have also been held on the obstacles that women face when entering office and municipal services.

 

For further information please visit: www.eudel.net or contact: basqueskola@eudel.net


Article 25 – Urban and Local Planning

1. The Signatory recognizes the importance of its spatial, transport, economic development and land use policies and plans in creating the conditions within which the right to equality of women and men in local life may be more fully achieved.

 

2. The Signatory commits itself to ensure that, in drawing up, adopting and implementing such policies and plans.

  • the need to promote effective equality in all aspects of local life is fully taken into account,
  • the specific needs of women and men, in relation for example to employment, access to services and cultural life, education and family responsibilities, based on relevant local and other data, including the signatory’s own gender assessments, are properly taken into account
  • high quality design solutions are adopted which take into account the specific needs of women and men.

 


Article 26 – Mobility and Transport

1. The Signatory recognizes that mobility and access to means of transport are essential conditions for women and men to be able to exercise many of their rights, tasks and activities, including access to work, education, culture and essential services. It also recognizes that the sustainability and success of a municipality or region depends to a significant degree on the development of an effective, high quality transport infrastructure and public transport service.

 

2. The Signatory further recognizes that women and men often have, in practice, different needs, as well as patterns of usage, in relation to mobility and transport, based on factors such as income, caring responsibilities or hours of work, and that consequently, women frequently form a greater proportion of users of public transport than men.

 

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself:

 

a) to take into account the relevant mobility needs, and the patterns of transport usage, of women and men respectively, including those from urban and rural communities;

 

b)  to ensure that the transport services available to citizens in the area of the authority assist in meeting the specific as well as common needs of women and men, and in realising the real equality of women and men in local life.

 

4. The Signatory further commits itself to promote the progressive improvement of the public transport services in and for its area, including intermodal connections, in order to address the specific and common needs of women and men for regular, affordable, safe and accessible transport, and to contribute to its sustainable development.

 


Article 27 – Economic Development

1. The Signatory recognizes that the achievement of a balanced and sustainable economic development is a vital component of a successful municipality or region, and that its activities and services in this field can contribute significantly to the advancement of equality of women and men.

 

2. The Signatory recognises the need to increase the rate and quality of employment of women, and further recognises that the risk of poverty linked to long term unemployment and unpaid work is particularly high for women.

 

3. The Signatory commits itself, in relation to its activities and services in the field of economic development, to take fully into account the needs and interests of women and men, and the opportunities to advance equality between them, and to take the appropriate actions to this end. Such actions may include:

  • Assistance to women entrepreneurs
  • Ensuring that financial and other support to enterprises promote gender equality
  • Encouragement to women trainees to learn skills and achieve qualifications for jobs traditionally seen as “male” and vice versa
  • Encouragement to employers to recruit women apprentices and trainees in relation to skills, qualifications and positions traditionally seen as “male”, and vice versa.

 


Article 28 – Environment

1. The Signatory recognizes its responsibility to work towards a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment in its area, including local policies in relation to waste, noise, air quality, biodiversity and the impact of climate change. It recognizes the equal right of women and men to benefit from its services and policies in relation to the environment.

 

2. The Signatory recognizes that in many places the lifestyles of women and men differ, and that women and men may tend to differ in their use of local services and public or open spaces, or confront different environmental problems.

 

3. The Signatory accordingly commits itself, in developing its environmental policies and services, to have full and equal regard to the specific needs and lifestyles of women and men respectively, and to the principle of solidarity between the generations.


Article 29 – Local Government as Regulator

1. The Signatory, in carrying out its tasks and competences as regulator of relevant activities within its area, recognizes the important role that effective regulation and consumer protection plays in ensuring the safety and well-being of its local population, and that women and men may be differentially affected by the relevant regulated activities.

 

2. The Signatory commits itself, in carrying out its regulatory tasks, to take into account the specific needs, interests and circumstances of women and men.


Article 30

1. The Signatory recognizes the value of twinning and of European and international co-operation by local and regional governments, in bringing citizens closer together, and in promoting mutual learning and understanding across national frontiers.

 

2. The Signatory commits itself, in its activities in the fields of twinning and European and international co-operation:

  • to involve women and men, from different backgrounds, on an equal basis in these activities
  • to use its twinning relationships and European and international partnerships as a platform for exchange of experience and mutual learning on issues relating to equality of women and men
  • to integrate a gender equality dimension into its decentralised co-operation actions.

Article 13 – Education and Lifelong Learning

1. The Signatory recognises the right to education for everyone, and further recognizes the right of access for all to vocational and continuing training. The Signatory recognises the vital role of education, at all stages of life, in delivering true equality of opportunity, in providing essential life and employment skills, and in opening up new possibilities for professional and vocational development.

 

2. The Signatory undertakes, within the range of its competences, to secure or promote equal access to education and vocational and continuing training for women and men, girls and boys.

 

3. The Signatory recognises the need to eliminate any stereotyped concept of the roles of women and men in all forms of education. In order to do this it undertakes to carry out or promote, as appropriate, the following measures:

  • The revision of educational materials, of school and other educational programmes and teaching methods, to ensure that they combat stereotypical attitudes and practices
  • The undertaking of specific actions to encourage non-traditional career choices
  • The specific inclusion, within courses of civic education and education for citizenship, of elements that emphasize the importance of the equal participation of women and men in the democratic processes.

 

4. The Signatory recognises that the ways in which schools and other educational establishments are governed represents important models for children and young people. It therefore undertakes to promote the balanced representation of women and men at all levels of school management and governance.

 


Article 14 – Health

1. The Signatory recognizes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of a high standard of physical and mental health, and affirms that access to good quality health care and medical treatment and preventative health care for women and men is essential for the realization of this right.

 

2. The Signatory recognizes that in securing equal opportunities for women and men to enjoy good health, medical and health services must take account of their different needs. They further recognise that these needs arise not only from biological differences, but also from differences in living and working conditions and from stereotypical attitudes and assumptions.

 

3. The Signatory commits itself to take all reasonable actions, within the range of its responsibilities, to promote and secure the highest levels of good health of its citizens. To this end, the Signatory undertakes to carry out or promote, as appropriate, the following measures:

  • Incorporating a gender based approach to the planning, resourcing and delivery of health and medical services
  • Ensuring that health promotion activities, including those aimed at encouraging a healthy diet and the importance of exercise, include a recognition of the different needs and attitudes of women and men
  • Ensuring that health workers, including those involved in health promotion, recognise the ways in which gender affects medical and health care, and take into account women’s and men’s different experience of that care
  • Ensuring that women and men have access to appropriate health information.

 


The Virtual Town for Equality

The European Town for Equality was a Council of European Municipalities and Regions’ initiative funded by the European Commission. Its aim was to establish a methodology towards achieving the equality town. This virtual town can be used as a model enabling local governments to improve the situation in terms of gender equality. Its final conference took place in February 2005.


Download the pubication:


Article 15 – Social Care and Services

1. The Signatory recognises that everyone has the right to necessary social services and to benefit from social assistance in the event of need.

 

2. The Signatory recognises that women and men have different needs which may arise from differences in their social and economic conditions and other factors. Therefore in order to ensure that women and men have equal access to social care and social services the Signatory will take all reasonable measures to:

  • Incorporate a gender based approach to the planning, resourcing and delivery of social care and social services
  • Ensure that those involved in the delivery of social care and social services recognise the ways in which gender affects those services, and take into account women’s and men’s different experience of that care.

 


Article 16 – Childcare

1. The Signatory recognizes the essential role that good quality, affordable childcare, available to all parents and carers, whatever their financial situation, plays in promoting true equality between women and men, and in enabling them to reconcile their work, public and private lives. The Signatory further recognizes the contribution that such childcare makes to the economic and social life and fabric of the local community and of society at large.

 

2. The Signatory commits itself to make the provision and promotion of such childcare, directly or through other providers, one of its priorities. It further undertakes to encourage the provision of such child care by others, including the provision of, or support for, child care by local employers.

 

3. The Signatory further recognizes that the upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility between men and women and society as a whole, and undertakes to counter the gender stereotype according to which child care is seen as being mainly the task or responsibility of women.

 


Article 17 – Care of other Dependants

1. The Signatory recognises that women and men have responsibilities to care for dependants other than children and that this responsibility may affect their ability to play a full role in economic and social life.

 

2. The Signatory further recognises that such caring responsibilities fall disproportionately on women and are therefore a barrier to equality of women and men.

 

3. The Signatory commits itself to counter this inequality by, as appropriate:

  • Making the provision and promotion of high quality, affordable care for dependants, directly or through other providers, one of its priorities
  • Providing support and promoting opportunities for those suffering social isolation as a result of their caring responsibilities
  • Campaigning against the stereotype which assumes that caring for dependants is primarily the responsibility of women.

 


Article 18 – Social Inclusion

1. The Signatory recognises that everyone has the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion and furthermore that women, in general, are more likely to suffer from social exclusion because they have less access to resources, goods, services and opportunities than men.

 

2. The Signatory therefore undertakes, across the full range of its services and activities, and working with social partners, to take measures within the framework of an overall co-ordinated approach to:

  • Promote the effective access of all of those who live or risk living in a situation of social exclusion or poverty, to employment, housing, training, education, culture, information and communication technologies, social and medical assistance
  • Recognise the particular needs and situation of women experiencing social exclusion
  • Promote the integration of migrant women and men, taking into account their specific needs.

 


Article 19 – Housing

1. The Signatory recognizes the right to housing, and affirms that access to good quality housing represents one of the most essential human needs, vital to the well-being of the individual and his or her family.

 

2. The Signatory recognizes further that women and men often have specific and distinct needs in relation to housing which must be taken fully into account, including the fact that:

 

a) On average, women have less income and resources than men, and therefore require housing that is affordable for them;

 

b) Women are the head of household in most single parent families, with consequent needs for access to social housing;

 

c) Vulnerable men are often over-represented amongst the homeless.

 

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself, as appropriate:

 

a) To provide or promote access to housing of an adequate size and standard and with a decent living environment for all, and accessible to essential services;

 

b) (To take steps to prevent homelessness, and in particular to provide assistance to the homeless, based on criteria of need, vulnerability and nondiscrimination;

 

c) To assist, according to their powers, in making the price of housing accessible to those without adequate resources.

 

4. The Signatory also undertakes to ensure or to promote the equal right of women and men to be the tenant, owner, or other form of property-holder, of their home, and also, to that end, to use its powers or influence to ensure that women have equal access to mortgages and other forms of financial assistance and credit for housing purposes.

 


Swedish Starter Kit for Sustainable Gender Equality

Within the Program for Sustainable Equality, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) has developed a “Starting kit” on how to work with gender mainstreaming in local and regional authorities. SALAR has also initiated a training program on gender mainstreaming providing support for managers, politicians and employees working in municipalities on how to integrate gender issues in municipal activities. The program on Sustainable Equality focuses on helping municipalities to offer equal services to citizens regardless of gender.


Watch on YouTube:

video


Article 20 – Culture, Sport and Recreation

1. The Signatory recognizes the right of everyone to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the arts.

 

2. The Signatory furthermore recognizes the role that sport plays in contributing to the life of the community and to securing the rights to health as outlined in Article 14. It also recognises that women and men have the right to equal access to cultural, recreational and sporting activities and facilities.

 

3. The Signatory recognizes that women and men may have different experiences and interests in relation to culture, sport and recreation and that these may be the result of gender-stereotyped attitudes and actions, and therefore commits itself to carry out or promote measures including, as appropriate:

  • Ensuring as far as is reasonable that women and men, boys and girls have equal provision and access to sporting, recreation and cultural facilities and activities
  • Encouraging women and men, boys and girls to take part equally in sports and cultural activities, including those traditionally seen as predominantly “female” or “male”
  • Encouraging artists and cultural and sporting associations to promote cultural and sporting activities which challenge stereotypical views of women and men
  • Encouraging public library services to challenge gender stereotypes in their stock of books and other materials and in their promotional activities.

 


Article 21 – Safety and Security

1. The Signatory recognizes the right of each woman and man to security of the person, and to liberty of movement, and that these rights cannot be freely or equally exercised if women or men are unsafe or insecure, whether in the private or public domain, or if they feel unsafe or insecure.

 

2. The Signatory further recognizes that women and men, in part due to different obligations or lifestyles, often face differing problems of safety and security, which need to be addressed.

 

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself:

 

a) to analyse from a gender perspective the statistics concerning the volume and patterns of incidents (including serious crime against the individual) that affect the security or safety of women and men, and if appropriate to measure the level and nature of fear of crime or other sources of insecurity;


b) to develop and implement strategies, policies and actions, including specific improvements to the state or design of the local environment (for example, transport interchanges, car parks, street lighting), or to policing and related services, to enhance the practical security and safety of women and men, and to seek to reduce their respective perceptions of lack of safety and security.

 


Article 22 – Gender-Based Violence

1. The Signatory recognizes that gender-based violence, which disproportionately affects women, constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights and is an offence to the dignity and to the physical and emotional integrity of human beings.

 

2. The Signatory recognises that gender-based violence arises from the idea, on the part of the perpetrator, of the superiority of one sex over the other in the context of an unequal relationship of power.

 

3. The Signatory therefore commits itself to establish and strengthen policies and actions against gender-based violence, including:

  • Providing or assisting specific support structures for victims
  • Providing public information, in each of the mainly used local languages, on the assistance available in the area
  • Ensuring that professional staff have training in identifying and supporting victims
  • Ensuring that there is effective co-ordination between the relevant services such as the police, health and housing authorities
  • Promoting awareness-raising campaigns and educational programmes aimed at potential and actual victims and perpetrators.

 


Women in local politics in Europe

The information presented in this document has been compiled by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) in 2009.

The study – based on research carried out by the national associations from 34 countries of CEMR’s membership – gathers information and figures on women in local politics in Europe: legislation regarding women quotas, number of women members in municipal councils, number of women in the municipal executives, percentage of women mayors, etc.

An up-dated version of this study is currently being drafted and will be soon available.


Download the publication:


Article 23 – Human Trafficking

1. The Signatory recognizes that the crime of human trafficking, which disproportionately affects women and girls, constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights and an offence to the dignity and to the physical and emotional integrity of human beings.

 

2. The Signatory undertakes to establish and strengthen policies and actions to prevent human trafficking including as appropriate:

  • Information and awareness-raising campaigns
  • Training programmes for professional staff responsible for identifying and supporting victims
  • Measures to discourage demand
  • Appropriate measures to assist victims including access to medical treatment, adequate and secure housing and language translation.

 


Equal but different!

“Equal but Different” serial of videos were made within a regional project called “Promotion of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life” conducted by the Association Fenomena from Kraljevo, Serbia. Videos were produced by Aleksandra Kovacevic, theatre director from Kraljevo, in order to promote gender equality contrary to stereotypical roles of women and men in daily public and private life.


Watch on YouTube:

video


Welcome on the new website…

…dedicated to the european Charter of equality for women and men in local life!

The Observatory of the Charter has the pleasure to welcome you to its new website launched on the 31st of January 2013 on occasion of the International Conference of Local Elected Women “Gender Equality: a priority for global development” in Paris.

 

Available in English and French – but also in other European languages thanks to an instant translation tool – this collaborative and interactive website aims to promote the Charter, inform on the activities of the Observatory, disseminate good practices in the field of equality between women and men in local life and facilitate exchange between signatories.

 

Do you represent a local/regional authority that has signed the Charter?

Are you looking for tools to develop or evaluate your action plan?

Does your local/regional authority wish to sign the Charter?

Are you interested in the Charter and looking for more information?

Do you represent a NGO and wish to promote equality at local level?

This website is for you!

 

This website is intended to be used as a service platform and a communication tool. An Extranet has also been created to allow signatories of the Charter to update information in their Atlas form and share files.

 

The Observatory website is still under construction and will further be developed in the coming weeks and months. New features will soon be available: you will be able to subscribe to the Observatory newsletter, search for best practices in the Atlas, get information on funding programs in your country, etc.

 

In the meantime, we invite you to send us your comments and suggestions to help us to improve the website. Moreover, if you want to share good practices, disseminate information or inform us on an event taking place in your territory, please contact us at contact@preprod.charter-equality.eu.


Start using gender statistics to improve quality of services

By using gender disaggregated statistics on health services and ambulance care, the hospital of Sahlgrenska in Gothenburg discovered large differences in the treatment of women and men suffering from cardiac intensive diseases and hip fractures.

 

In order to improve the quality of their services, the hospital wanted to investigate how they could guarantee equal treatment for their patients. A working group at the hospital focusing on equality issues decided to look at gender equality from the perspective of the patients and investigate if there were differences in for example the treatment of patients waiting for operations.

 

The mangers were also offered courses in gender training. The hospital wanted to analyze the whole “hospitality chain”, from ambulance transports to rehabilitation-actions, to ensure equal services. Regarding cardiac intensive patients, the statistics showed that women had to wait longer at the emergency unit before they were moved to the cardiac intensive care, and that men with symptoms more often were sent by ambulance to the cardiac intensive. The study also revealed that men more often were given a more expensive treatment than women. Nevertheless, men were in general less satisfied with the treatment at the cardiac health services.

 

When looking more closely into this domain, it appeared that scientific research on cardiac diseases previously mainly has been done on men. This could be very misleading since women’s symptoms differ significantly from men’s. Women’s symptoms are more often diffuse, which could be the reasons to the differences in treatment. Therefore, it was concluded that there was a need to for further studies on the specific needs of women in order to offer better health care.  When it came to studies of rehabilitation, it was concluded that women and men had different priorities and valued different things.

 

The hospital also started using gender disaggregated statistics on ambulance care for hip fracture patients. The statistics revealed that 75 percent of these patients were women with a mean age of 85 years. The statistics also showed that women got lower priority than men at the emergencies, and that they more rarely were offered painkillers. The differences could be related to the fact that hip fractures had lower priority, which resulted in patients lying to wait very long in the emergencies, provoking further problems such as bedsores.

 

It became clear that management needed to be improved in order to raise the quality of services offered to patients. The study concluded that some treatments could be done directly in the ambulance. A new working method was therefore introduced, where an ambulance-station and an emergency unit was set up allowing faster treatment of the fractures. All patients regardless sex were also given painkillers immediately. This innovative method of making ambulances mobile emergency units lead to more equal and efficient treatment of patients.

 

Conclusion: start using gender statistics and analyse the outcomes that are revealed to improve quality of services! http://jamstall.nu


EWL petition for an EU Year to End Violence against Women

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has launched a e-petition to get as many signatures as possible to put pressure on European Commission President Barroso to establish an EU Year to End Violence against Women.
 
Why do the EWL ask for an EU Year to End Violence against Women and Girls?
 
“To date, the EU has no binding legislation regarding violence against women. This is critical, as violence against women is a human rights issue and affects approximately 45% of all women across Europe.

An estimated one-fifth of women in the EU suffer from violence within the home and more than one in ten women is a victim of sexual violence involving the use of force. Seven women die every day from domestic violence in the EU.


The EU must therefore raise awareness on the issue and affirm its political commitment to end violence against women. By establishing a European Year to end violence against women and girls, the EU would play a leading role in raising awareness on violence against women, and at the same time propose concrete measures to act against the perpetuation of violence against women.


EU Years are key policy tools to develop strong policies and involve all actors on a specific issue. This is why the European Women’s Lobby and its 2000 member organisations in 30 European countries want to see such year be established in 2015, and we need to prove to the EU institutions that everyone cares about it and that we want a Europe free from violence for all women and girls.”

 
Source
http://www.womenlobby.org/spip.php?rubrique172&lang=en


Regional project on the Charter in the Balkan

The Serbian association Fenomena initiated a regional project called “Promotion of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life” in cooperation with local NGOs and the Swedish NGO Kvinna till Kvinna.

 

The project was implemented in four cities in three different countries in the Balkan: Kraljevo Town, Medijana municipality (Serbia), Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kotor in Montenegro. It aimed to create conditions to develop policies, measures and budgeting to improve gender equality through the establishment of a Local Equality Action Plan in relation to the Charter. Several activities were launched within the project such as: 

  • training courses for municipal staff in gender equality
  • establishment of network of local stakeholders working in the field
  • publishing of informative material on gender equality at local level
  • studies on the state of gender equality and
  • exchange of experiences

 

The project was co-funded by Kvinna till Kvinna, the European Commission, Association Trentino con I Balcani and two local authorities from Serbia.

 

For further information please visit the following link: http://www.fenomena.org/ or the Facebook page: Towns for equality Gradovi za ravnopravnost


Beldur Barik – No Fear !

This is the motto of a cooperative campaign that began in 2006 bringing together Basque municipalities and institutions to promote Equality and act against gender-based violence.

 

The Beldur Barik project is coordinated by the network EUDEL from Berindinsarea and supported by Emakunde, the Directorate for Victims of Domestic Violence and the Provincial Councils of the three territories and also involving additional partners. The initiative has now become a comprehensive program with activities seeking to involve youth in the fight against gender based violence by recognizing and value attitudes and behaviours based on respect, equality, freedom and autonomy.

 

Studies show that gender based violence still persists, also in the younger generations. To fight gender based violence, it is necessary to learn how to detect indirect forms of domination that are common among young people. The Beldur Barik campaign seek to address the issue in a positive way from its origin, not only by referring to the violence in the context of a couple but by analysing how inequality between women and men persist in all areas in society and reflecting on how this is the basis of violent relationships. The campaign focuses on both prevention and intervention with all citizens and not only the victims.

 

Within the program, young people have the opportunity to discuss and reflect upon different issues such as sexuality, relationships, educations of girls and boys and the risk of being assaulted in the street. The courses especially aim to empower girls, providing them with skills to strengthen their self-esteem and help them to identify and cope with attacks. Within the project several artistic initiatives has been organized, offering an opportunity to discuss different aspects of equality and gender based violence:

 

  • A festival bringing together hundreds of girls and boys from the Basque country to get to know the work of groups and associations engaged in equality-issues. They could also participate in trainings and workshops.
  • A flashmob that was organized simultaneously in three Basque capitals promoting the Beldur Barik campaign
  • An audio-visual competition were young people were encouraged to submit their videos
  • The campaign has also launched a website www.beldurbarik.org where youth can exchange views and is also active on social media like Facebook, Tuenti and Twitter.

 

Beldur Barik represents a change of attitude since they encourage youth to understand and face reality, by thinking about their behaviours and attitudes. Instead of victimization of women, the messages about prevention spread among youth is positive and encourage youth to get involved to make a change.

 

For more information please visit the Beldur Barik website: www.beldurbarik.org Or contact the team behind the campaign: beldurbarik@eudel.net


Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now

Women pay a high price for motherhood, with steep childcare costs, availability or access to such facilities, and taxes deterring many from working more, according to a new OECD report.

 

Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now says that gains in female education attainment have contributed to a worldwide increase in women’s participation in the labour force, but considerable gaps remain in working hours, conditions of employment and earnings.

 
Source
www.oecd.org/gender/closingthegap.htm


Slow Progress in Closing Global Economic Gender Gap

The seventh annual World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2012 ranks Nordic countries in top spots, with Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden having closed over 80% of their gender gaps.

 

At the bottom of the ranking, some countries still need to close gender gaps of almost 50%, while more than half of those countries surveyed have failed to close their economic gender gap by more than 5% in the past seven years.

 

The Global Gender Gap Report ranks countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: access to healthcare, access to education, political participation and economic equality.

 

In the fields of health and education, while there remain critical gaps in some countries such as Pakistan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Benin, progress has been strong globally with 96% of health gaps and 93% of education gaps having now been closed across the 135 economies surveyed in the report.

 

By comparison, the global economic gender gap now stands at 60%, while only 20% of the political participation gap has been closed. Long term, this reflects an improvement in the economic status of women in a third of the 135 countries surveyed, including the world’s four largest economies: the USA, China, Japan and Germany. However, progress has been slow, with only nine countries having improved by more than 10% over the past seven years and 75 having improved by less than 5%. The data suggests a strong correlation between those countries that are most successful at closing the gender gap and those that are the most economically competitive.  

 

Source: http://www.weforum.org/news/slow-progress-closing-global-economic-gender-gap-new-major-study-finds


Test 2

Test 2


Vienna – a model city for Gender Mainstreaming

The City of Vienna in Austria started their work with gender mainstreaming in 2000, focusing on making this a cross-cutting strategy for the whole municipality. By investing in gender mainstreaming, the City aims to “achieve positive socio-political change for all its citizens”. The objective is to better meet the needs and demands of all its citizens and thereby improve quality of public services. This is done through evaluations and by considering all users of public services, not only from a gender perspective but also from a social, ethnic and health-related perspective.

 

The first step of this initiative was to integrate a gender perspective in the design of urban planning and also to develop and implement targeted projects for women. At this first stage, concept and methods were developed and tested to provide general guidelines for the implementation of gender mainstreaming in all areas.

 

The City of Vienna has also integrated gender budgeting in their budget proposals since 2006, reviewing all parts of the budget from a gender-perspective and presenting, in a separate chapter, who benefit from different items in the budget.

 

As a second step, the City focused on structural and systematic implementation of gender mainstreaming by concentrating the activities on raising awareness, transferring knowledge and developing evaluation and reporting methods. Municipal officers in charge of gender equality have also been appointed.

 

Examples

 

  • Urban planning – cemeteries

When analysing the visitors of cemeteries, it became clear that a majority of the visitors were elderly women. To adapt the cemeteries to their needs, the municipal department is currently improving and facilitating the accessibility (e.g. access of benches), making signs clearly visible and providing safe restrooms.

  • Public lighting and safety in public spaces

Good lightening is needed not only along roads but also along sidewalks, in parks etc, in order to improve the security for women, pedestrians and cyclists in general.

In the Resselpark at Karlsplatz in Vienna, all paths and bicycle stands were provided with lighting. A campaign focusing on improving lightening in parks and public spaces was also launched to especially highlight 200 parks in Vienna.

Measures to improve safety in underground car parks have also been implemented, by increasing the lightening, visibility of entrances and exits, installing cameras, hiring security staff and providing specific parking spaces for women visible for guards and close to exits and elevators.

  • Gender-sensitive education in day care centres for children

Gender-sensitive education in day care centres for children has been established in many places in Vienna. This consists in having both women and men working as teachers, providing pedagogic avoiding stereotyped areas for playing, revising school material and songs to avoid traditional gender roles. In one department, a special gender sensitive “education box” was developed. This was distributed for free to all municipal day care centres.

 

  • Awareness raising campaign

A campaign called “Vienna sees it differently” was launched to raise awareness and inform administrative staff working at the municipality as well as citizen about the stake of gender mainstreaming. In the campaign, pictures from common signs were used and reversed by gender – for example changing the signs for tabled in restrooms showing a man changing the diapers of a baby, or showing women working with construction, etc.

Extensive training programs have also been offered for municipal employees to support them in integrating gender equality in their work.

Sources:

City of Vienna
Ursula Bauer, Project Manager for Gender Mainstreaming, City of Vienna


Improving local employment policies by focusing on Gender Equality

The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) published in November 2011, together with the Spanish Institute for Women and the Center of Economic studies of Tomillo, a manual of good practices on employment policies for women from a local perspective.

The objective of the folder is to support local authorities in increasing the rate of employment and improve employability of women. It also provides recommendations for improving the functioning of the labour market, aiming to reduce existing inequalities, reaching inclusion and maintain quality employment for women. The folder also provides extensive information on local authorities’ role in elaborating employment policies to improve gender equality.

One chapter of the folder is dedicated to a study of best practices in different Spanish local authorities.

The experiences presented in the folder also provide solutions on how to actively promote the recruitment and integration of women through various activities such as:

  • Developing awareness campaigns to reduce resistance in the business sector to hire women
  • Providing grants and recruitment subsidies
  • Cooperating with enterprises to offer specialized training-programs in fields where there is a lack of knowledge, to increase chances for future recruitment
  • Through evaluating the needs of the local market, adapting carrier guidance and trainings accordingly to meet the local needs
  • Adapting training programs in sectors where women are not traditionally in majority. This will allow a broader range of training possibilities and increase the employability of women
  • Developing public-private partnerships to improve links between sectors and to establish contacts with potential employers
  • Facilitating formalities that are necessary to regularize women working erratically and in the shadow economy
  • Implementing social clauses in public procurement such as social criteria in the evaluation of the offer, to promote the integration of women on the labour market

The folder also proposes some ideas on how to overcome obstacles that can make it more difficult for women to integrate on the labour market.

The experiences presented in this folder show that existing inequalities in employment is a multicausal phenomenon that needs special measures covering different areas requiring flexibility and adaptability. Since women often take greater family responsibilities, especially when it comes to single parent households, it is important to adapt opportunities that enable women to harmonize private and professional lives.

It is also important to develop necessary aid for such families such as providing:

  • Service checks for families with low income
  • Playrooms or day-care for children
  • Employments or trainings that are more flexible with the working hours adapted to school schedules

Moreover, women from vulnerable groups for instance with low qualifications, women taking a lot of responsibility for the household work, women suffering from domestic violence, elderly women, women with disabilities, women from minorities etc. often lack of self-esteem. This is something that has to be taken into consideration when elaborating the training programs. Focus has to be put on empowerment of these groups; these women should be encouraged and recognized. In order to implement appropriate strategies, the folder recommends to:

  • Offer individual guidance and follow-up, by starting with interviews in the beginning of the training providing extensive information.
  • Offer group sessions to create a social support network where participants feel free to express themselves
  • Organize “clubs of employment” – open spaces for unemployed women to overcome the sense of isolation that can affect many unemployed people
  • Develop integrated insertion paths to combine different methods; career counselling, employment training, entrepreneurship support, job placement, personal coaching, etc.

International Conference of Local Elected Women

On the initiative of Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and Anne Hidalgo, Deputy Mayor of Paris and Chair of the Standing Committee for Equality between women and men of UCLG, Anne Hidalgo, the City of Paris hosted, from the 30th of January to the 1st of February, the Global Conference for Local Elected Women: Gender Equality, a priority for global development.

 

During the two-days conference, the following topics were discussed:

  • Participation of women in local decision-making
  • The role of women in innovative financing and access to basic services
  • Safer cities for women

This event gathered more than 500 participants from 78 countries. Among the speakers were Carolina Toha, Mayor of Santiago de Chile, Fatima Zahra Mansouri, Mayor of Marrakech, Tumukunde Hope, First deputy Mayor of Kingali and Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN Habitat.

 

On this occasion, Ewa Samuelsson, Deputy Mayor of Stockholm and Chair of CEMR Standing Committee for Equality, officially launched the website of the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality of Women and men in local life.

 

The conference resulted in the adoption of the “Paris Agenda”, a roadmap that outlines the necessary future steps to promote participation of women in decision-making positions in different areas: political, economic, social and cultural.

 

The Paris Agenda is available in English, French and Spanish.

 

The conference was jointly organized by the women’s networks of UCLG, Metropolis, UCLGA (NLEWA), FLACMA (RedLamugol) and CEMR and in partnership with the UN Women.


Posters for Tomorrow 2012: Gender Equality Now!

 

The City of Paris organized, in partnership with UNESCO and Les Arts Décoratifs, a free exhibition of 100 posters from 30 different cities in the world.

 

The 100 posters presented at the exhibition were selected from 3020 samples, sent from 105 countries in annual competition “Posters for Tomorrow”.

 

The exhibition was held from the 6th to the 9th of December 2012 at the Museum of Arts Décoratifs in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris.

 

You can see the 10 best posters here.

 

“Posters for Tomorrow” is the main project of the association 4 Tomorrow. It is an international poster competition on topics related to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

The 100 best posters selected by an international jury are simultaneously exposed in different cities of the world around the 10th of December each year, to celebrate the International Day of Human Rights.

 

Michelle Bachelet, former President of the Republic of Chile and Executive Director of UN Women is ambassador of the 2012 edition of the competition, said: “They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But we do not need a thousand words to spread the message of Gender Equality now! Equality between women and men is not only a women’s issue. It is a right for everyone… The campaign poster for tomorrow catches what is imagined and allows taking a step further to making this reality.”

 

On the opening of the exhibition, a catalogue with the 100 best posters of the 2012 edition was launched.

 

Source: http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/francais/publicite/expositions-96/archives-433/poster-for-tomorrow-2012-egalite/


CEMR General Assembly in Cadix

A session on democracy and gender equality was organised in Cadix on 27 September 2012 at the occasion of CEMR General Assembly which gathered about 700 participating local and regional elected representatives and experts from more than 40 countries.

 

 

 

 

 


International Conference of Local Elected Women in Paris

More than 500 participants from 78 countries gathered in Paris from 30 Janvuary to 1 February 2013 for the Gender Equality, a priority for global development Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 


European Equal Pay Day

The European Commission organizes today the second “Equal Pay Day” event at European level to raise awareness on the fact that women still earn on average 16.4 % less than men, according to recent figures.

 

The “Gender pay gap” is measured by calculating “the average difference in gross hourly earnings between women and men across the economy as a whole”. The difference in income also reflects the fact that women, to a much larger extent, take responsibility for the household by taking parental leave and part-time jobs to be able to better balance work and private-life.

 

The figures show that there has been a small positive trend during the recent years; however the figures still varies a lot from one country to another and depending on the sector. In Poland, the gender pay gap is around 2 % whereas in Estonia it is more than 27 %. Moreover, in some countries, such as Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal and Romania, the trend is reverse and the gender gap is increasing.

 

Tools to raise awareness of employers, employees and stakeholders on this issue have been created, such as training for companies (e.g. methods on how to address this issue) and exchange of good practices. A video clip and a campaign website providing information and links to social partners are also available. There are also national events that are organized in several EU Member states.

 

Source : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-211_en.htm


The impact of the crisis on women

From an economic to a social crisis

 

A recent report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), stresses the impact of the economic crisis on gender equality and women’s rights. The report concludes that the economic crisis has severely affected women’s situation in a different way than men and that the impact of the crisis on women tends to be underestimated. This is partly due to fact that women to a further extent performs unpaid or informal work which is not included in official unemployment figures, but also because women suffer from a higher risk of poverty since they often face a combination of difficulties such as single-parent families or taking the responsibility of dependents etc.

 

Women were already affected by unemployment, precarious work such as part time and low-wages, before the crisis. Today, due to cuts in budgets and social protection (health, childcare, education), women suffer from a “double punishment”. Cuts in government’s budgets and austerity plans are affecting the public sector, which is employed mainly by women (approximately 70% of the public sector’s employees are women). This will also have a significant impact on women’s carrier path, forcing them to engage in temporary, part-time or even informal jobs which only will affect their pension.

 

To stop this critical situation, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality presents several recommendations. First, they call for the need to integrate gender mainstreaming in public authorities responses to overcome the crisis. They also underline the need for investment in education and training, specifically adapted for women, to adjust to the changes in the labor market and to increase women’s participation in different sectors. Furthermore, they call on member states to promote female entrepreneurship, though developing micro-credit possibilities.

 

They also point out the major repercussions of budget restrictions on the work-life balance, especially for single parents. To overcome this situation, and in order to support women to keep their employment, they call for investment and improvement of childcare facilities. Moreover, the report underlines the increase of incidence of violence against women, due to the crisis, and the importance of ensuring funding of programs working to prevent these problems. The report also calls for more gender-balance in decision-making positions since women have an important role to play in overcoming the crisis. Other recommendations include investment in public transport, the need for reliable data of the real impacts of the crisis on women.


Raising awareness on gender violence

The Spanish federation of municipalities and provinces (FEMP) has launched a website with extensive information on a project providing training and information on the issue of gender based violence. The project has been financially supported by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, through the Office for Gender Violence of the Government.

 

The main objective of the program is to raise awareness on gender based violence by providing information on trainings, advice for schools on how they can work with this subject and provide reading material.

 

Other objectives consist in:

  • working to dismantle stereotypes on violence
  • encouraging social responsibility,
  • presenting the phenomenon and informing on it so that everyone can be aware and act,
  • promoting a change of beliefs and attitudes
  • involving people in the question about gender based violence.

 

The program also aims to involve families in participating in collective activities to prevent violence.

 

A specific website is aimed for schools and focuses on the importance of providing an equal education and underlines that this is the main measure for societies to get free of gender violence. Hence, the work done in schools is essential to prevent and combat this problem. The website therefore proposes a set of activities that can be carried out in and outside of school.

 

The website offers extensive information on the different dimensions of gender-based violence, explaining possible causes to this problem such as the existence of gender stereotypes or asymmetries of power between women and men. However, it underlines that this is often a multi-causal problem with many factors such as psychological, cultural and sociological.

 

The website also provides a list of examples of reading material for different ages and several guides that can help teachers in schools.

 

As an example, a guide for primary schools is available on the website.


Gender Equality requirements in Public Procurement

SALAR has published a guide to inform on the legal possibilities of imposing gender equality requirements on public procurements. The guide has primarily been elaborated for politicians who wish to increase their knowledge on gender equality issues and to improve quality of services. It provides concrete examples of how requirements on public procurement can be carried out, and aims to encourage local authorities to start using this as an instrument to advance gender equality. It is a question both of ensuring that all citizens are offered equal services regardless of gender but also a matter of increasing efficiency and quality of services. Additionally, there are laws in Sweden that require measures on anti-discrimination and that social factors are considered in the prerequisites when making public procurement contracts.

 

Studies on this subject underline the importance of setting social quality requirements already in the stage of choosing a supplier. For instance, setting a requirement on integrating a gender perspective encourages providers to develop and offer services that are in line with the gender equality objectives.  Continuous monitoring is also essential in order to strengthen the incentives to develop socially responsible services.  The requirements must therefore be clearly defined so that they are easy to follow-up.

 

SALAR has developed two checklists that can be used as a basis for discussion when establishing the requirements.

 

Before signing a contract, it is essential to do a feasibility study asking the following questions:

  • Is it possible to integrate a gender equality perspective on this particular service?
  • Does the public service concern women and men, girls and boys?
  • Can this service have consequences that make it essential to do a gender analysis?
  • Are the presented statistics related to the public service gender disaggregated? (This question is important when evaluating the background information)
  • What impact will the procurement have on women and men, girls and boys? (This question can arise when it comes to the treatment, service or distribution of power and resources)
  • Is there a connection between this public service and the gender equality objectives that the municipality or county has set up?  (A feasibility study should include an examination of how the procurement can help the organization to achieve their gender equality objectives.)
  • Are there any criteria for evaluation and is there a plan for follow-up?

 

It is also important to formulate measurable criteria or indicators for the evaluation of the public procurement from a gender perspective. Equality requirements should thus always be linked to the evaluation criteria. Likewise, it is important to define how the monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, and who is responsible for the various activities.

 

In order to verify if the requirements are accurate and appropriate, it can be useful to ask the following questions:

  • Are the requirements enough comprehensive to meet their purpose?
  • Are the requirements proportionate and non-discriminatory?
  • Are the requirements measurable?
  • Do the requirements have a connection to the procurement’s subject?
  • Is it possible to compare and evaluate the (evaluation) requirements?
  • Is it possible to control and follow-up the requirements?
  • Are the requirements clearly formulated so that all contractors, national and international, are given the same possibilities to respond?
  • Are the requirements compatible with other requests or technical conditions that are set out in the specifications?

 

Example of an equality requirement for procurement of health care in Stockholm County Council

 

Stockholm Country Council (SCC) states that they should guarantee provision of good health care on equal terms regardless of gender; therefore they have also set general requirements for companies or partners that enter in agreement with them. A precondition for entering in agreement with SCC is that the caregiver has to follow SCC’s equality policy which among other things includes taking part of an ongoing quality work and focus on providing equal treatment for women and men in healthcare. Furthermore, in the evaluation of activities all relevant key-figures and statistics should be reported divided on gender and age.


Malmö commits to making public transports more equal

A study on women and men’s travel habits conducted by the City of Malmö revealed that men’s way of travelling generated large economic and environmental loss. The City concluded that large social benefits could be made if the municipality succeeded in changing the travelling behaviour especially of men.

 

Before initiating the work of two new tram lines, the project ”Future Public transport in Malmö” used the travel surveys to calculate the costs and benefits from different perspectives: growth, environment, integration and equality.

 

The survey allowed the municipality to find out what the consequences of the new tram lines would be for women and men, girls and boys. The results showed that women’s and men’s travelling behaviour is especially interesting in an environmental perspective since women, to a much greater extent than men, choose sustainable alternatives. Men on the other hand, use cars far more than women (men take the car 48 per cent of their trips compared to 34 per cent for women).

 

The City of Malmö aims to invest and develop public transport so that it becomes more accessible, secure and comfortable for everyone to encourage citizens to use public transport to a greater extent. They concluded that there could be large social, economic and environmental gains if the municipality succeeded encouraging men to start travelling more like women.

 

The municipality also studied women and men’s influence on decision and implementation of planning of public transport. The results showed that women did not participate in consultation to the same extent as men. Moreover, when women participate, they did not speak as much as men. In order to ensure that the voices and opinions of all citizens are taken into consideration, the municipality has made large efforts to look into how they can increase women’s, young people and immigrants participation. For example, a special invitation has been sent out to young people; and researchers have been involved in the work to document the staff team’s approach to citizens during the consultation hearings.

 

The results from these studies showed that it works well to bring a civil dialogue in large groups. However, many people feel uncomfortable talking in large groups. To solve this problem, the City has been working on finding new approaches, for example instead of saying ”Welcome to the town hall to talk about trams.”, the City proposed to ask ”How would you like us to plan the public transport system to make it work better for you?”. It is a matter of shifting the focus from technology to people’s everyday experiences and also adjusts the channels to reach people where they are, for example online.

 

Source: http://jamstall.nu/blog/jamstalldhetipraktik/sa-blir-kollektivtrafiken-jamstalld/


The Observatory celebrates the Women’s Day by welcoming 10 new signatories

On this International Women’s Day, the Observatory celebrates its first anniversary. In the past months, the number of signatories of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life has increased further.  There are currently 1330 signatories in 28 European countries.

 

We have the pleasure to welcome ten new signatories from Spain (Alkate), the Basque Country (Elorrio), France (saint-Herblain and Saint-Martin – D’Hères), Germany (Freburg im Beisgau and Osnabrück), Poland (Aleksandrow Kujawski), Serbia (Leskovac and Vlasotince) and Turkey (Bornova).

 

Bornova is the first Turkish local authority having signed the Charter. 

 

We are also happy to inform you that the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life now is available in Basque, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian and Turkish.


Concrete actions against female genital mutilation

A report recently published by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) reveals that despite the existence of national laws, around 500,000 women are victims of female genital mutilation in half of the countries of the EU.

 

To fulfill the Commissions’ commitments to eradicate these practices, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, has presented the following concrete measures:

  • A public consultation* that will last until the 30th of May, to collect views on how to act at European level
  • A new directive to support victims
  • A grant of € 3.7 million to finance a European campaign of prevention and awareness
  • An envelope of € 11.4 million to support projects initiated by NGOs and others working with victims

 

* Click here to access to the public consultation

 

More information: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding/multimedia/news/2013/03/20130306_en.htm


Le Pariteur, an application to change the gender of your payslip

Francetv info, an information platform of France Télévisions (French audiovisual group) published last week an application, le Pariteur, which allows you to “change the gender of your payslip”. This application calculates the pay gap between women and men having the same job, the same experience, the same age and in the same region.


Access the application:

video


Forum des entreprises

Equality Pays Off – A Europe 2020 initiative

 

150 European company representatives will meet on 21 March 2013 in Brussels and exchange their ideas on strategies to better access the labour force potential of women by increasing gender equality and thereby contributing to a reduction of the gender pay gap.

 

Selected companies will showcase their activities, results and experience of tapping into the female talent pool more effectively.

 

More information: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/events/equality-pays-off-forum-2013/index_en.htm


3rd European Conference on Politics and Gender

The European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR) Standing group on Gender and Politics is organizing the 3rd European Conference on Politics and Gender at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona from the 21st to the 23rd of March.

 

The first conference was held in Belfast in 2009 and gathered more than 300 specialists and the second conference was organised in Budapest in 2011.

 

This year’s program includes nine panel sessions on topics such as:

  • Gender Policy Determinants and Representation
  • Comparing Gender Quota Policies
  • Informal Institutions: new avenues for exploring gender politics.

 

The ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics is a worldwide network gathering over 300 members and focusing on issues related to gender studies and sexuality in politics.

 

They promote research groups, workshops and sessions focusing on gender issues and strive for increasing women’s participation in political science.

 

The network also has a mailing list providing information and encouraging discussions on issues of interest related to gender equality and politics. They also maintain a catalogue of feminist researchers in politics as well as courses on gender and politics taught worldwide.

 

For further information: http://www.ecpg-barcelona.com/about-conference


Gender Equality Center in Echirolles

 

The City of Echirolles in France, who signed the Charter in 2007, has created a Gender Equality Centre for the municipality and other local authorities located in the agglomeration. The Centre was established in 2005 as a part of a European project called URBAN focusing on 5 municipalities around the City of Grenoble.

 

Their aim is to create a network for the actors in the agglomeration, including 27 municipalities to exchange good practices and cooperate on joint-projects on the topic of gender equality.

 

The Gender Equality Center has three main objectives:

  • to provide support for projects;
  • to raise awareness on gender equality issues and
  • to provide online tools to promote equality.

 

The Centre provides expertise, resources and information, both to projects focusing on gender equality and also to projects that wish to integrate a gender perspective in their activities. For example, the municipal youth club discovered that 80 percent of their visitors were boys and consulted the Centre to get assistance on how to encourage girls to get more involved in their activities. The Centre has also organized campaigns to raise awareness on different topics related to gender equality, such as informing students on how to access professions in sectors traditionally dominated by women or men.  Moreover, they have carried out trainings for employees working in local administration.

 

The Centre’s website is an online tool for sharing information and providing municipal services with resources on gender equality.

 

Resources:

http://www.maison-egalite-femmes-hommes.fr/ses-missions.html

http://www.projetdeterritoire.com/index.php/Les-ressources/Egalite-femmes-hommes-dans-l-action-des-collectivites/La-Maison-pour-l-egalite-femmes-hommes-d-Echirolles


Mind the Gap

UNESCO’s online game to explore girls’ and women’s education

 

 

Developed by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) to mark the 2013 International Women’s Day, this online game – available in English, French and Spanish – invites players (in particularly pupils and teachers) in an interactive journey where they can explore and compare the educational pathways available to girls and women around the world.

 This tool allows among others to highlight gender disparities in primary, secondary and tertiary education in 200 countries around the world.

 

Source: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/dakar/about-this-office/single-view/news/new_online_game_on_explore_girls_and_womens_education/

 


Play :

video


Equality Office in Bern

The Canton of Bern in Switzerland has an Equality Office that provides citizens, companies and administration with services, courses and information on issues related to gender equality. They especially offer services related to the work place and the employers role.

 

In 2013, they organise the following trainings:

  • How to implement the Equality Act effectively?

This course will be held on August 30, 2013 and is designed to inform on the Equality Act. It will provide participants with competences to evaluate, measures the risks and implement the Equality Act properly in different structures. By doing case studies, participants get the opportunity to evaluate specific situations and learn how to offer appropriate support.

  • Sexual harassment at work – How to advice?

On the 13 and 14 of June, the Equality Office will organise a course on how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. This course is open for human resources managers and counsellors that wish to strengthen their knowledge on the subject clarify their role and develop skills on how to advise victims. 

 

For further information about the courses, please visit the following website.

 

The Equality Office also offers services to small and medium enterprises on how to promote reconciliation of professional and family life. This program helps organisations to evaluate how far they have come on this subject and how they can improve their activities to make their workplace more “family friendly”. A counsellor from the Equality Office analyses the company and recommends measures and ideas based on the study. The program is an opportunity for employers to get new ideas, exchange with other companies and improve their actions.

 

The Office also provides a website (in German and French) with extensive information on the improvement of the balance between private and professional lives. The structural changes of today’s society require new solutions and these services aim to respond to these new demands both from individuals and organisations. The website therefore provides different materials such as checklists, tools, guides and manuals categorised for different groups; families, enterprises, etc.


2nd national conference on the implementation of the European Charter

The 2nd National Conference for Equality of women and men in local life, organized by the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (AFCCRE) will be held on 13-14 May 2013 in Bordeaux.

 

On this occasion, the new President of AFCCRE and Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, will officially sign the Charter.

 

After the 1st edition organized in Rouen in 2011, this event would enable an update on the concrete implementation of the European Charter in France, and to exchange on initiatives led by signatories.  

 

More information: http://www.afccre.org/


The European Parliament speak out in favor of equality

Following the Women’s Day, the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) adopted on 12 March three (non-binding) resolutions to prevent gender inequality.

 

Confronted with budget cuts and austerity measures that severely affect women, the European Parliament calls for the following measures to restore growth and improve women’s situation:

  • that women should be fully involved in the management of recovery plans;
  • to develop a directive on equal pay;
  • to invest in training, outworking, female entrepreneurship and childcare;
  • to support women’s employment with the Structural Funds.

 

To fight against gender stereotypes, the MEP recommend:

  • to reduce children’s exposure to sexist messages;
  • to include a gender perspective in training for teachers and in textbooks;
  • to impose quotas in national parliaments and in the nominations for Commissioners;
  • to create “funds for equality” financed with the revenue generated by the sanctions for non-compliance with the quotas. 

Finally, the MEP called on the authorities in North Africa to explicitly mention the principle of equality in their constitutions and to end violence against women.

 

Source: Agence Europe


Youth4Youth Training Manual

The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) and its partner organisations published the Youth4Youth Training Manual aimed at preventing and combating gender-based violence among youth. It provides teachers, education practitioners and youth workers, with the knowledge and the tools needed to plan and implement Youth4Youth training workshops for young people.

The manual is also available in Greek (GR), Greek (CY), Italian, Lithuanian, and Spanish.

 

Source : http://www.medinstgenderstudies.org/news/youth4youth-empowering-young-people-in-preventing-gender-based-violence-through-peer-education/


Download the publication:


Inequalities persists in science

Every three years the DG Research and Innovation publish a summary of collected data on women in science and research called “She Figures”, facilitating cross-national comparisons and making available gender disaggregated data on EU level.

 

The latest edition She Figures 2012 published in March 2013 reveals large challenges. Despite the positive trends during recent years, women’s catching up seems to have slowed down, especially at the PHD level. Women still remains under represented in scientific research and there are only 33 per cent of women researchers in EU-27 (figures from 2009). Moreover, there is still a persisting problem of gender segregation in different fields of science. Female scientists are to a further extent employed in higher education and public sectors than in the business sector. There are also more female researchers in social, agricultural and medical sciences and humanities than in the field of engineering and technology.

 

The under-representation of women on high-level academic positions reduces women’s opportunities to influence the scientific agenda and makes it hard for young academic women to get female role models.

She Figures 2012 also introduces new additional data on research mobility and on the proportion of women and men employed in different sectors related to science and research.

Another topic that is analyzed is the work life balance-issue and to what extent researchers are affected by this.

 

The Commission has set up an Expert group to analyze challenges in Research Funding. Their conclusions are gathered in the report, The Gender Challenge in Research Funding – Assessing the European National Scenes, published in May 2009. The report highlights the role of funding organizations in the promotion of gender equality in research.*

 

For further information visit the following link of the European Commission DG Research and innovation.


Local Action Plan for « Economic Empowerment of Women and improvement of Gender equality »

How can municipalities empower women by stimulating employment and economic independence? This is something the municipality of Pantelej in Serbia has been working on. Pantelej signed the European Charter for equality between women and men in local life in 2013 and has established a local equality action plan for « Economic Empowerment of women and improvement of gender equality » covering the period from 2012 to 2017.

 

Prior to the establishment of the Action Plan, a survey was conducted to gather information on the economic situation of women in the region and to identify the situation of gender equality.

The survey provided valuable information on the situation of women in different areas and also on the existing equality gaps. This material then helped to identify concrete actions for intervention to improve gender equality in the region.

A majority of the women in the survey said that the most important effort to reduce inequality would be to stimulate women employment. Women also showed interest in self-employment and requested more support in this field.

 

Based on the survey the following three strategic priorities were identified for the municipality:

  1. Increase of participation of women in decision-making process and achievement of gender equality
  2. Capacity building of entrepreneurship and economic capability of women for economic independence and self-employment
  3. Preservation and improvement of health of women.

 

To fulfil the objective on Women Entrepreneurship and Employment, the municipality has implemented several activities. They have organized several trainings to encourage women entrepreneurship, business-creation and to inform on the possibilities of establishing cooperatives of women in different areas such as:

–       Making and selling of hand-crafts

–       Establishing services for provision of social protection,

–       Encouraging creation of cooperatives of farms in rural areas

–       Programmes to support the development of female entrepreneurship in rural tourism

 

The municipality have also organized trainings to improve women’s skills, especially focusing on the use of IT and on women from multi-discriminated groups.

 

The municipality also carried out a public campaign to encourage men to participate in family obligations and household work in an equal manner.

Web site: www.pantelej.org.rs


5th Forum for Human Rights

The International Permanent Secretariat Human Rights and Local Governments (SPIDH Nantes – Pays de la Loire) is organizing the 5th Forum for Human Rights taking place in Nantes France at La Cité – Nantes Events Center from 22 May to 25 May 2013. The Forums objective is to gather different actors working in the field of implementing Human Rights in order to promote an exchange of experiences and ideas.

 

One of the three main themes of the Forum will be equality between human beings in times of crisis under which women’s rights and gender equality will be addressed.

 

SPIDH is a French association based in Nantes and they organized their first World Forum on Human Rights in 2008. The broader mission of the SPIDH, in addition to the organization of the Forum, is to gather and facilitate the action of a network of stakeholders involved in the protection and the implementation of Human Rights, especially at local level.

 

SPIDH has coordinated the work on the concept and drafting of the Global Charter Agenda on Human Rights in the City within the world organization for local authorities, UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), a document adopted by the UCLG representative bodies in December 2011.

 

For more information please visit the event’s website.


A glimpse at the situation of women in France

The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) in France have dedicated their latest monthly edition Le Fil d’Iena to the situation of women and women’s rights. Among the articles you find coverage on the status of women in 2013 in different fields such as education, labor and health. You also find an article on how to achieve equality in the workplace, how to collaborate to ensure women’s rights and an article presenting the meeting between the French and Swedish Minister of Women’s Rights.

 

CESE has also done a study on Women and Poverty. Recent figures from 2010 show that 4,7 million women in France are living under the poverty line (equivalent to 964 euros) and 70 percent of the “poor workers” are women. The report highlights several factors such as part-time jobs, low-wages, single parent households that makes women more vulnerable to ending up in poverty.

 

Recommendations are also presented on how to prevent poverty by identifying women in risk groups. The actions include reducing the overrepresentation of women in precarious employment, improving inequalities in health care, support to single mothers etc.

 

For more information please consult the CESE webpage or download the full report (information in French).


Training session on the implementation of the European Charter for Equality

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions organize four training sessions during 2013 on how to implement the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life.

 

The focus of the trainings is how the European Charter can constitute a tool for the work on Gender Equality in local and regional authorities.

 

The trainings include both theory, practical examples and provide information on how local and regional authorities can draw an Equality Action plans in order to reach concrete results in their work. They also allow for participants to exchange experiences and get new ideas on how they can work with the Charter in their local/regional context and open up for a discussion on what guidance and support that could be offered for those local/regional authorities who already have developed action plans.

 

The targeted audience are people in charge of working with gender equality at local/regional authorities. The trainings are open both for authorities that have already signed the Charter or those who are interested in signing it.

 

Venues and dates:

Stockholm, 3rd – 4th of June:  Training for counties and regions

Stockholm, 25th – 26th of September:  Training for all municipalities, counties and regions

 

 For more information please visit SALAR’s website (information in Swedish).


Gender Equality in Employment – essential for reaching EU’s targets on Economic Growth

Women’s economic engagement and the Europe 2020 agenda, this was the topic of a conference that recently took place in Dublin on the 29-30 of April hosted by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and organized by the European Commission.

 

The conference emphasized the important link between women’s role in employment and the necessity to advance gender equality as an essential and contributing factor to improve economic growth in Europe.

 

The event brought together experts on gender equality and employment, policy makers, representatives from European institutions and NGOs.

 

It was concluded that in order to reach the European Union’s ten year growth strategy EU 2020, the EU  countries needs to encourage more women to engage in the labour market. This constitutes one of the main strategies to achieve the smarter, more sustainable and inclusive growth that EU strives for.

 

According to recent figures from Eurostat 46 million women between 20 to 64 years are outside the labour market, compared with 25 million men. Furthermore, recent surveys indicate that although women often have a higher education, they represent only a third of both the self-employed in the workplace in EU. In addition to these figures, the Gender Pay Gap remains at 16.2% in Europe, which represents 59 days of free work.

 

The conference started with a presentation of the recently published report “Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now” from OECD, that provided background information on the topic.

 

As rapidly growing, creating around 120,000 new jobs in Europe each year, the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector was given special attention. Since women constitute only 30 per cent of the ICT workforce in Europe, it is necessary to work on finding new ways of encouraging girls and women take up careers in ICT.

 

Other issues that were brought up were barriers and challenges that women often face and that can hinder their careers. Some example of policy measures that could support women’s employment and improve gender equality are:

 

–          Use more flexible working time arrangements

–          Provide parental leave possibilities for both women and men

–          Work to prevent gender stereotypes which sometimes determines the educational choices

–          Provide a good and affordable childcare

–          Provide support to women’s entrepreneurship.

 

For more information on the conference please visit the Irish Presidency website.


Launch of the European Gender Equality Index

Launch of the European Gender Equality Index

 

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has developed a Gender Equality Index that they have been working on since 2010. This Index will officially be launched at a Conference in Brussels on the 13th of June.

 

The Gender Equality Index is a tool that helps to measure different aspects of gender equality within the European Union’s policy framework and objectives. It provides information on how far countries are in achieving gender equality and provide information on gender gaps in different thematic areas. The Index is a unique tool since it covers the multi-dimensional aspect of gender equality and still remains easy and accessible to use. The Index consists of a combination of gender indicators in the following areas: (work, health, money, knowledge, time and power). There are also two additional domains, (intersecting inequalities and violence).

 

For more information about the conference and the Agenda of the conference please visit EIGEs website.


“Women’s health in women’s hands”

PREVENTION THROUGH WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

 

Since 2008, the City of Bilbao has carried out an intercultural programme called «WOMEN, HEALTH AND VIOLENCE » focused on Communitarian PREVENTION THROUGH THE EMPOWERMENT of migrant women, by a) health self-management, b) sexual and reproductive health promotion and c) gender violence prevention.  The programme is jointly funded by the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security and the European Fund for Integration of the European Union.

The Programme carries out 4 implementation processes:

 

  • Training of Officers for Empowerment

The training sessions brings up issues such as the role of women in societies, the concepts of love and gender, self-esteem, conflict-resolution, women’s rights, family planning and gender based violence. After having completed the training, the “Officers for Empowerment” transfer the knowledge to other women in their communities by the snowball effect.  

 

  • Information and awareness-raising of stakeholders

The workshops are organised with different stakeholders such as associations, foundations and NGOs to raise-awareness on these issues, disseminate information material that can support them in their work and bring the knowledge for the effective use of public services network.

 

  • Pilot intervention on Female Gender Mutilation (MGF)

To prevent and raise awareness on Female Gender Mutilation, special information is provided on the patterns and behaviours related to this issue. Workshops have also been established with mothers from minorities where this practice is still in use, to allow for discussions, trainings and learning from them.

 

Since it was launched in 2008, the programme has gradually been consolidated, reaching a larger number of women each year. The trainings offered to women from minorities have created a domino effect and they have, in turn, organised workshops with associations in their own communities. Campaigns on gender based violence have also been held and over 5.000 guides on Women,Health and Violence have been distributed in 8 different languages.

 

“Women, Health and Violence” has also got international recognition and has been selected as an example of good practice in the following events:

 

  • EU-MIA (European Integration Migrant Academy) – TURIN 2014
  • Recognized for having improved social cohesion in the integration of immigrants – Cities of Migration – 2012 
  • Selected Case Studies from the European Network OPENCities – 2011
  • Selected as a Success Practice by the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security – 2010

Good practice: example from the City of Bilbao

 

Women, Health and Violence Programme: “Women’s health in women’s hands”

 

PREVENTION THROUGH WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

 

Since 2008, the City of Bilbao has carried out an intercultural programme called «WOMEN, HEALTH AND VIOLENCE » focused on Communitarian PREVENTION THROUGH THE EMPOWERMENT of migrant women, by a) health self-management, b) sexual and reproductive health promotion and c) gender violence prevention.  The programme is jointly funded by the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security and the European Fund for Integration of the European Union.

The Programme carries out 4 implementation processes:

 

–          Training of Officers for Empowerment

The training sessions brings up issues such as the role of women in societies, the concepts of love and gender, self-esteem, conflict-resolution, women’s rights, family planning and gender based violence. After having completed the training, the “Officers for Empowerment” transfer the knowledge to other women in their communities by the snowball effect.  

 

–          Information and awareness-raising of stakeholders

The workshops are organised with different stakeholders such as associations, foundations and NGOs to raise-awareness on these issues, disseminate information material that can support them in their work and bring the knowledge for the effective use of public services network.

 

–          Pilot intervention on Female Gender Mutilation (MGF)

To prevent and raise awareness on Female Gender Mutilation, special information is provided on the patterns and behaviours related to this issue. Workshops have also been established with mothers from minorities where this practice is still in use, to allow for discussions, trainings and learning from them.

 

–          Elaboration of a Guide, Guide on Women, Health and Violence to inform and raise awareness on gender equality, women health and gender violence.  

Since it was launched in 2008, the programme has gradually been consolidated, reaching a larger number of women each year. The trainings offered to women from minorities have created a domino effect and they have, in turn, organised workshops with associations in their own communities. Campaigns on gender based violence have also been held and over 5.000 guides on Women,Health and Violence have been distributed in 8 different languages.

 

“Women, Health and Violence” has also got international recognition and has been selected as an example of good practice in the following events:

 

–          EU-MIA (European Integration Migrant Academy) – TURIN 2014

–          Recognized for having improved social cohesion in the integration of immigrants – Cities of Migration – 2012 

–          Selected Case Studies from the European Network OPENCities – 2011

–          Selected as a Success Practice by the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security – 2010


Gender Mainstreaming in transport planning

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) has recently published a folder with guidelines on how to work more efficiently with gender mainstreaming in transport planning.

 

How is transport planning related to gender equality?

 

Urban planning is about valuing and assessing the impact of alternative measures based on different aspects such as economic, environmental, health-related, technical ones. The estimates describe the impact of various alternatives in relation to these aspects.

 

As an essential part of citizens’ daily life, the transport system must be adapted according to the needs and wishes of both women and men. The possibilities of getting to one place or another determine people’s opportunities and its design can have an impact on the choices citizens make. It is therefore essential to integrate the gender perspective in the entire planning process and include goals for gender equality that are related to the objectives of the whole project.

 

How do you include the gender perspective in transport planning?

 

Even though many local and regional authorities have the ambition to use gender mainstreaming as a strategy in their work on urban planning, there are very few examples of practically applicable methods for systematic gender assement.

 

One way to including a gender perspective in urban planning for transport can be to analyze why differences based on gender exist in the public sphere and trying to find ways to eliminate inequalities.

It can also be to find solutions better adapted to different groups in the society. Urban planners must therefore bear in mind what advantages and disadvantages there are and undertake specific actions for different groups. This can be done by mapping what consequences (obstacles and opportunities) a certain public transport or infrastructure will have on women and men.

 

The gender perspective should constitute a factor as essential as the economic or the environmental aspect in order to make urban transport more equal.

 

It is underlined that there is no single method for gender assessment in transport planning but that it must be adapted according to specific projects. However, gender assessment of good quality is characterized by being adequate, effective, knowledge-based, and open to participation and criticism.

 

The following questions could serve as a basis for discussion:

  • Is gender based statistics accessible for the specific projects?
  • Has studies on the travel patterns been conducted including the opinions of both women and men?
  • Where are women and men working in the municipality? Are female-dominated workplaces and male-dominated workplaces equally accessible by public transport?
  • Can public transportation be used by both women and men to access leisure activities?
  • Have efforts been made to reach both women and men in public consultations concerning public transport?
  • What do women and men, boys and girls think about the transport options to their working place or school?
  • Does public transport allow parents to share responsibility for the care of children and household work? – How are workplaces situated in relation to day care centres and schools?
  • Are there any established guidelines on how the gender perspective in transport planning could be monitored and measured?
  • Is there a strategy on how to make sure that the gender perspective is considered by partners in the project?
  • Have studies on citizens’ feeling of security in public spheres been conducted? 

 

For more information please read Kön i trafiken (Information in Swedish).


EIGE launches the European Gender Equality Index

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) officially launched the Gender Equality Index at a conference held in the premises of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on the 13th of June 2013.

 

Among the speakers was Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council who underlined the importance of the index saying it contributes to improve the basis for policy makers. 

 

The index is a unique tool that gives an overview of how far (or close) European Member States are from reaching full gender equality. By covering six core domains; Work, Money, Knowledge, Time Power and Health and the two additional domains; Intersecting inequalities and Violence, the index encompass the multi-dimensional aspect of gender equality.

 

As a complement to the index, EIGE has published Country Profile sheets providing more extensive information on the situation on gender equality in the different Member states, including legal aspects and policy initiatives. 

 

The figures used in the measurements are from 2010 and come from Eurostat.

 

To read more about the index, please click on the link.


Guide on Gender Equality in the Workplace

Students of the National Institute of Territorial studies (INET) in France have elaborated a guide with examples on how local and regional authorities can act to improve gender equality in the workplace.

 

The guide focuses on local and regional authorities as employers and covers both broad examples on how to raise general awareness as well as concrete measures on how to ameliorate the process of recruiting, the organisation of trainings and protection of employees from harassment. Other areas include how to improve work and life balance and how to reduce the income differences between women and men.

 

Examples on how to improve the recruitment process:

  • Have mixed jurys of recrutement
  • Work on the feminisation/masculinisation of professional titles
  • Adapt the changing rooms and toilets at different working places to make them accessible for both women and men

Example on how to facilitate equal access to education:

  • Organise trainings to make them compatible with family or personal obligations (look at the length, the hours and the distance from working places and residential areas)

 

The guide also presents several examples from local and regional authorities in France that can be used as sources of inspiration:

 

Brittany (Bretagne) Region

The Perzhded device (which means “qualification” in Breton) is a training program launched by the Brittany Regional Council intended for school officers, (an environment particularly dominated by women) allowing them to leave for ten months to complete a training for another profession. The Regional Council received around 5000 applications from which approximately 300 has been selected for the training. The project has enabled women to develop skills in new areas considered as typically male professions such as plumbing and electricity.

 

Picardie Region

The regional council of Picardie did a “gender mapping” of different professions to develop a reference leaflet for different jobs highlighting what skills that are needed for different positions. By underlining the similarities with different professions the reference leaflet aims to promote transferability of skills between different jobs that are traditionally dominated by women or men.

 

The City of Rennes

The City of Rennes built mixed dressing rooms and adapted working clothes and tools to facilitate for both women and men to access different professions.

 

To access the guide please click on the link: INET : Professional Equality between men and women : keys to act

For further information please visit the website of INET : www.inet.cnfpt.fr


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)


Seminar on Equality Bodies: Gender Equality in the Labour Market

Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies organises a High Level Seminar on the role of Equality Bodies and Gender Equality in the Labour Market. The seminar will be held in Brussels on the 27th of June. 

 

The objective of the seminar is to bring together representatives from Equality Bodies at national level to share their experiences with stakeholders at EU level, in particular in relation to the implementation of EU legislation and policies in the field of Gender Equality.

 

The seminar also aims to provide a platform for discussion on priorities, best practices and the future development of the work on Gender Equality at EU and national level.   

 

For more information about the Seminar and Equinets activities please visit the following link.


Conference on Gender Equality and Media

The Council of Europe organises a conference on Media and the Image of Women together with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands on the 4th and 5th of July in Amsterdam.

 

The conference aims to:

  • Discuss the role of media in promoting gender equality
  • Discuss the challenges of reconciling freedom of expression with the principle of gender equality
  • Open up for an exchange of good practices and strategies for combating gender stereotypes,
  • Discuss the challenges posed by new media and the opportunities of using as a motor for positive change

 

For more information visit the event’s website.


The region of Brittany makes Gender Equality a priority

Brittany is dedicated to promoting equal rights between women and men. The region has made gender equality a priority by making it a transversal policy included in a variety of areas of regional competencies. 

 

To raise awareness on this issue the region published a folder in 2011 presenting facts on the situation of women in different areas and examples of initiatives that are implemented by the region to improve equality. The figures show that inequalities persist in many fields, especially when looking at the distribution of house-hold tasks, the employment market and the lack of women in decision-making positions.

 

The region of Brittany has also initiated the Biennale on Equality between women and men, a big event that reassembles stakeholders working on equality issues from different domains. The aim of the Biennale is to provide a platform for discussion and an opportunity to share experiences. The 3rd Biennale on Equality was organized in December 2011 and reassembled more than 200 participants from associations, companies, local authorities and universities. The 4th Biennale on Equality between women and men will be organized in 2014 in Lorient.

 

Examples of initiatives:

 

  •  Equality-bonus to favour professional gender diversity

The region has introduced a bonus of 300 euros that is given to employers of apprentices that recruit women in sectors that are considered as traditionally “male-oriented” and vice versa. Every year the region distributes 800 bonuses of this kind.

 

  • Use of gender disaggregated statistics to improve public policies

The region collects gender disaggregated statistics to evaluate public policies, to analyse the spread of equality in policies and to identify persisting inequalities in different domains. 

 

  • Support to youth

The region encourages activities to promote gender equality in schools. Through the programme “Karta”, the region provides support to projects in high-schools focusing on raising awareness on gender equality issues. In 2010-2011, 75 projects of this kind were implemented in high-schools across the region.

 

  • Foster social innovation

The region provides support to innovative initiatives in businesses, associations, training organisations and local authorities that promote equality within organizations or in their external activities. Networking is also promoted to exchange experiences in this field. Every year the region supports around 20 activities of this kind of a budget around 200 000 €.

 

  • Council for Equality : working together to create synergies

To unite all the different actors working on Gender Equality across the region, Brittany created the Council for Equality between women and men in March 2005. The Council includes institutions (the state, the region and departments), associations working with and for women, companies (employers and trade unions) and universities. The Council is working on implementing concrete actions within seven thematic workshops: access to employment and training, violence against women, dissemination of culture of equality etc.

 

For more information please visit the region of Brittany’s webpage on Gender Equality.


Meeting: « Equality in my municipality »

The National Institute for Women in Luxemburg organizes, together with SYVICOL (Association of Luxembourg Cities and Municipalities), a meeting for municipal bodies active in promoting equality between women and men at local level.

 

The meeting will be held at the 11th of July at 18h30 in the City Hall of Dudelange.

 

On the occasion of the meeting, the National Institute for Women in Luxemburg and the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life will be presented their activities.

 

The first draft of the Equality Action Plan of the municipality of Dudelange will also be presented. 

 

The meeting offers an opportunity to gather representatives from local authorities in Luxemburg interested in the field of Gender Equality.


Time Office in the city of Rennes

Time is an important constraint in our daily life, new routines requires innovative ideas on how to better adapt society. Moreover, time can be used as an indicator to measure inequalities and also constitute a powerful tool to fight against these imbalances. As service providers, local authorities have an important role to contributing to develop public services according to these new concerns. Based on these facts, the City of Rennes created a “Time Office” in 2002 with the mission to facilitate work-life balance for citizen, strengthen quality of public services and improve life for citizens from an equality perspective.

 

The main objective for the Time Office is to analyze the urban planning and support local initiatives that match the time constraints of citizens. By adapting opening hours and developing innovative services that better correspond to the needs of users (such as one-stop service centers, provision of service centers in working zones or childcare facilities at non-typical hours etc.), the Time Office contribute to raise quality of public services. 

 

The “Time Office” has set the following three main objectives for public action at local level:

 

  • Act for social equality

Time-related issues are highly associated with existing inequalities, both for those who provide services and for those who are subject to time restrictions, for people who live in the city center or in the suburbs. Time also reveal large inequalities between women and men’s unequal access to services.

 

  • Improve mobility

Our travelling has large impacts on the environment but also on the distribution of time we spend. To reduce traffic and public transport congestions, the “time approach” proposes to shift schedules for schools, universities and working hours or change delivery hours in certain areas.

 

  • Find solutions to constraints due to limited resources

The “time approach” can provide some answers such assembling of equipment (buildings, car parks, etc.), taking into account the potential reversibility of facilities and construct in a way to better adapt to changing lifestyles.

 

To raise awareness on time-related issues, the Time Office regularly organizes conferences that are open for everyone at the library “Champs Libres”*.

 

Some figures:

  • 26 % of employees work on Sundays
  • Men do on average 1½ hours of domestic tasks against 3h for women
  • People spend in average ½ of their free time in front of a screen, television or computer
  • We spend 10 % of our time working, whereas in 1900 we spent 40 % of our time working
  • The time that we “save” today from working less is to a larger extent spent on transportation than leisure.

 

Contact Time Office (Bureau de temps) City of Rennes: temps@agglo-rennesmetropole.fr

 

For further information:

 

 * Websites in French only


1333 signatories in the Atlas! Have you updated your information?

We have the pleasure to inform you that we recently updated the Atlas of signatories of the European Charter. The current number of signatories in the Atlas is 1333.

 

If you have not yet updated the information about your local or regional authority in the Atlas, please contact the secretariat of the Observatory on contact@preprod.charter-equality.eu or Johanna Törnström, policy Officer Equality on johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org to get information about the username and the password you need to access your page. 

 

We are also happy to inform you that during the recent months the following local and regional authorities have signed the Charter:

 

April:

Mülheim a.d. Ruhr (Germany)

Bursa Metropolitan (Turkey)

Trabzon (Turkey)

Kars (Turkey)

Denizli (Turkey)

 

May :

Bollnäs (Sweden)

Bordeaux (France)

Brives (France)

Carrières-sous-Poissy (France)


Women’s Congress “About Women, Not Only for Women”

The Women’s Congress is a non-profit network in the Czech Republic bringing together representatives from organizations, institutions, NGO’s as well as the culture, public and private sectors.

 

The network aims to create a platform for women from different backgrounds to share experiences, knowledge and skills across social groups. The objective is also to generate a base for discussion on the situation of women in the Czech Republic and to encourage women to engage in framing their own ideas on the development of society.  

 

This year’s congress is organized in Prague on the 15th of July on the theme “Women in the labour market”, an issue relevant to all women regardless age, professional, social or ethnic background.

 

To learn more about the conference please read the website.


Webinar – Meeting with the network of national coordinators working with the Observatory

The Observatory organizes a “webinar”, an online meeting with the network of national coordinators working with the European Charter for Equality. The Webinar is held on the 5th of September and will start at 10h00. It will be moderated from the CEMR office in Brussels (by Johanna Törnström). A maximum of 15 persons can attend. If you are interested to participate, please inform the secretariat as soon as possible.

 

Prior to the meeting, national coordinators have been invited to complete the tasks listed in a separate document called the “Roadmap”. This will serve as material for the future work of the Observatory. The deadline to complete the tasks listed in the Roadmap is set to the 17th of August.

 

Draft agenda of the webinar:

  1. Present the website and the current work of the Observatory
  2. Report on the results from the evaluation sheet to the national coordinators
  3. Present and discuss ideas to develop the work of the Observatory and the website

3.1. How to facilitate and encourage the work of national associations

3.2.  How to improve the support provided to draw action plans*

  1. The role of Ambassadors of the Charter*
  2. Any other issues

For any questions regarding the meeting please contact Johanna Törnström, Policy Officer Equality – johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org


Equality award to the Luxembourgian municipalities Dudelange and Junglinster

The municipalities of Junglinster and Dudelange were awarded the label “Egalité dans ma commune” by the National Women’s Council of Luxemburg (CNFL) at a meeting organized on the 11th of July at the City Hall of Dudelange. The municipalities received the award for their commitment to Equality of women and men in local life and their work on developing local Action plans for equality. The action plans of Junglinster and Dudelange were presented at the meeting.

 

The label “Egalité dans ma commune” was initiated by the National Women’s Council of Luxemburg inspired by the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life. The Ministry for Equal Opportunities in Luxemburg recommends the Charter as a tool for implementing Gender Equality policies in municipalities. The National Women’s Council of Luxemburg, the Association of Luxembourg Cities and Municipalities and SYVICOL support municipalities that engage in equality for women and men in local life and they have published a practical guide and a corresponding toolkit on how to implement the Charter and draw an action plan.

 

Among the 18 municipalities that have signed the Charter in Luxemburg, 6 have drafted an Action Plan.

 

Please click on the following link to access the Action plan of the municipality of Junglinster.


“The Graz Way” – Implementing Gender Mainstreaming at local level

The City of Graz has a long tradition of working on Women Policy Issues and Gender equality. In 1986 Graz was the first city in Austria who created an Independent Women’s representative. In 2001, the former City government decided to implement Gender mainstreaming as a strategy for the whole municipality.

 

Considering the variety of competencies, services and processes of local city administrations, the implementation of the gender mainstreaming is something that needs continuous development and upgrading. To ensure a proper application and anchor the strategy at the highest decision-making level, the City of Graz decided to use the “top-down” principle of management.

 

The first step: A gender survey

The municipality carried out an evaluation of the current situation of gender equality. The survey was done by external experts. The results allowed to provide a basis for the future work and also contributed to raise general awareness on gender equality issues. Based on the study, workshops were held with managers in thematic working groups to define a common plan for the future work and outline general strategies both for external affairs and for the internal work of the city administration.

The establishment of the thematic working groups allowed defining concrete actions for implementation. This approach proved to be very successful and constituted the basis for future equality projects of the municipality.

 

The second step: Pilot offices

Two pilot offices, “the Sports Department” and “the Department for Youth and Family” were selected by the City of Graz to participate in the Equality-project. Both of these offices are offering a large variety of services and also put the citizens’ interest as a main focus. In both of these offices all services were subject to a gender analysis led by an external expert. Based on the results of the study, guidelines for actions were developed.

To improve quality and make service more gender equal, it was decided that all services and internal processes should undergo gender analysis.

 

The third step: Implementation & Practice

The City of Graz uses a management technique called “the Balanced Score Card” to implement policies. This method consists of defining annual strategic and operative goals on financial level, for products, services and human resources. These objectives form the base for the contracts between the departments and the political level and are evaluated on a quarterly basis to ensure that they are realistic and are being fulfilled. The City of Graz has decided that goals concerning gender equality and diversity have to be included in the general objectives and that key indicators in statistics must be separated for women and men in order to facilitate analysis and controls of gender mainstreaming. Moreover, all senior staff has to participate in a training on gender equality, to make sure that the whole organization understood the meaning of the gender mainstreaming principle.

 

Networking and transfer of knowledge

 

The City of Graz has participated in several projects to exchange experiences and received several awards for their work on gender equality:

 

2008: The City of Graz received the Austrian Public Sector Award for its gender projects

 

2009: The City received a best practice certificate by the EPSA – European Public Sector Award. To access the application form and other documents in English please visit the following link.

 

2011: The City of Graz participated as one of the 19 benchmarking case studies in a study led by the UN-Department for Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the study was conducted by the Columbia University New York. For more information about the study please visit the following link.


Gender Mainstreaming as a mean to improve quality of municipal services

The municipality of Jönköping is implementing gender mainstreaming as a strategy to improve the quality of municipal services and ensure equal treatment of its citizens regardless of their gender.

The following examples illustrate how this has been applied in different areas of municipal competencies:

 

  • Educational material used in fire safety training for children and students

A working group reviewed the material used in the fire and safety training for children and students and concluded that in the current edition, there were no girls or women figuring on the illustrations. To increase awareness among girls on the fire fighting profession and inspire girls to get interested in the profession at an early age, the municipality is now working on elaborating new educational material for children that are more representative. In a long term perspective, the municipality hopes that more girls will apply to become professional fire fighters.

 

  • Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming in Leisure activities

In accordance with Article 20 of the European Charter for Equality stating that the signatory should ensure that women and men, girls and boys are offered equal access to cultural, recreational and sports activities, the municipality of Jönköping decided to use gender disaggregated statistics to gather information on the users of different municipal services in order to identify areas for improvement.

 

The municipality of Jönköping studied the following:

  • The distribution of women and men in boards of associations receiving allowances
  • The amount of women and men, girls and boys using different sports facilities
  • The percentage of the total budget dedicated to activities mainly used by women versus activities mainly used by men
  • Whether the municipality is organizing activities to encourage women to engage in activities that are usually performed by men and vice versa?

 

Based on the outcomes, the municipality wants to make sure that at least 45 per cent of the resources are allocated to the underrepresented sex in the coming budget. The municipality also wants to conduct these types of measurements more often to further improve the quality of their services.

 

  • Gender disaggregated statistics of municipal invoices and receivables

 

The municipality of Jönköping also divided the statistics of invoices and receivables sent to citizens by the municipality based on gender Figures showed that men received reminders to a larger extent than women; however women were overrepresented among the ones receiving assistance from the municipality to make a repayment plan.

Moreover, figures showed that invoices concerning child care were in most cases sent to the woman of a household; whereas invoices concerning sanitation and garbage were, to a larger extent, sent to men.

As a result, the municipality of Jönköping decided to leave it up to the families to decide who should receive the different invoices.  

The objective of this analysis was to get a better knowledge of the citizens using different services in order to identify and correct any inequalities in treatment. As a part of this project, municipal staff working in these departments also undertook training.

 

  • Equal treatment of girls and boys in schools

The municipality wanted to analyse if girls and boys were treated differently in primary schools. Interviews of students showed that they did not feel any difference in treatment based on gender during classes. However, in case of disorder, boys would be reprimanded, whereas girls would have the chance to discuss the problem with the teachers. This difference in treatment was seen as unfair by the boys.

The results of the interviews were discussed with the teachers in order to raise awareness on the impact of treating and setting different expectations on children based on gender.

 

  • Survey on salaries from a gender perspective

The municipality also conducted a study of the salaries of the employees working at the Educational Unit in order to identify possible differences of wages based on gender. By comparing salaries of women and men in certain professional categories, pay gaps based on gender could be identified in some groups. The second step of the study was to analyze the reason behind these differences in wages.

Mapping salaries of women and men in this way helps to identify potential unequal treatment based on gender at the individual or structural level.

 


Tackling the Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap – i.e. the average difference between women and men’s salaries in gross hourly earnings for all employees – remains a concern in the European Union. Even though the differences in salaries have decreased during last decades, women in the EU continue to earn on average around 16 % less than men per hour. This is stated in the brochure “Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union” launched by the European Commission DG Justice.

 

The Gender Pay Gap continues to exist even though young women in general are better educated than young men (in 2012 83 % of young women reached at least upper secondary school compared to 77,5 of young men). Moreover, women represent 60 % of the university graduates in the EU.

 

The gender pay gap also affects pensions. Figures show that women receive pensions that are, in average, 39 % lower than men’s and women over 65 are, to a larger extent, more at risk of poverty than men. The report The Gender Gap in Pensions in the EU highlights these facts and also brings up possible explanations to the differences and includes country studies.

 

For more information on how the European Union is working with the Gender Pay gap, please visit the EU DG Justice website.

 

  • How can Local and Regional Authorities deal with this issue?

In the guide INET : Professional Equality between men and women : keys to act, elaborated by the students of the National Institute of Territorial studies (INET) in France, several examples are presented on how local and regional authorities can act, as employers to promote gender equality. Regarding income differences between women and men, the guide proposes the following:

 

Reduce the impact of parental leave on  the parents ‘career

  • By ensuring that employees do not get lower scores in evaluations by informing managers on parental leave
  • By offering possibilities for the employee to follow the development of projects on voluntary basis during their absence, by organizing regular meetings with supervisors after the child’s birth
  • By proposing a training schedule to summarise  what has been done during the absence of the employee and offer a follow-up to facilitate their return

 

Reduce the gender pay gap in different sectors

  • By offering less part-time jobs in sectors dominated by women such as care and social services

The Brest Métropole Océane urban community council has reduced the number of part time jobs by creating “replacement networks” composed of employees with similar professions. This system helps individuals replacing colleagues and increases their income by combining several posts.

  • By reducing differences in salary between technical sectors (dominated by men) and administrative, social, cultural and health care sectors (dominated by women).

The City of Rennes implemented this in the project “Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value”


Gender 4 Kids – training in gender pedagogy

Gender equality is not only a question of legislation and rights, but also the image of traditional male and female roles that are imposed on individuals in our society. Already at an early age, children are exposed to gender stereotyped roles through colours, books, toys, activities, but also by the different expectations set by educational staff and parents. This will in the long run have consequences on their personal development.

 

The Gender4Kids training offered in Luxemburg aims to draw attention to this fact and to raise awareness on gender pedagogy adapted for children. The courses are offered to educational staff working in day care centers and schools. The training not only offers participants to reflect on the perception of equal opportunities in today’s society (for more information please visit concept of the training) but also includes thematic modules that allow participants to deepen their knowledge in specific areas such as the image of roles, self-esteem, diversity and games. Finally, to apply their knowledge into practice, participants are asked to organise an activity, workshop or an educational project of their choice aimed for children.

 

The first Gender4Kids training took place in 2011. Since then, 12 courses have been carried out in 5 towns and reached more than 120 participants.

 

For more information please visit the website of Gender4Kids.


Two weeks dedicated to Gender Equality

For the third time, the region of Rhône-Alpes mobilizes to promote Gender Equality by organizing two weeks, from the 7th to 19th of October 2013, full of activities and events dedicated to the question of equality between women and men.

 

Rhone-Alpes has taken the initiative to organize this type of events for two weeks each year, throughout the region, in order to valorize and put focus on the work that is done in the field of Gender Equality. Associations, communities and social partners are encouraged to network, discuss and exchange on this issue.  

 

On the programme, there are around 140 events (theaters, expositions, debates etc.) inviting the public to engage and exchange with each other. The main theme for the debate is: “Intelligence:  Does it have a gender?”

 

For more information, please have a look at the following website.


1381 signatories of the European Charter for Equality

The success of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life continues to spread! We are happy that during the last months we have been informed that the following local and regional authorities have signed the Charter; these signatories will soon be updated in the Atlas on the website:

 

Belgium

Ath – 22/04/2013

Hannut – 25/04/2013

 

Finland

Korsnäs – 24/06/2013

 

France

Argenteuil – 09/03/2013

Fleury-Mérogis – 01/03/2013

Pantin – 24/05/2013

Angers – 12/06/2013

Compreignac – 25/06/2013

Cher (département) – 10/06/2013

Arpajon – 13/09/2013

Epinay-sous-Sénart – 13/09/2013

Ornoy-le-Rivière – 13/09/2013

Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois– 13/09/2013

Communauté d’agglomération Sénart Val de Seine – 13/09/2013

Conseil Général des Pyrénées-Atlantiques – 21/09/2013

 

Serbia

Arandelovac – 26/07/2013

 

Sweden

Boden – 29/08/2013

Gnesta – 30/09/2013

 

Turkey

Izmir – 17/06/2013

Nevsehir – 23/08/2013


Encouraging women’s socio-political participation through networks

The Basque municipalities, Basauri City Council, City of Ermua, Getxo City Council, City of Ondarroa have participated in a joint project aiming to encourage women’s socio-political participation in municipal life.

 

The project included training sessions focusing on using existing networks to develop ways to strengthen women’s participation in socio-political life. One of the approaches was to work with women’s associations focusing on cultural activities, and bringing them closer to political participation and decision-making spheres. This was accomplished through the application of gender mainstreaming as a means of cooperation with various municipal departments.

 

Specific objectives of the project were:

  • Strengthening women’s associations through training and discussions from a feminist perspective
  • Promoting and/or strengthen participatory bodies of women
  • Promoting awareness on gender-based discrimination among women 
  • Establishing schools of empowerment as a benchmark to encourage women’s participation in socio-political life

 

As a result of the initiative, women’s social and political participation has increased and 650 women have participated in the trainings. The project has also helped to influence local equality policies. Furthermore, the project has been acknowledged as a positive means of involving citizens in decision making and in local public life and to increase awareness on women’s role in society.

 

The project also involved providing support for empowerment processes for women from other cultures through the creation of networks for solidarity and international exchange.  A part of the cooperation consisted in constructing houses for women in Refugee Camps in Tindouf in Algeria.

 

The experiences from the Empowerment project will be transferred to other municipalities and networks in order to explore the possibilities of creating synergies and to further promote ways of making equality between women and men a social reality.


International Conference “Equality, Growth and Innovation”

The University of Luleå Sweden is organizing an international conference on “Equality, growth and innovation – in theory and practice” on the 9th to the 10th of October at the ‘House of Culture’ (Kulturens hus) in Lulea Sweden.

 

The conference will bring up social aspects of sustainable growth and innovation and discuss the link between equality, growth and innovation based on experiences from theory and practice.

 

The conference includes both workshops and research presentations on topics such as:

 

  • “What politics can learn from large gender mainstreaming programmes”
  • “Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship by a national public program – building roads to growth”
  • “Management of public sector innovation – strategies and challenges”
  • “Money talks” Gender budgeting on the local level – challenges and opportunities”
  • “Quality assurance of activities for gender mainstreaming“

 

For more information on registration please visit the following link: www.ltu.se/EGI


Include Gender Mainstreaming in Local Urban Planning

The municipality of Västerås has decided to integrate gender mainstreaming as a vital part of their work when establishing a new comprehensive plan for the municipality. Integrating the gender perspective in urban planning is a question of democratic value.

 

Differences in preferences based on gender

Surveys have revealed that women and men often have different habits and preferences, for instance when it comes to using public transports and the feeling of security in public spaces. To improve quality of urban planning it is important to take into consideration the different perspective and needs of all citizens. The municipality of Västerås has integrated the gender aspect in their work through training staff, by making analyses of the situation in various areas related to the urban planning and by introducing new ways of performing consultations.

The project has allowed an increase of knowledge on how to include the gender perspective in urban planning and raised awareness among staff.

An important aspect highlighted in the new comprehensive plan is that the municipality should make sure than women and men have the same opportunities to influence their environment, their neighbourhood and overall urban planning of the municipality. Urban planning can improve by considering a wider range of perspectives from people with different backgrounds and living conditions.

 

New ways of organizing public consultations

Important parts of this work are the public hearings. Studies have shown that women are not involved in the urban planning to the same extent as men; men participate to a much larger extent in public consultations expressing their opinions which is causing a lack of democracy since women’s voices are not heard. One way of solving this is by changing the way of carry out consultations. In order to increase accessibility and facilitate for women to express their opinions, the municipality of Västerås has presented the new urban plans in places that are more frequently visited by citizens, such as shopping malls. The municipality has also given citizens the possibility to express their views by answering an online questionnaire provided on the municipality’s website. In the questionnaire citizens has been able to pinpoint various locations on a map and provide their inputs. To get a clearer picture on of the possible differences in preferences based on gender, the municipality has been reviewing the gender balance of all the comments and analyzed if there have been differences in the answers given by women and men. Is it for example as important for women as for men to build more roads, car parks, sport areas or green spaces? This information can help municipalities to evaluate possible discrimination in the treatment of the interest of different groups.

 

In the end it is a question of democracy and the responsibility of the municipalities to make sure that the needs of all citizens are being considered, regardless of gender and background.


Equality in the City Planning Administration

The City planning administration in Eskilstuna is integrating gender mainstreaming in their operations. This work has included both training of the staff and improvements to make the city safer for both women and men. The municipality has considered various aspects such as public lightning, art in the public space and reviewing the public transportations. One of the conclusions drawn from the project is the importance of including the gender perspective in the early stages of the processes and also to make sure to have a gender balance in the working groups to broaden the perspectives.

 

The importance of good lightening

 

Studies show that women feel more insecure in public spaces than men. One of the aspects affecting this sense of security is the lightning. Reviewing the public lightning can contribute to increase the sense of security among citizens, it does not necessarily mean investing in more lightning but rather focus on the right kind of lightning. It is necessary to analyze the situation in order to find the most appropriate solutions. Too much lightning can for instance be bad since the surroundings thereby gets darker, it can also cause glare which makes it difficult to observe the surroundings which can create insecurity.

 

Art and norms in the public space

 

Another aspect to reflect upon is the art provided in public spaces. Are the artists in most cases women or men? What does the art represent and what signals does it send to citizens about gender? Is there a majority of statues of men? Is there a majority of streets named after men? These kinds of questions help reflecting on the prevailing norms and who gets the most visibility in society.

 

Public traffic planning

 

Studies show that women travel differently than men. Women walk, bike and use public transportation more often than men. There would be large economic and environmental benefits to make if citizens would start travelling more like women.  

The municipality of Eskilstuna would like to get access to more gender disaggregated statistics to use as a basis for their municipal traffic planning since this would help improving the work further. However, this kind of statistics is often lacking. The municipality has therefore taken the initiative to start and divide all their observations and surveys based on gender.


Assembly 2013 Synergy Wallonia for Equality of Women and Men

The Association « Synergie Wallonie pour l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes » (Synergy Wallonia for equality of women and men) organizes each year an Assembly to gather associations, municipal agents and other relevant stakeholders to discuss issues related to equality of women and men.

 

This year’s assembly will bring up the topic of “Temporal policies supporting reconciliation of professional and personal life” and will take place in Namur in Belgium on the 29th of October. The meeting will give an opportunity for participants to get to know more about the concept of temporal policies and to discuss how such a policy could be implemented in municipalities. It will provide time for discussion and aims to enrich the thinking of professionals working in the field of “time” and bring together different experiences from municipalities and towns in order to encourage new approaches.

 

The concept note of the meeting underlines the important role of local authorities and politicians as the governing body on the closest level of citizens. As the ones defining the priorities and the specific projects in municipalities; they must be attentive to the needs and interest of the population. In all areas of municipal competencies such as education, urban planning, social welfare, culture, health, youth, safety etc. it is important to take into consideration the specific needs and interests of women and men. Studying “temporal approaches” of a territory means paying attention to the daily lives of citizens. In this context, time policies are a useful tool.

 

For registration and more information please contact Synergie Wallonie on the following email : info.synergiewallonie@gmail.com

 

For more information about the event : http://www.amazone.be/spip.php?article2774


Women on boards – new EU report

The European Commission launched a new report on the 14th of October 2013 presenting statistics on the representation of women and men in boards in Europe, “Women and Men in leadership positions in the European Union 2013 – A review of the situation and recent progress. The figures (from April 2013) show that there has been a slight increase of the number of women in decision-making positions in companies, the current figures show that 16.6 % of board-members are women compared to 15.8 % in October 2012.

 

The report include figures from different countries and shows that the most significant increase reported since 2010, have occurred in France (+ 14.4 pp to reach 26.8 %), in the Netherlands (+ 8.4 pp to reach 23.6 %) and in Italy (+8.7 pp to reach 12.9 %), countries that have all adopted binding legislation to encourage more women in boards.  The countries with the highest number of women in boards are Finland (29.1 %), Latvia (29%), France (26.8%) and Sweden (26.5%).

 

The report also presents an overview of the current situation of the representation of women and men in decision-making position in politics, public administration and in legal courts. In these fields the representation is more gender balanced even though there is still significant room for improvement.

 

For more information please read the Mid-term review of the European Commission: “Report on women and men in leadership positions and gender equality strategy mid-term review”.

 

On the same day as the release of the report, the European Parliaments Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and the Committee on Legal Rights (JURI) voted in favour of the proposal of the European Commission to setting a minimum target of 40% of the underrepresented sex in non-executive board-members in companies in Europe by 2020. The proposal is intended as a temporary measure that would last until 2028. The vote sends a strong message and paves the way in the process of drafting an EU law on this topic.

 

For more information about the EU Commissions proposal “Women on Boards” please see IP/12/1205 and MEMO/12/860.

 

In order for the proposal to become a law it needs to be adopted both by the European Parliament and by EU Member states in the Council.

 

More information: European Commission proposal on “Women on boards”


The City of Cologne organises a dialogue on the European Charter for equality

The City of Cologne organises its first dialogue on the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life

 

The City of Cologne signed the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life on the 8th of August 2011.

 

In order to develop the first Action plan for equality, the city of Cologne organizes its first dialogue with citizens on the 29th of October.

 

The dialogue will address three concrete topics related to equality and will provide an opportunity for citizens to propose objectives and ideas;

 

  • Domestic violence
  • Security of young people (partying) in Cologne
  • Gender equality in twinning and international cooperation activities of Cologne

 

More information on the Charter and the event is available on the website of the city of Cologne at http://www.stadt-koeln.de/2/frauen/13361/

 

More information on the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life can be found on the RGRE website at http://www.rgre.de/ under “Resolutionen, Charten und Erklärungen”.

 

*********************************

 

1. Dialog zur Europäischen Charta der Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern auf lokaler Ebene

 

Die Stadt Köln hat die Europäische Charta der Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern am 8. August 2011 unterzeichnet. Am 29. Oktober 2013 startet der 1. Dialog mit der Stadtgesellschaft zur Erarbeitung des 1. Aktionsplans zur Europäischen Charta der Gleichstellung von Männern und Frauen.

 

Im Dialog können zu drei konkreten Gleichstellungsthemen Ziele und Ideen mit eingebracht werden:

 

  • Gewalt in häuslichen Partnerschaften
  • (Party-)Sicherheit für Mädchen und Jungen in Köln
  • Geschlechterparität in Kölns Städtepartnerschaften und internationalen Kooperationen

 

Weitere Informationen zur Charta und der Veranstaltung finden Sie auf der Website der Stadt Köln unter http://www.stadt-koeln.de/2/frauen/13361/

 

Weitere Informationen zur Europäischen Charta für die Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann auf lokaler Ebene können beim RGRE unter dem Link http://www.rgre.de/ und hier unter Resolutionen, Charten und Erklärungen abgerufen werden.

 

**********************************


Imposing requirements on Gender Equality in public procurement contracts

The Basque institute for Women (EMAKUNDE) has published a guide on how to set requirements favouring gender equality in public contracts and grants. The guide was elaborated by an interagency group in which the Association of Basque Municipalities (EUDEL) also participated. 

 

By providing information about the legal framework, arguments to why it is important and how it can be beneficial for all actors, examples of good practices, recommendations etc., the guide offers extensive information and contributes to raise awareness on the topic.

 

Although women and men have equal rights legally, statistics show that gender equality is far from achieved. The guide highlights the significant role that local authorities can play in this regard and underlines the importance of promoting equality in of its all activities and policies. Including gender equality as a prerequisite in public procurement contracts is an effective instrument that public authorities can use to advance social change and promote equality.

 

Practically this can be done either by promoting positive actions or by including gender mainstreaming. Positive actions means putting in place temporary measures aiming to compensate for previous inequalities or discrimination of disadvantaged groups, given that it is reasonable and proportionate to the objective pursued in each case. Gender mainstreaming means improving, developing and evaluating political processes in such a way that the gender perspective is included in all areas at all levels. The strength of gender mainstreaming is that it endorses the inclusion of a gender perspective in the public policies and thereby creates a solid knowledge within organizations generating good governance. 

 

The guide also brings up possible obstacles and difficulties in implementing equality requirements, such as lack of political will or fear of complaints from private companies. Resistance can be due to lack of knowledge of the benefits this type of clauses can generate but also lack of technical knowledge on how to introduce these types of clauses.  

 

To overcome these types of problems, the guide underlines the need to raise awareness on Corporate Social Responsibility issues, to analyse previous experiences and highlight good practices. This could be done through organizing workshops, providing technical training; elaborating guides and provides models for equality-clauses. Another thing could be to involve women organizations or associations active in equality-work.

 

There are a number of benefits and comparative advantages of promoting equality issues presented in the guide. Companies applying social policies concurrently improve quality of their processes. Its usefulness is therefore not limited to contributing to achieving a more just and egalitarian society but also to improving services and productivity of their own organization.

 

The guide also makes a reference to a publication developed by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in 2010 called “Buying Social – A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement”.

 


Collaboration to promote gender equality at local level

 

 

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) is currently cooperating with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM) on a project aiming to support local governments in Serbia in the EU integration process. One of the core modules of the program is gender equality at local level.  According to the project: “The topic of Gender Equality does not take up so much space in the public debate and media in Serbia, unless speaking of domestic violence.”

 

There are two national directives on gender equality in Serbia, namely The National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women and Promotion of Gender Equality and the Gender Equality Law. The law assigns a large share of responsibility on local authorities which gives them a responsibility to work actively in promoting gender equality.

 

The European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life has been signed by 11 Serbian municipalities. To further develop this work, the program aims to:

 

  • Strengthen the capacity of technical services of SCTM for creating and implementing measures to promote equality;
  • Enhance the capacities of cities and municipalities in Serbia and local bodies for gender equality;
  • Promote a concept of gender equality in public and raise awareness in regard to this issue.

 

In addition to these goals, several other activities will take place, such as different training courses, initiatives to promote the European Charter for Equality, capacity development of local gender equality mechanisms and assistance in developing and implement gender equality action plans. During 2014, SALAR and SCTM will arrange similar gender mainstreaming trainings based upon the European Charter for Equality, to be able to compare and learn from similarities and differences in the two countries.

 

The main facilitator for this extensive battery of gender activities is a specific task force put together by gender experts, politicians, municipal representatives and SCTM staff, called the SCTM Gender Working Group. A lot of resources such as training, a study visit to Swedish municipalities and other form of capacity building have been invested in this working group, which is now being put into action. The Gender Working Group is an important resource for other SCTM policies such as EU-accession, business development and environmental issues.

 

The Gender Working Group is also preparing a new gender policy for SCTM, based upon input from municipalities and NGOs, citizenship dialogue and expert support from national, SCTM and SALAR gender experts. The policy will be up for decision at the SCTM general assembly in December 2013, and will guide the future efforts of SCTM and SALAR in their mutual cooperation to promote gender equality at the local level.

 

For more information please consult the website of the programme: http://euintegracije.skgo.org/en/submodules/index/3


Slight progress in closing the Global Gender Gap

Last week on the 25th of October, the World Economic Forum released the eighth edition of the Global Gender Gap Report 2013. The Index measures countries abilities to close the gender gap in four main areas: economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation and highly skilled employment), political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures), educational attainment (access to basic and higher levels of education) and health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio). The report provides data and a ranking of 136 countries all over the world and allows an easy overview of the situation of Gender Equality in different countries.

 

This year’s report show positive developments, 86 out of 133 countries have improved their global gender gap and the progress is especially prominent in the field of political participation.

 

The Nordic countries; Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden remains in the top ranking. The Philippines is on the 5th place and enters among the top five countries for the first time.

 

At the global level, health is the area with the best score, 96 % of the global gender gap is closed.  The area with most room for improvement is political participation with a global gap of 21 % although a slight progress of 2 % has been made since the last report was released in 2012.

 

To access the press release of the Global Gender Gap report 2013 please click on the following link.


Seminar on Equality of Women and Men in local life

CEMR organize together with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) a seminar on Equality of Women and Men in local life in Stockholm on the 11-12th of November, “Implementing Gender Equality in practice”.

 

The seminar will start 13h30 on the 11 of November with an interactive workshop providing an opportunity for participants to discuss the implementation of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life and how to improve the work of the Observatory.

 

The seminar will continue the 12th of November with a meeting with the Standing Committee for Equality in the morning and presentations on how different associations are working with gender equality in their countries in the afternoon.

 

The seminar will take place in the premises of SALAR at Hornsgatan 15 at Södermalm in Stockholm.

 

For further information about the seminar and the full programme please contact Johanna Törnström Policy Officer Equality – CEMR (johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org)

 

The seminar is intended only for members of the CEMR network working on the Observatory and the European Charter for Equality.


New film on gender mainstreaming in local life

New film on gender mainstreaming in local life

 

By applying the strategy of Gender Mainstreaming, local and regional authorities can act to improve the quality of their services provided to citizens. This film made by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) shows concrete examples on how the gender perspective can be implemented in a variety of municipal competencies such as snow removal, ambulance transport and school performance. The film illustrates how the principle of gender mainstreaming can be applied in practice and how it allows citizens, municipalities and regions to strengthen gender equality in order to improve citizens’ everyday life. The film was originally made in Swedish, but has now been translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Finnish. Enjoy!

 

Film in English

 

Film in French

 

Film in Spanish

 

Film in German


First National Conference on the European Charter for Equality

The German Section of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (RGRE), RGRE deutsche Sektion, organises together with the City of Frankfurt am Main, the first national conference on the implementation of the European Charter for Equality.

 

The conference will take place on the 26th-27th of November 2013 in the City of Frankfurt am Main.

 

In Germany there are 35 signatories of the European Charter for Equality, some of which have already adopted action plans for Equality and are in the phase of implementation, and some that are still in the process of elaborating action plans.

 

The conference aims to provide an opportunity for German signatories to exchange experiences and knowledge, particularly on different ways of developing local action plans.

In addition to this, the conference will include a political discussion on the topic of gender equality and the role of municipalities.

 

The objective of the conference is to develop common strategies on how to anchor gender equality in municipal policies in order to successfully implement the European Charter for Equality.

 

For more information please contact: Stephanie Kuersten Camara at Stephanie.kuersten-camara@stadt-frankfurt.de

 

To download the programme of the conference (in German).


EIGE Seminar on Gender Mainstreaming

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is organizing a Peer-to-Peer exchange seminar on Gender Mainstreaming in Vilnius on the 21-22th of November.

 

Participants will be invited to discuss the following topic “How can we make gender mainstreaming work?”

 

The seminar aims to gather around 50 representatives of national and regional institutions working on gender mainstreaming to exchange experiences and discuss good practices.

 

On occasion of the seminar, EIGE will also present latest research data on gender mainstreaming in the EU and share recently developed practical information on gender impact assessment and gender training.

 

For more information about the seminar please contact:

 

Marurizio Mosca : maurizio.mosca@eige.europa.eu;

Indre Mackeviciute: indre.mackeviciute@eige.europa.eu


EU Parliament votes in favour of the proposal on introducing quotas in boards

On the 20th of November, the European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal to improve the gender balance among non-executive directors in European company boards by 2020.  The proposed legislation obliges companies to achieve a 40 % target of the under-represented sex in non-executive board member positions. Despite the debate in last few years, the number of women in non-executive and executive positions remains low (respectively 15 % and 8.9 %). The proposal was approved by a majority of the members of the European parliament (459 votes in favour, 148 votes against, 81 abstentions).

 

Vice President and EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Redding said that “[The] European Parliament vote is a historic moment for gender equality in Europe.”

 

Companies that do not attain this objective by 2020 would be required to revise their procedural rules and give priority to the under-represented sex provided that the candidates are equally qualified.

 

This proposal will go further to discussion for approval among the 28 Member States next month.

 

For more information about the proposal and the background, please visit the following link.


New film on gender mainstreaming in local life

By applying the strategy of Gender Mainstreaming, local and regional authorities can act to improve the quality of their services provided to citizens. This film made by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) shows concrete examples on how the gender perspective can be implemented in a variety of municipal competencies such as snow removal, ambulance transport and school performance. The film illustrates how the principle of gender mainstreaming can be applied in practice and how it allows citizens, municipalities and regions to strengthen gender equality in order to improve citizens’ everyday life. The film was originally made in Swedish, but has now been translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Finnish. Enjoy!

 

Film in English

 

Film in French

 

Film in Spanish

 

Film in German


EU Conference on Gender Equality in Sport

The European Commission is organizing a conference on Gender Equality in Sport on the 3-4th of December in Vilnius.

 

The objective if the conference is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss objectives and ways on how to advance gender equality in sports and thereby contribute to the development of a new EU dimension in this field. Examples of concrete actions will be addressed in workshops, such as equal representation in sport governing bodies, gender stereotypes and the role of media and fight against gender-based harassment.   

 

The event will gather around 120 representatives of national, European and international sport organisations (e.g. the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, UEFA, …), advisors from national governments and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

 

The conclusions of the event will be addressed to EU Institutions, the sport movement and the Member States and could have an impact on policies and initiatives at national level. The outcomes will also contribute to defining political priorities for the European exchange programme Erasmus+ and for the next EU Work Plan for Sport.

 

For more information and access to the agenda please visit the following link.


Campaigns to fight violence against women

In view of the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25th of November, several campaigns are held at local, European and International level.

 

The City of Rennes, signatory of the European Charter for Equality since 2006 is organizing 2 weeks of activities to raise awareness on the topic. From the 22th of November  to 15th of December debates, movie screenings, conferences, theater plays and meetings with associations are organized in the City. To access the full programme (in French).

 

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is currently highlighting the White Ribbon campaign, the world’s largest movement engaging men in the combat on violence against women.

 

EIGE is also collecting good practices on prevention protection from domestic violence from different countries in Europe. 

 

Moreover the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) mobilizes together with the Council of Europe in activities organized in 33 countries from the 25th of November until the 10th of December to raise awareness on Violence against Women and to promote the Istanbul Convention focusing on rape and sexual violence against women. For more information about the campaign please visit the following link.

 

The European Commission also announced a new joint programme with UN Women on preventing Violence against women supporting initiatives in Albania, Timor-Leste and Mexico. For more information about this programme please consult the following link.


Manual on Gender Equality for Finnish municipalities

 

 

The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (AFLRA) has made a manual for municipalities describing the importance of their role in promoting Gender Equality.

 

By presenting general information on the legal framework and concrete examples on methods to use, the guide provides support to decision-makers. It also contributes to increasing the awareness on how gender equality can be integrated in municipal activities and thereby contributes to the welfare of citizens.

 

The advantage of signing the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life is especially mentioned as a way of taking a public commitment to equality. The Charter is also presented as a tool that can be used by municipalities when taking decisions in the area of equality.  

 

The manual also provides specific information on how to work with Equality in the following areas:

  • Equality in decision-making and presents statistics stating the underrepresentation of women in the decision-making level in municipalities in Finland.
  • Equality in steering documents and in the budget of the municipality and underlines the importance of highlighting women and men, girls and boys explicitly in steering documents since decisions can have different impacts on women and men, girls and boys and also integrating the gender impact in budget decisions, i.e. working with “Gender budgeting”
  • Equality in provision of services and explains the necessity to identify differences in needs in order to improve quality and be able to offer services on equal basis
  • How to do gender assessment
  • How to work with Safety and Prevention of Gender-based Violence

 

For more information please consult the guide on the following links:

 

Link to the guide in Finnish

 

Link to the guide in Swedish

 

AFLRA has also published a more detailed guide for the local government officers on how to implement the Charter, for the moment it exists only in Finnish:

 

Link to guide on how to implement the Charter in Finnish

 

 


Including Gender in decentralized cooperation

The region of Isère in France is focusing on integrating gender equality as a transversal objective in their decentralized development projects in Senegal, Morocco and Palestine and has implemented special projects to improve the conditions of women.

 

Integrating gender in development projects does not necessarily mean to target women as a group. Instead, the notion of gender should be incorporated throughout the whole project cycle. How it should be included in activities depends on the specific objectives outlined for the projects and the challenges that may arise. An essential question is to consider is whether the implemented project also considers women and contributes to improving their specific conditions.

 

In all of its projects, the county of Isère has been focusing on the following:

–       Active participation of citizens in order to ensure sustainability of actions and to reinforce local democracy

–       Identifying and understanding the specific needs of women through individual and group interviews.

–       Identify key stakeholders in communities and build upon existing initiatives

–       Focus on ensuring citizens participation, by involving citizens in the monitoring-processes, the project management

 

The following projects are examples on what the county of Isère have done to improve women’s conditions in different countries:

 

  • Regions of Tambacounda and Kedougou (Senegal)

Project focusing on preventing and fighting gender based violence and defending women’s rights has been implemented contributing to creating centers for women victims of violence and supporting campaigns to prevent violence against women. This project also resulted in creating an exhibition in Isère to raise awareness on this issue.

 

  • Region of Tadla-Azilal (Morocco)

A project supporting women’s cooperatives has been implemented in the region of Tadla-Azilal, aiming to increase revenues of rural families and to valorize the role of women in the local development. Support has been provided to strengthen women’s knowledge in administrative and financial management, to improve quality of handicraft products and to valorize the products by making them more accessible for tourists.

 

  • Caravan for Women in the Province of Douars (Morocco)

To raise awareness on women’s rights, to empower women and promote women’s access to education and services, a caravan is organized every year in Douars in the region of Tadla-Azizal. The caravan is composed of around 120 volunteers specialized in different fields such as law and medicine and provides the public with information.  

 

  • Support to a women cooperative in Bethelehem

By providing technical training for women the project aims to improve women’s participation in the tourism industry. The courses have strengthened women’s knowledge in English, computer-skills, project-management and marketing of handicraft products.  


Urban planning on girls conditions

In 2010 the City of Malmö started a large project to develop new “socially friendly” pedestrian and cycle paths connecting the central areas of Malmö with the socio-economic less advantaged suburb, Rosengård. The project was financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Swedish Delegation for Sustainable Cities. A main component of the project was to engage inhabitants through active citizens’ dialogue in order to provide opportunities for residents to take part and influence their local environment.  

 

As a part of the project, an old parking lot would be transformed into an activity space for young people. When the first sketches were drawn, these were based on typical images of what kind of physical activities an urban space should offer to young people; possibilities for skating, climbing and painting graffiti. However, when looking at the targeted audience for such areas, surveys show that they are predominantly used by young men and boys. This raised the question of who the city was making the plans for. After some research, it appeared that the leisure activities provided for youth was mostly used by young men and boys; whereas only 10-20% of the visitors were girls. When it came to sports, the patterns were similar: only 2 out of 19 sport teams in Rosengård were girls’ team. Even through simple observations of the outdoor environment, it was clear that men dominated in the outdoor urban spaces.

 

It was decided that the new activity area of Rosengård would make an effort to contribute to make it a a more gender balanced area. The project decided to focus on involving young women and girls from the neighborhood since this group is often neglected, both in statistics and in media. Other priorities were focusing on sustainability and improvement of the participation processes allowing citizens to get involved.

 

An advocacy group of young women was then established to contribute with ideas on activities that could be organized in the space. The group called for more cultural activities related to music and dance rather than physical activities. As a second step, a group of stakeholders composed of local associations and small businesses became involved. These groups were responsible for planning the programme of activities and also had direct influence on the spending of the budget. The idea was to build upon the engagement mobilized through the planning processes so that activities offered in the area would be managed and maintained by the users themselves (i.e. the residents in the neighborhood).

 

The approach showed to be successful and throughout the year, young people from different groups participated in the preparations and arranged various activities such as movie screenings, a festival on sustainability and a Christmas market.

 

Moreover, the name of the space “Rosens Red Carpet” was the winning proposal in a competition organized in the suburb as a further way for inhabitants to take ownership of the space .

 

The contribution from the group of young women was acknowledged by media and generated a public debate on the importance of including gender equality in urban planning. When the project came to an end, the group of young women wanted to continue their work and started their own advocacy group “Engaged in Malmö” (EIM). This group continues to organise public events, helping other girls to implement their ideas and encourage citizens to participate in the urban planning of the city.

 

The City of Malmö hopes that this new type of collaborative working processes can be a model for future work, both on Gender equality and social sustainability, in Malmö and in other municipalities.

 

Rosen’s Red Carpet shows that we constantly need to remind ourselves that gender is not an integral aspect that is automatically taken into account in the planning processes. Instead, it requires an active questioning of the existing norms. When we think that we are planning for ‘everyone’ or ‘the general public’, this might not be true. Instead, it is very likely that large groups are not considered. Besides, equality and social inclusion are not concrete concepts; instead they require a continuous process of reflection.  

 

For more information about the project please visit (information in Swedish):

 


First Woman President of CEMR

At the CEMR Policy Committee meeting in Prague (Czech Republic), on 2 December 2013, Ms Anne Marie Jorritsma was elected as the first woman President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) for a period of three years.

 

Anne-Marie Jorristma is also Mayor of Almere (the Netherlands) and President of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and has previously held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of Economic Affairs (1998-2002).

 

In addition, CEMR has renewed the members of its Policy Committee. The new rule on gender balance of the elected members in the statutory bodies, introduced in January 2013, was reached. 44% of the elected members are women and 56% are men.  

 

Please visit the website of CEMR for further information about the Policy Committee meeting.


Pilot project and new signatories of the Charter

Pilot project

The Secretariat of the Observatory is very happy to announce that CEMR has been selected for the Pilot project on developing indicators for the European Charter for Equality. CEMR has established a consortium with the Consultancy Agency GHK and the Basque University in Spain. The project will last for a period of two years and start in January 2014. The Secretariat of the Observatory will shortly send more detailed information to the concerned stakeholders.

 

Norrbotten is the first county in Sweden where all municipalities signed the Charter

We are also happy to announce that we have 10 new signatories in the county of Norrbotten in Sweden (Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog, Gällivare, Haparanda, Jokkmokk, Kalix, Kiruna, Luleå, Pajala, Överkalix). With the 4 previous signatories (Boden, Piteå, Älvsbyn and Övertorneå), Norrbotten becomes the first country in Sweden, and to our knowledge, the first county in Europe where all municipalities have signed the Charter!

 

Norrbotten hopes that other counties and regions in Europe will follow their example. During the Nordic Forum for Equality taking place in Malmö on 12-15 June 2014, Norrbotten will present their objectives for Equality for 2020. Priorities for the country are to offer health services for citizens on equal conditions and ensure that women and men will have the same conditions to shape their own lives.

 

New signatories of the European Charter

The Secretariat of the Observatory welcomes new signatories of the European Charter for Equality and is pleased to inform that there are currently a number of 1403 signatories in 29 European countries. New signatories will shortly be integrated in the Atlas of signatories.

 

The Secretariat of the Observatory wishes you happy holidays and a Happy New Year!


Women Empowerment in the municipality of Tarsus

The municipality of Tarsus signed the European Charter for Equality on 18th of December 2013. The local council has already implemented several activities to promote the role of women in the municipality.

Among the activities are the following:

 

  • Establishment of courses to promote Women’s empowerment, courses in self-confidence and health provided for around 1500 women
  • Trainings for women to facilitate job searching
  • Support to women from villages to sell their needle works
  • Opening of a fruit and vegetable market where women from rural areas can sell their local products, the market requires almost no rent which provides an opportunity for local suppliers to sell their products.

 

Other initiatives that the municipality has applied to strengthen the role of women:

  • The municipality has employed three women bus drivers to promote gender diversity in municipal professions
  • The municipality required that women also should participate as car drivers in a car race competition

 


Conference AICCRE, Gender budgeting and the Charter

The Italian association AICCRE organises a Conference on “Gender Budgeting for the application of the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life”. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange on the current situation of the work on the implementation of the Charter in Italy, especially in relation to Gender budgeting.

 

The conference will be held in Florence, Via Cavour 18, Sala delle Feste

 

Draft programme of the conference:

 

23rd of January

 

15h00-17h00            Registration of participants

17h00                         Meeting of the rapporteurs for the preparation of the draft final document for the Conference

 

Friday 24th of January

 

09h30                         Welcome speeches: President of the Regional Council, President of the Region, President of AICCRE

10.30                          Introductory speech “The Gender Balance to respect the rights of European citizenship”

11.00                          Report on the contents of Gender Budgeting

12.00                          Panel discussion between the representatives of the regions, provinces, municipalities

13.00                          Conclusion, approval of the final document

 


Webinar Observatory

The Secretariat will organise an online meeting, a “webinar” for the network of the national coordinators on the 4th February. The meeting will be moderated from the CEMR office in Brussels. In order to have an interactive debate, the number of participants is limited to 15 persons.

You will find further information on the topics that will be discussed in the draft agenda below. Additional information on the technical details will be sent to those who plan to attend the meeting.

 

Draft agenda:

 

1. Present the current work of the Observatory

2. Present new developments of the website

3. Discuss how to improve the support provided to draw action plans*

4. Discuss the draft manual and the role of Ambassadors of the Charter*

5. Present the Pilot project on developing indicators for the European Charter for Equality and the role of the national coordinators

6. Any other issues

 

For further information on the content of the webinar and to register, please contact Johanna Törnström – Policy Officer Equality (Johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org, +32 2 500 05 49).


AICCRE: Meeting Gender Budgeting and the European Charter

AICCRE: Meeting Gender Budgeting and the European Charter

 

The Italian section of CEMR, AICCRE is organising a meeting with their Committee for Equality in Rome on Monday, the 24th of February on the topic of “Gender Budgeting for the application of the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life”.

 

Venue: Palazzo Marini, Sala delle Colonne, Via Poli 19, Rome

 

Draft agenda :

09h30 Welcome speeches: President of the Region, President of AICCRE, Minister for Integration, President of CPLRE

 

10h30 Introductory speech “The Gender Balance to respect the rights of European citizenship”

 

12h00 Panel discussion between the representatives of the regions, provinces, municipalities

 

13h30 Conclusion, approval of the final document


The Observatory website celebrates 1 year

We are happy that the website of the Observatory now celebrates 1 year.

 

Officially launched on the 1st of February 2013, on occasion of the International Conference for Local Elected Women in Paris, the aim of the website is both to be a supportive tool for signatories of the European Charter for Equality and a platform for exchange.  

 

Throughout 2013, the Secretariat has been collecting information on good practices and material to publish on the website. So far, 31 examples of good practices corresponding to the different thematic of the Charter has been collected, available in the section “The Charter in Action”. We have also collected examples of action plans available in the section “The Action plan: Step by step” sub-section: “Get inspired”.

 

In the Atlas, signatories of the Charter are able to update information about the activities they are implementing in their territories.

 

Is your municipality or region implementing activities in relation to the Charter that you want to share with other local and regional authorities in Europe? Please provide us with ideas and information about the activities that you are implementing by contacting the Secretariat of the Observatory on contact@preprod.charter-equality.eu


FemCities Conference in Graz

FemCities Conference, Graz 7th-8th of April

“On the road to gender equality – Instruments put to the test”


FemCities organizes together with the City of Vienna and the City of Graz a two day conference on Gender mainstreaming and the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life.

The conference will take place in Graz, Austria on the 7th– (13h00) 8th (14h00) of April 2014

Venue: Europäisches Fremdsprachenzentrum/ European Centre of Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, Nikolaiplatz 4 | 8010 Graz

 

The conference will provide participants an opportunity to discuss the European Charter for Equality and current trends in gender equality such as gender mainstreaming and issues related to diversity.

 

Examples of best practices from various European cities and regions will be presented and insights from expert institutions such as the European Institute for Gender Equality – EIGE – and the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality – an initiative launched by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).

 

Target groups: The conference aims to reach a broad audience of decision makers and experts (representatives of regional and municipal administrations, Femcities network partners, politicians, gender equality officers, academics, NGOs, the media.)

 

For more information on registration and the program of the conference please consult the following link.


European Womens Lobby – campaign promoting equality in EU elections

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) mobilizes for the upcoming European elections in May 2014 and has launched a campaign called 50/50 aiming to promote more women elected in the European Parliament and to raise awareness on the issue of equality of women and men.

 

As part of this campaign a conference called “My MEP is just like me? was organized on the 18th of February in the European Parliament. Many stakeholders from different professional and political backgrounds attended and contributed with their expertise on this issue. They recalled the importance of bringing more women into the Parliament and the importance of taking into account both female and male citizens since this is a matter of democracy.

 

EWL has also stressed the impact of austerity measures on gender equality. This issue was made an important part of the campaign and illustrated in the following video:
video

 

The conference also provided a discussion on different obstacles to women’s participation in political life and in particular their involvement in the European elections: lack of promotion of equality in political parties, lack of binding measures to increase the number of women in representative bodies , cultural factors etc. Several solutions were also brought up: the establishment of mentoring programs for women candidates, the effectiveness of quotas and the need to engage men in the work for equality.

 

In the European Parliament only 35% of MPs are women, a lot of work still remains to be done to achieve more parity but as stated by the participants in the conference, solutions do exist, it is a matter of mobilizing!

 

For further information about the campaign please visit this link.

 


Project to prevent gender based stereotypes in school in the province of Sienna

On their website Sienna has published several examples of initiatives taken by municipalities in the province to prevent gender based stereotypes in schools.

 

The aim of these initiatives is to encourage children to question existing stereotypes that appear in their surroundings, especially in media, in books or in toys and to promote equal opportunities for girls and boys.  More generally, combatting gender stereotypes allows future adults, both young men and women, to be more equal in the distribution of domestic tasks and more open towards different career possibilities.

 

An example of an initiative is the three stage approach implemented in the community of municipalities Valdichiana:

 

1.    Analyze children’s perception of stereotypes

The first step was to analyze the perception of stereotypes among children by giving them a questionnaire on “the gender of professions” (including questions on different professions such as lawyer, nurse or fireman and if the children consider these as professions for men or for women?)

 

2.    Promote acceptance by changing stereotyped images

The second step aimed to introduce the topic of diversity and acceptance beyond stereotypes by using “flashcards” presenting men and women in domestic situations that do not correspond to the traditional gender roles (a man taking care of children or cooking while a woman is outside leaving for work for example). After showing the pictures, the children were asked to make up stories to explain the images.

 

3.    Reversing the roles

The third phase invited the children to practically apply non-stereotypical features by playing.

 

Six similar projects have been implemented in the province, local associations have actively mobilized to participate in the campaign and join the fight against inequalities based on gender.

 

For more information about this initiative click here (in Italian)


Improve transport policies by identifying womens travelling habits

The Gender Equality department of the province of Cordoba has recently published a study on women travelling habits in the province in order to identify women’s specific needs in terms of public transports.

 

Considering that transport is an important condition to access the labor market, socialize and fulfil daily tasks – it can also be a major factor of discrimination. The gender equality department in Cordoba was concerned that women had limited mobility compared to men.

 

Indeed, according to the results in the study, several factors seemed to indicate that women could not travel around as fluently as men: many of the women did not have car or a driving license making them dependent on the not so efficient system of public transportation. Moreover, transport policies seemed to be designed to fit men’s habits and needs, giving priority to individual cars and to commuting.

 

As a result, the province of Cordoba decided to integrate gender mainstreaming  in its  urban transport policies and to analysing women’s needs and habits in term of transportation, in order to more precisely identify why mobility remained a discrimination factor between women and men.

 

The province conducted a survey on a sample of 1500 women who had to answer questions both on their mobility habits and on their socioeconomic background. The questionnaire examined the following themes:

–          Frequency and number of travels

–          Age and civil status

–          Mode of transport

–          Origin and destination of the travels

–          Times of travel

–          Professional status

 

Using this survey, the province of Cordoba can now better target women’s need in term of mobility and start designing policies that more efficiently enforce gender equality.


New revealing report: Violence against women across the EU

EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) officially launched on the 5th of March a report of the world’s largest survey on violence against women revealing data on physical and psychological violence suffered by women at home, in their workplace, in public and online.  The survey was based on face-to-face interviews with 42 000 women across EU’s member states and also included questions on specific topics such as stalking and online harassment.

 

Some of the results include:

 

  • 33 % of women have experiences physical and/or sexual violence
  • 22 % have experiences physical and/or sexual violence by a partner
  • 5 % of the respondents of the survey have been raped

The study also shows that most victims of violence or harassment do not report their experiences to either the police or to support organisations. 

 

At the launching conference held in the premises of the Council of the European Union participants underlined the importance of collecting data on this topic since there has been a lack of comparable statistics. Due to the fact that this question remains taboo the exact figures still remains unknown. Inequalities in the society such as women’s economic independence and gender based stereotypes were mentioned as important factors for preventing this kind of violence. 

 

For the full report please visit the FRA website.


Activities to celebrate 8th of March

Le Conseil National des Femmes du Luxembourg (CNFL) publie le programme des événements organisés du 4 au 26 mars pour célébrer la journée de la femme le 8 mars. Dans le cadre du projet « l’Egalité dans ma commune », les communes luxembourgeoises se sont mobilisées pour proposer des manifestations en faveur de l’égalité : des concerts, des projections de films, du théâtre, des expositions permettront à chacun de découvrir le chemin parcouru et celui restant encore à parcourir dans le domaine de l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes. Des conférences sur le thème de l’égalité viennent compléter ce programme et donneront lieux à des échanges avec le public.

 

La ville de Mamer présentera également son plan d’action pour la mise en œuvre de la Charte européenne pour l’égalité lors d’une conférence le 7 mars.

 

Pour plus d’information sur les cette semaine de l’égalité, consultez le programme des événements.


International Women’s Day: 8 gender equality advocates answer our questions

Each year, on 8 March, women all over the world are celebrated. It is a chance to focus attention on gender equality which is not always respected. In order to take measure of this reality, we have asked eight gender equality advocates to answer some questions.

Ms Annemarie Jorritsma (President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions)

– In today’s particularly difficult economic and social environment, what messages would you like to pass on to the European institutions with respect to gender equality? 

 

I would like to invite both current and prospective Members of the European Parliament of the need to remain vigilant if we are to prevent the crisis from taking us a step back in the fight for gender equality. The crisis has placed a number of women in fragile situations in some regions, as they are often harder hit than men when public services are cut. 

 

In keeping with what is presented in our “local and regional governments’ Manifesto”, I call on the European institutions to support initiatives promoting gender equality, to fight for the recognition of equal rights, and to endeavour to ensure that all citizens can take part in shaping the future of Europe.


Ms Patrizia Dini (Italian Association of CEMR (AICCRE), Tuscany Region)

–          You were one of the leading forces behind the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life. Today, the Charter has been signed by 1 400 local and regional authorities in 29 countries, including 400 in Italy. In light of this success, what are the steps that you think need to be taken next?

 

Italy accounts for 430 of the Charter’s signatories and, in six of the twenty regions, 120 authorities have undertaken gender-based analyses of their budgets. One region has even managed to establish action plans and budgets taking gender issues into account, in accordance with the principal of vertical subsidiarity.

 

However, our experiences have shown that there is a need for administrators, political officials and personnel to receive training in the principles of gender mainstreaming.

 

European citizenship confers rights regardless of gender, race, religion, language, personal or social status. Yet, in order for equality to become a reality at the level closest to the citizens, the cultural and political barriers which act as enablers of discrimination, must be taken down. Today, being female still means facing many forms of discrimination in all areas of life: economic, social, civil and political.

 

Efforts must continue to increase the number of women in politics and in decision-making positions. CEMR’s role is therefore to promote and strengthen the role of the local or regional authority and to ensure that its leadership is made up of 50% women.

 

Ms Tamar Bagratia (National Coordinator of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia)

–       Some people say: “Every day is Women’s Day”. Is this particular date simply an easy way of easing one’s conscience or does it contribute its own added value?

 

In Georgia, where social consciousness has been changing gradually, 8 March is still considered a day to give flowers to women. Instead, on this day we should be telling men: we do not need flowers; we need equal rights and opportunities!

 

Stereotypical attitudes regarding the status of women, derived from patriarchal tendencies in Georgia’s traditions and culture, still dominate in this country. International Women’s Day carries a double meaning: some people use this day to underscore the marginalisation of women, while others with more liberal views and sufficient understanding of the issue see this day from the context of equal rights and opportunities.

 

Let us seize on this day as an opportunity to spread the message that gender equality is not just a question for women but also for men, not just once a year but every day.

 

Ms Ewa Samuelsson (Chair of the Standing Committee for Equality, Vice Mayor, City of Stockholm – Sweden)

–       How can the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life and the Observatory (www.charter-equality.eu) serve as concrete tools to help tackle gender inequalities at the local level?

 

The Charter was launched by CEMR in 2006 to encourage local and regional authorities in Europe to make a public commitment in favour of equality. It includes not only basic rights but solid methods on how to improve equality in different areas as well. It is a concrete tool that can be used by local and regional authorities in their efforts to strengthen equality, for example as employers or in urban planning. The Charter has been a real success and to date has been signed by more than 1400 authorities in 29 countries. To follow up on the work brought about by the Charter and to provide support to the signatories, CEMR set up “the Observatory” and the website www.charter-equality.eu which provides information about the Charter, its signatories, and a guide on how to draft action plans as well as examples of good practices from different countries.

 

Mr Ibon Uribe (Member of the EUDEL Executive – Member of the Standing Committee for Equality)

–       How can an association of local governments such as EUDEL contribute to the promotion of gender equality? Given the association’s long-standing involvement and commitment in support of gender equality and the European Charter on Equality of women and men in local life, what would constitute its greatest achievement on the ground?


The Association of Basque Municipalities, EUDEL, seeks to strengthen local governance and devising local policies promoting gender equality is a key step towards creating more democratic local governments.

 

EUDEL has been the driving force in the setting up of the ‘Berdinsarea’, a network of municipalities (covering 75% of the Basque population) that coordinates and assesses local policies, programmes and services in favour of equality and the prevention of violence against women. The network consists of technical experts from the local councils who remain in close contact with women’s associations. EUDEL also supports less experienced municipalities by providing them with resources and expertise on equality issues.

 

EUDEL also coordinates the ‘Basqueskola’, a Basque network of women local elected representatives that offers opportunities for the collective and individual empowerment of women in local politics.

 

Politicians, and I am referring to men in particular, often claim that they support policies of equality but do not follow up with any real action proposals. I believe that we need to show that we are truly committed to gender equality and must raise awareness even more in order to underline the importance of this issue. 

 

To further expand upon our actions, we support the development of a system of comparative assessment of European municipalities. Such a shared tool would provide us with an objective way of measuring our activities as well as allowing us to maximise our strengths and minimise our weaknesses.


Ms Mairi Evans (Chair of the Committee of young local and regional elected representatives – Councillor of Angus, Scotland)

–          As a woman elected representative, what would you say are the most topical problems faced by young women in today’s society? What would be your top three priorities in tackling inequalities?

 

Over the past decades, many European societies have developed a better understanding of the role that women play in a more gender-balanced society. Being a young woman myself, I would say that we have been able to reap some of the benefits of this awareness. But it also needs to be said that before being able to tap into the full potential that comes with an equal society, challenges remain – for instance with striking the right balance between work and family and encouraging female participation in politics, employment and society.

 

At the local level, we can often see that there are more men standing in local elections than women. In the last Scottish local elections two years ago, less than 30% were female candidates. Angus Council, of which I am a member, had one of the highest percentages of women candidates with 34%. Among the issues that female candidates point to are a lack of encouragement for female participation, such as child care facilities at council office, which might deter young women from standing in elections. We can see these challenges in many other areas of society, not only in local politics.


Ms Serife Hasoglu (Councillor, Municipality of Tarsus – Turkey)

–       You recently organised a car race competition in Tarsus. As a Councillor of this municipality you stipulated that its organisation would be conditional upon women being allowed to participate as drivers in the competition as well. How was this viewed by the citizens?

 

The citizens were very surprised to see women drivers. The men were cheering with amazement, pointing at the women participating in the race. The women drivers responded to this extra attention with humour and put on a small acrobatic show. We also asked some women present at the race if they wanted to act as co-pilots and accompany the women drivers. This was appreciated by the audience and many people took photos. It was a beautiful and colourful day. We believe that these women are role models for our citizens. Since then, we have organised mixed races as well as a race only for women.

 

I am proud of having taken this decision since I think that it was an important message to show the women drivers as role models.

 

Our municipality, together with civil rights groups, has also organised many other activities for women such as photography exhibits, painting courses, cycling groups; we have also employed women bus drivers, etc.

 

Ms Jocelyne Bougeard’s Contribution (Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee for Equality, Deputy Mayor of the City of Rennes)

 

– There has been a great deal of public debate in France of late, particularly on such questions as education on gender issues in school, gay marriage or the adoption of the new equality law. How have these debates influenced your work as a woman local elected representative?

 

Strong opposition has been built up against the governmental policies of the ministry for women’s rights by those who favour a conservative model of the traditional French family. This movement disputes the rights granted under the “marriage for all” bill passed last year. It also supports the Spanish government’s decision restricting abortion and uses scare tactics by warning against the dangerous influence of gender theory which has allegedly been introduced into school curriculums, and which is untrue.

 

The French Minister for Women’s Rights on the other hand has been promoting actions at the level of local and regional authorities, notably in the areas that are concerned by the commitments set out in the European Charter for equality of women and men in local life, and has invited authorities to implement and sign this document.

 

These demonstrations of opposition without basis have strengthened the determination of local authorities in France to proceed resolutely, with transparency, informed citizens, commitment and an evaluation of these commitments.

 

 


Local elections in France and Turkey: women paving the way

This past weekend, on the 30th of March, local elections were held in France and in Turkey. Despite some positive progress, the results still show that women remains underrepresented in local decision-making, especially on positions as Mayors.

 

In France, the results from last weekend’s elections show that there has been an increase of elected women representatives in City councils. However, there has been no increase of the total amount of women as Mayors. In the city of Paris Anne Hidalgo was elected the first women mayor, she won against another woman, UMP candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

 

In Nantes, Rennes, Albi and Albertville large cities in France women were elected Mayors for the first time. Also in Lille, Aix-en-Provence, Amiens, Morlaix women was re-elected Mayors.

 

In May 2013, a new law was introduced in France requiring parties to present electoral lists with every other woman, increasing the chances for women to be elected. This law completes the previous law on quota requiring parties to present lists with 50 per cent of women candidates. Thanks to the new law, women represent 50 per cent on the electoral lists in the cities of more than 1000 inhabitants and they represent 40.3% of elected councilors. However, among the Mayors only 13.8% are women.

 

The local elections in Turkey resulted in some progress regarding women’s representation in local decision-making. In three metropolitan cities, women were elected Mayors for the first time in history, Fatma Şahin Mayor of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Gültan Kışanak Mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır and Özlem Çerçioğlu Mayor of the Aegean province of Aydın. 

 

In March 2012, the FEMM Committee of the European Parliament published a report “Report on a 2020 Perspective for Women in Turkey” on the situation of women in local decision-making.


Standing Committee for Equality – meeting in Brussels

CEMR organises a meeting with the Standing Committee for Equality of women and men in local life in the premises of CEMR in Brussels on the 30th of April. The meeting will take place from 10h00-16h00.

 

The participants attending the meeting are stakeholders and members of CEMR national associations; elected representatives from local and regional level – members of the Standing Committee for Equality and national coordinators working with the Charter and the Observatory.

 

On occasion of this meeting the Standing Committee for Equality will have an exchange with the President of CEMR, Ms Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, (Mayor of Almere and President of VNG) on the work of CEMR in the field of equality between women and men.

 

 

CEMR Secretariat will also present the current progress of the work of the Observatory and the Pilot project.

 

For further information about the meeting please contact Johanna Törnström Policy Officer Equality at johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org


SALAR’s Action plan based to the European Charter for Equality

The Swedish association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) signed the European Charter for Equality when it was launched in 2006 and thereby also invited municipalities and regions in Sweden to sign the Charter.

 

As a part of SALAR’s internal work on gender mainstreaming, SALAR has elaborated an action plan to set a strategy for the associations work on gender mainstreaming. The action plan is elaborated according to the Charter and covers the period 2014-2015.

 

In the action plan SALAR outlines how the association is planning to integrate a gender perspective in all steps of its decision-making processes. It also states that the activities carried out by the association should be gender mainstreamed and include a perspective of both women and men.

 

SALAR has chosen to focus on Article 8 (General commitment) and article 9 (Gender Assessment) of the Charter.

 

The targeted group for the action plan is elected representatives, managers, directors and staff working at SALAR.

 

To implement these commitments SALAR undertake to do the following:

  1. All individual-based statistics presented by SALAR should be gender disaggregated
  2. Gender assessments taking into account the gender perspective should be done in the priorities, projects and agreements set by the association
  3. Trainings and events should be gender mainstreamed
  4. Communication policies should be gender mainstreamed
  5. The gender perspective should be taken into consideration in responses/reports and decision-making done by the association

 

Furthermore, based on this framework, each department should formulate how this work can be conducted within their own department. 

 

The action plan also states which department that is responsible for the overall coordination of the gender mainstreaming work and how the priorities will be monitored.


FemCities conference on the European Charter for Equality

The network FemCities organized together with the City of Graz and the City of Vienna a conference on the implementation of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life. The conference gathered round 40 participants from Austria, Germany, Serbia, Croatia and Sweden.

 

The conference offered an opportunity for participants to get a further insight in how the City of Vienna, Graz, Frankfurt and Zagreb organizes their local policies to advance gender equality.

 

Several issues were discussed among the participants, such as Gender Equality versus Diversity and recent trends of incorporating these two areas into one.

 

The way of organizing gender equality work within municipalities was also discussed and the impact of the operational management both on the internal and external work and challenges this might cause for the implementation of gender mainstreaming.

 

FemCities is a European network of cities working to promote gender equality. It was previously called Milena and was originally cooperating with cities in Central Europe, especially in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Today the network has expanded its activities and organize annual conferences on different thematic related to gender equality in local life.

 

For more information about FemCities please visit link.

 

In 2012 FemCities held a conference on the topic of “Ending gender stereotyping and sexist portrayals in advertising”, click here for more information and to access the conference publication.

 

In 2011 the topic for the conference 2011 was “Migrant women in European cities and municipalties”, click here for more information and to access the conference publication.


International Symposium on Gender Equality and Health Services

Public Policy Exchange organises an international symposium in Brussels on the 13th of May to discuss a European Strategy for Gender Equality in Health services including equal and non-discriminatory access to quality health care services. The symposium will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss how to work towards creating a EU-wide policy – and improved EU regularly framework in this field.

 

The conference will include key speakers from the following organisations: Amnesty International, World Health Organisation (WHO), European Institute of Women’s Health, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Federation for Planned Parenthood among others.

 

For more information about the event and to register please visit the following link.


Nordic Forum on gender equality in Malmö (Nordiskt Forum – Malmö)

Between the 12th and 15th of June, Malmö will become the European – if not global – capital of Gender Equality by hosting the Nordic Forum on Gender Equality (Nordiskt Forum). Organized by six Gender equality organizations from the five Nordic Countries, the conference aims at promoting girls and women’s empowerment and achieving gender equality.

 

Around 15.000 participants (researchers, politicians, representatives from government agencies, local and regional authorities, NGO’s but also individuals) are expected to attend the conference to discuss their work, challenges and opportunities related to gender equality in the Nordic region, develop the debate and formulate requests and concrete proposals for the political level etc.

 

For more information about the event please visit the following link


Online questionnaire on the European Charter for Equality available in 18 languages

CEMR is currently working on a Pilot project – together with the consultancy company ICF GHK and the University of Basque Country, to develop indicators that will allow measuring the implementation of the European Charter for Equality. This project is financed by the European Commission, started in January 2014 and will last until the end of 2015. We are currently in the phase of analyzing the situation of the implementation of the Charter in each EU Member States and has asked signatories of the Charter to respond to a questionnaire. The survey covers questions on local and regional authorities work related to the Charter and gender equality.

   

If you have not yet responded, we invite you to fill in the questionnaire by clicking on the links below.

 

Please note that the deadline for responding to the questionnaire has been extended until the 26th of May (and until the 28th of May for Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Sweden).

   

     

Italian: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/it/

 

French: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/fr/

   

Greek: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/el/

 

Spanish: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/es/

 

Swedish: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/se

 

English: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/

 

German: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/de/

 

Czech:  http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/cz

 

Finnish: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/fi/

 

Hungarian: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/hu/

 

Latvian: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/lv/

 

Maltese: http://www.ghkint.com/ecwmll/surveys/mt/

 

Dutch: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/nl/

 

Polish: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/pl/

 

Slovak: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/sk/

 

Slovene: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/si/

 

Portuguese: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/pt/

 

Romanian: http://www.ghkint.com/surveys/ecwmll/ro/


Project to promote work-life balance

 The pilot project on Work Life Balance was launched in 2008 by the Woman’s Institute and with the participation of the Spanish (FEMP) and the Norwegian (KS) Associations. The project was financially supported by the European Economic Area (EEA).

 

The aim of this project was to improve local public policies and achieve more and better work-life balance conditions for citizens by designing and implementing work-life plans in 10 Spanish municipalities.

 

Based on this, in 2010 a good practice guide on work-life balance for local bodies was published, collecting and analyzing  best practices from Spanish and Norwegian municipalities. The collaboration between Norway and Spain turned out very successful and allowed for an exchange of best practices in both countries.

 

The recommendations provided in the work- life- balance guide were the following:

  • Establishment of cross-cutting interventions in public policies to take into account the aspects of personal, professional and domestic life. 
  • Implementation of activities focusing on companies and the private sector promoting the idea that reconciliation of time is linked to productivity (awareness-raising, promotion of flexible working hours, working from home)
  • Implementation of activities within the local administration focusing on their role as employers (to fight against internal discriminations and promoting a culture of independence and confidence among employees)
  • Establishment of time policies in urban planning
  • Implementation of actions to promote services and infrastructures that facilitate reconciliation of time (extended opening hours, low-cost access, multimodal transport-hubs) 
  • Implementation of raising-awareness activities promoting a change in attitudes regarding time issues (education policy, advocacy and shared responsibility of domestic tasks).

Today the Equilibrio-Balance project is extended for the period 2013-2015 building upon the experiences from the previous project. It involves fifteen Spanish local authorities (Madrid*, Majadahonda*, Almería, Cádiz, Jaén, Candeleda, Torrepacheco, Cambre, Verín, Vilagarcia de Arousa, Barakaldo*, Mérida, Pedro Muñoz, Cabezón de la Sal et Ibiza*) and two Norweigan municipalities (Kristiansand* et Hamar).

*Municipalities having signed the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life


 Questions to Maria Segura – Project Manager for the project “Equilibrio-Balance” at FEMP and Marit Tovsen Senior Advisor at KS


What were the main reasons for initiating this collaboration between the Norwegian association (KS) and Spanish association (FEMP)? 

 

Spain and Norway are very different countries, but have a lot to learn from each other when it comes to gender equality. In Spain Gender equality has developed relatively fast – and Spain has achieved good results when it comes to key issues like gender based violence. The development in Norway has been going on for a longer period and has led to good results in many areas, for instance work-life balance.

 

 Why did you choose to focus on “work-life-balance” as the main topic of this project?

 

During the last decades, policies aiming to provide equal opportunities between women and men and to guarantee formal and effective gender equality have been noticeably intensified, both at European and national level.

The reconciliation among personal, family and professional life is a need closely related to a new social, economic and labour reality in modern Europe. It can be seen as one of the key elements within the general framework of equal opportunities between women and men, and it should be tacked through a wide range of approaches.

For Spain, work life balance is a key challenge, as Spain is one of the countries that combine a relatively low participation of women in the labour market with a relatively low birth rate.

Norway has achieved a high percentage of women in a labour market as well as a relatively high birth rate – which indicates a better work life balance.

 

Could you describe the links between “work-life-balance” and gender equality and why it is important? 

 

It is important for all persons to be able to combine work and personal life. In addition, women as well as men should have the right to combine work and children– if they wish to do so.

To take into consideration  measures to promote work-life balance also means enhancing the real and effective equality between women and men by consolidating a model of coexistence in which there is a sharing of family responsibilities that contribute to breaking down the barriers that have prevented to combine and develop work and family life on equal terms.

Furthermore, work life balance is a key factor for social and economic development as it allows full use of all human resources and incorporation of the contributions of women and men by increasing the efficiency and productivity of enterprises and society.

 

 

Do you link the activities in this project to other activities related to gender equality made by municipalities?

 

It wouldn’t have been possible to develop this project without the firm commitment of the municipalities. As the closest level to social reality, municipalities are the best level of governance to fight against inequalities and promote effective gender equality policies.

In this sense, the municipalities involved in the project have a great experience in equality policies which makes the exchange of information and good practices in itself one of the aims to achieve.

 

Can you provide some examples of good practices?


Regarding the pilot project, best practices have been collected in a guide. Actually, we are working on the detection of new initiatives referring the new objectives.

 

Landmarks

 

In Spain, in 2013, 53% of women were in paid work (compared with 64% of men)[1] and 26.3% of them worked part-time (compared with 8% of working men)[2].

In Norway, in 2013, 73% of women are in paid work (compared to 77% of men)[3]. However, 40% of women in the labor force work part-time compared with only 10% of men.

Concerning the nativity, in Spain in 2012, the birth rate (i.e. the number of births compared to the whole population) was 9.7‰[4] and the fertility rate (i.e. the number of children by women) was 1.3[5].

In Norway in 2012, the birth rate was 12.0‰[6] and the fertility rate was of 1.9[7].

In the EU (28) in 2012 the birth rate was 10.4‰ in 2012 and the fertility rate was 1.59

 

 


European elections: small steps towards improved gender balance

Based on the recent results from the European elections held from 22nd – 25th of May, the European Women’s Lobby has done an estimation of the gender balance among newly elected members of the European Parliament.

 

Despite campaigns such as the 50/50 campaign (promoted by the European Women’s Lobby) and the commitment of some parties, the percentage of women elected representatives in the European Parliament remains far from 50%. The new assembly will count 276 women and 475 men, giving a percentage of 36.75% women representatives. This means an increase of 1.25% or 19 more women compared to the previous assembly from 2009.

 

For more information, read the EWL’s news.

 

These results show the importance of keeping promoting a more balanced representation in decision-making positions as stated in the Charter in Article 2.

 

One good example from our associations is the Virginia Woolf school established by EUDEL and opened in 2012. For more information about this initiative click on the following link.


Nordic Forum on Gender Equality

Around 12 000 visitors gathered in Malmö Sweden last weekend from the 12th – 15th of June for the Nordic Forum to discuss Gender Equality and Women’s rights. Among the speakers were Ministers from the Nordic countries, politicians, MEPs, women’s rights associations, activists, officers working at local and regional level, writers and journalists.

 

The Forum consisted both of seminars with discussions with the public and an exhibition hall were institutions, political parties, women’s rights associations, NGO’s, municipalities and other stakeholders working with equality related issues presented their work.

 

Among the topics that were discussed was the parental leave, the role of women on the employment market, the gender pay gap, the role of women in decision-making position, the right and conditions for women migrants, gender-based violence etc.

 

Executive Director of UN Women Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka participated in the Forum and held a speech were she highlighted the need for further instruments to monitor the implementation of gender equality policies, the necessity of indicators and called for further access to gender disaggregated data.  She also pointed out that the MDG:s must be analyzed to see how they affect women.

 

The Forum ended on Sunday the 15th with an impressive closing ceremony accompanied music composed only by women artists. Four of the Nordic Ministers of Gender Equality (Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Norway) were present and were given the final document of the conference.  In the outcomes, the Nordic Forum calls for:

 

  1. That gender budgeting should be integrated in national as well as municipal and regional budgets in the Nordic countries
  2. That the Nordic governments should provide funding to women’s movements organizations
  3. That women should be granted with their own residence permit not linked to their husbands, that deportation of women victims of violence should be stopped and that women victims of trafficking should be given protection and support
  4. That Nordic governments, employers – and trade-organizations should promote women’s employment, support equal pay for work of equal value, support decent working conditions, promote activities improving the work-life balance, work for a more equal distribution of parental leave among women and men etc.
  5. That Nordic authorities should support women in their roles as stakeholder, innovators, scientists , teachers etc for sustainable development and that climate and environmental directed aid always and where relevant should include a gender perspective

 

For further information about the Forum please click on the following link.

 

Several signatories of the European Charter for Equality organized seminars to present how they are working with gender equality within their municipalities. Among these Norrbotten county council presented an interesting collaboration they have initiated with several stakeholders of civil society in the municipalities within the region, among these the Hockey club of Luleå, called “Break the silence” (Swedish: “Bryt tystnaden” linked to the website www.våldmotnära.se aiming to prevent and raise awareness on violence against women.

 

The municipality of Lindköping presented the activities on gender education in kinder gardens. To raise further awareness, the municipality has hired a specialized “gender-educator” that is visiting different kinder gardens to analyze the situation and come with recommendations and suggestions on how they can improve their work and be aware of the consisting norms influencing treatment of boys and girls even at early ages.

 

The City of Umeå proudly presented that they are the first city in Europe opening up Women’s History Museum (Swedish: “Kvinnohistoriskt museum”). The museum is officially opening in November 2014, for more information please visit link.

 


European Gender Summit on Research and Innovation


The new edition of the Gender Summit is going to take place in Brussels on the 30th of June-1st of July. Many experts from research, industry and policy from the EU and beyond will gather for two days to discuss how to promote gender mainstreaming in research and innovation. This question is central to reach the new objectives in terms of innovation and research designed by EU through the H2020 Strategy. The summit will provide an opportunity to exchange on how to promote women in research and innovation and reflect upon what gender mainstreaming and gender equality can bring to this field.

For more information, please click on the following link


EWL’s conference “What’s next?” EU elections


The European women’s lobby organizes a conference, on the 9th of July, the follow up the European elections in terms of gender equality. This conference will close the 50/50 campaign led by EWL during the European elections, aiming to increase the number of women elected members of the EU Parliament. With only 37% of women elected in the new Parliament, gender equality defenders need to find a new approach to advance their cause in the European Institutions for the next five years. During this conference participants are invited to discuss new strategies for gender equality in the EU and reflect on ways to promote women in top positions in the institutions.

For more information and registration please click on the following link to EWL’s website.


More than 1400 signatories in the Atlas!

The Observatory has updated the Atlas and is happy to announce that we have for the first time two new signatories in Croatia (the municipality of Delnice that signed on the 21st of March 2014 and the municipality of Opatija that signed on the 29th of May 2014). We also welcome new signatories in Finland (Nykarleby), France (Conseil Général de l’Allier, Ville de Seyssins), Portugal (Leiria, Mourao Gondomar, Penela, Celorico de Basto ), Serbia (Vracar) and Spain (Galdakao).

 

The Assembly of Municipality of Vračar (one out of 17 city municipalities in Belgrade) adopted the European Charter for Equality on the 27th of June, the same day as the municipality inaugurated the memorial to Sofija Soja Jovanović, the first woman movie director in Serbia.

 

Nina Živanović, Coordinator for the Gender Equality Office of Municipality of Vračar, recalled in her speech that in 1922, when Soja Jovanović was born, women in Serbia didn’t have the right to vote nor did they direct movies or plays. It was even hard to imagine at this time that the situation would be different in the future. However, despite progress during last decades there is still much that needs to be done today in the area of gender equality in all spheres of society. Furthermore, Nina Živanović, suggested to borrow a motto of Soja Jovanović,“Impossible doesn’t exist, there are no excuses” to reaffirm that even if some people think that full gender equality is impossible to achieve, there are no excuses, we must continue working towards achieving a more equal society.


AFCCRE Conference “After the European Elections”

Following the local elections held in France in March and the European elections held in May 2014, the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, AFCCRE organizes a conference in Nantes on the 11-12 of September with the title “After the European Elections: Discuss, Propose, Take action!”

 

As actors working on the closest level of citizens, AFCCRE reminds of the importance of involving local and regional authorities in a discussion on the European project and the place of citizens.  

 

Due to the renewal of staff in municipalities, members of the European Parliament, a new European Commission and the implementation of the new 2014-2020 programming of EU funds, 2014 constitute an important year.

 

In this context, AFCCRE organizes this conference to provide an opportunity for stakeholders working at local and regional level to get together and exchange ideas, learn about the functioning of European institutions and available structural funds and programs of support. 

 

The program offers 5 “Discussion-forums” on the following themes:

1)     Partnership between local authorities,

2)     Equality of women and men,

3)     European and international negotiations on climate and energy,

4)     European policies on social inclusion and Employment and

5)     Cooperation and Development.

 

For more information, please visit the following link (information in French).


Twitter, FEMM Committee and Work-life balance

Twitter

We are happy to announce that ‘The Observatory’ is now on Twitter. Follow us at @CEMR_Equality

 

New members of the FEMM Committee

On the 7th of July the Committee on Women’s rights and gender equality elected (FEMM) of the European parliament elected its bureau. The new Chair of the Committee is Itaxe García Pérez from Spain (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament).

To access the complete list of new members of the FEMM committee please click on the following link.

 

Equinet report on Work-life balance

Equinet (the European network of equality bodies) published, on the 8th of July a new report on how equality bodies can contribute to promoting better working life balance.

 

Equinet states that reconciliation of professional and family life is a crucial part of improving equality between women and men since it covers many important aspects such as effective participation in the labour market and more equal sharing of caring responsibilities.

 

The report is based on discussions held with national members of Equinet and a survey on Working-life balance send to all members. The aim of the report is to support equality bodies to engage in working-life balance related issues as a way of broadening their mandate to work on combatting discrimination.  

 

To access the report please click on the following link.

 

For further information please visit the website of Equinet.


Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women

On the 1st of August the “Istanbul Convention” of the Council of Europe entered into force. The aim of the Convention is to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. 

 

So far, 22 Member states of the Council of Europe have signed the convention and 14 member states have ratified it

 

By ratifying the convention the countries undertakes to prevent all forms of violence against women and take specific measures to fight gender-based violence, sexual harassment, forced marriage and genital mutilation etc.

 

The Convention has been promoted by various international and lobby organisations such as the campaign “Act Against Rape” organized by European Women’s Lobby in 2013.

 

To celebrate that the Istanbul Convention has entered into force, the Council of Europe will organise an international conference in Rome on the 19th of September with the title “Safe from fear, safe from violence”. The conference is organized together with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the chamber of Deputies of Italy as a part of the Italian Presidency of the European Union. The conference also aims at highlighting the holistic approach of the convention to combat gender based violence, and to encourage more member states to ratify and implementing it.


Umeå – a model town for Gender Equality

  • Football on equal conditions

Based on a study conducted by the City of Umeå in 1999 showing that 70 percent of the people using sports arenas were men, Umeå decided to change its sports policies allowing women’s and girls teams to practise sports on the same conditions as men and boys.

 

In 2000, it was decided that training hours should be divided more equally between women’s and men’s teams, depending on their placement in their own league for instance. As a result, boys and men’s teams had no longer the priority to choose the best training hours, and girls and women’s teams were offered the same opportunities for training in sports arenas. Umeå was the first municipality in Sweden to take this kind of decision on how to divide training hours between genders.

 

The decision generated many reactions and some citizens claimed that it was not fair since fewer girls and women were playing football. However, by highlighting the unequal distribution of opportunities for girls and boys to practise sports, the new policy also worked as an eye-opener for many citizens. Consequently, the interest for girls football grew rapidly and today there are almost as many girls as boys playing football in the City of Umeå.

For more information please visit the following link (information in Swedish).

 

  • Guided bus tours with “gender glasses”

Since 2009 the City of Umeå provides guided bus tours around the city to show “the gendered landscape of Umeå”. The tour presents initiatives aiming to improve gender equality in the municipality, as well as the remaining challenges. For instance when passing in front of the biggest high school, visitors are informed about the fact that girls and boys make gender-typical choices in education. When passing in front of the hospital, consequences of a gender segregated labour market are highlighted. As the bus passes by parks, issues related to feeling of security and safety in public spaces are mentioned. Visitors also learn about a project aiming to get unemployed men to work in school kitchens while the bus drives by preschools.

 

  • Gender representation in cultural events

Umeå has reviewed the gender representation in cultural events, in order to demonstrate inequalities in representation on stage. In 2013, 765 women performed on stage during the eight biggest festivals in Umeå compared to 1228 men. This figure has improved during past few years as a result of intensive work on gender equality and increased awareness.  

For more information please click on this link.

 

  • Women’s history museum

In November 2014, Umeå will open up a “Women’s History” museum. This museum is pioneering since it is the first museum in Europe of this kind. Besides focusing on women’s role and perspective in history, the museum will also offer activities and exhibitions on issues related to gender, power, resistance and opportunities.

 

For more information about the museum please visit the following link:http://www.kvinnohistoriskt.se/


Training European Charter for Equality

The Swedish association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) organises a two-day training for Swedish signatories of the European Charter for Equality (municipalities, countries and regions), to elaborate or develop their action plan according to the Charter. 

 

The training will include lectures, discussions and practical examples and cover the following topics:

  • The European Charter for Equality – an introduction
  • Signing the European Charter – what does it entail?
  • Examples of good practices from municipalities, countries and regions
  • Preconditions to elaborate an action plan
  • Mission, mandate and conditions within the organisation
  • Using the European Charter as a concrete tool
  • Management, control and monitoring
  • Planning for further action

 

Date: 8-9th October, from 09h30-16h00 (both days)

Venue: SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, Sant Paulsgatan 6, Stockholm

Targeted audience: Staff working in municipalities, countries and regions in charge of the action plan for gender equality.

For more information please click on the following link (information in Swedish)


Gender Mainstreaming in local authorities

UN Habitat published in 2008 a folder on best practices in Gender Mainstreaming in local authorities with examples from a variety of countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, South Africa, the Philippines and Austria.

 

The publication draws the following conclusions of what is needed for successful implementation of local initiatives to favour gender equality:

 

–       Political will is crucial in order to reach the desired outcomes

 

–       Political will must be complemented by strategies such as action plans, capacity building and training, the needed financial resources as well as monitoring instruments – tools which contributes to facilitating an institutionalisation of gender equality

 

–       Targeted actions aimed to empower women and meet women’s specific needs in terms of socio-economic disadvantages etc.

 

–       Targeted actions must go hand in hand with gender mainstreaming activities

 

–       Quota systems are necessary in many countries to combat an unequal distribution of power

 

–      Campaigns to raise awareness on the significance of gender mainstreaming and gender equality polices both among municipal staff and among citizens

 

–       Involving external stakeholders such as civil society groups, women’s organisations and NGOs

 

–       Implementing gender budgeting as a mean to ensure equal distribution of resources

 

–       International cooperation and share of good practices, by sharing knowledge and information local authorities can learn from each other. In fact it is stated that many of the best practices have been facilitated by international conventions, declarations and road maps.

 

–       Initiatives to favour work-life balance some of the best practices mention work-life balance; women tend to benefit more from certain services such as child-care and flexible working hours. These types of initiatives also seem to increase men’s participation in family life and domestic tasks.

 

–       Involving citizens in the planning, implementation and evaluation. In this work, gender-disaggregated data is necessary as well as indicators.

 

The publication also presents European Charter for Equality as a good example for promoting equality initiatives at local and regional level.

 

To access the full publication please click on the following link.


Gender audits – Italy

Several municipalities and provinces in Italy have elaborated “Gender Audits” to support the implementation of local and regional gender equality policies.

 

By elaborating “Gender Audits” presenting gender disaggregated data, the municipalities have been able to identify:

1)    What are the needs of citizens (women and men, girls and boys)?

2)    How can the local public administration respond to these needs (by providing the adequate services, through policy choices, through budget commitments etc.)

3)    How well has the local or regional administration reached gender equality objectives internally?

 

An example is the municipality Castel del Piano in the Province of Grosseto which provides an overview of statistics divided by the demographical situation of the citizens and regarding the labour market.

 

Based on the figures the municipality has been able to make interesting analysis of issues related to Work-life balance, for instance:

 

  • The analysis shows that women participation in the labour market presents several differences compared to men’s, especially since women in general have a tendency to take a larger responsibility for unpaid domestic work and devote more time for family life, women are over-represented in certain, often low-paid professions, suffer from higher risks of job-insecurity, have more difficulties in reaching decision-making positions. Besides, there are still significant differences in salaries between women and men etc.
  • In quantitative terms, the number of employed women is lower than men even though women, especially young women in general have higher education than men.
  • Additionally, women are more likely to give up their professional careers to devote time for care of children or elderly. In order to change this, the municipality could offer adequate services for childcare and elderly care.  
  • From an economic point of view, there is a strong need to increase the participation of women in the labour market.
  • Moreover, the fact that women take a larger responsibility for domestic tasks has been identified as one of the causes of the extremely low fertility of the Italian female population, one of the lowest in the world.

 

 

Based on these findings, the municipality has decided to allocate resources both to activities directly targeted to strengthening women’s rights (such as awareness-raising campaigns and events, supporting women’s entrepreneurship, trainings, providing meeting places for women etc.) and also allocate resources to activities indirectly related to improving gender equality (such as childcare, elderly care, social care services, public transport, green areas, culture, sports etc.)

 

 Please find below a few examples of Italian gender audits:

 

 

To access the publication “Gender budgeting: pratical implementation” – a handbook done by the Council of Europe in 2009, please click on the following link.

 


Learn from French experiences

Learn from French experiences

 

The Hubertine Auclert Centre was launched and is funded by the regional Council of Paris. Its mission is to promote gender equality and raise awareness on discrimination and equal rights.

 

The Centre is composed of NGOs, elected representatives and trade unions and also works to support members to set up projects fight gender discrimination in schools and provide information and material through their website.

 

In 2013, the Centre made a survey on gender equality policies in 30 local and regional authorities in France. The result was presented in the publication “Local policies for Equality in France” which gathers interesting information on equality work at local level in France. A special focus is put on the elaboration and use of action plans. The study has also identified major obstacles in implementing gender equality policies at local level (financial resources, proper coordination between departments and a need for increasing awareness-raising) but also “factors of success”.

 

  • “Factors of success”

1)    Having an elected representative in charge of gender equality or women’s rights – this must be complemented by a strong political commitment

2)    Have a specific budget allocated for gender equality issues

3)    Have a person in charge of gender equality issues working at the municipality full-time

4)    Make sure that staff working at other departments have time to devote for gender equality issues

5)    Training and awareness raising

 

  • Good practices

The publication also presents a number of examples of good practices in different areas related to the European Charter such as: Access to housing, Health, Culture, Sports, Education, Employment, Fight against poverty, Work-life balance, Promoting non-stereotypical communication, Fight against gender-based violence, Visibility of women in the public spaces, Security in public spaces, Mobility and transports, Mobilization and training of actors in gender equality, European and International cooperation

 

  • The European Charter for Equality

The publication highlights the European Charter for Equality as a great tool to initiate gender equality work. By signing the Charter, the Municipal or Regional council makes a public commitment to engage in gender equality policies and undertakes to elaborate an action plan. Even though the Charter is not binding, it provides a methodology by exemplifying, in different ways, how you can work with equality in different areas of competences.

 

  • European programmes

In the same way, European programmes can work as a framework to elaborate an action plan, or initiate projects focusing on gender equality. Among the French local and regional governments that participated in the study, several had participated in European projects such as Equal or RURACT. The experiences from these projects were very positive, and the exchange of experiences and good practices played an important role for the local authorities that participated in these projects.

To conclude, the survey showed that establishing networks with other actors is very beneficial in the way that it allows local and regional authorities to learn from others experiences, and thereby be able to innovate and renew policies.


Pilot project

What is the Pilot project?

 

The Pilot project is a two-year project (from January 2014-December 2015) funded by the European Commission aiming to develop indicators to measure the implementation of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life, a document launched by CEMR in 2006 (Click here for further information about the Charter).

 

The Pilot project is contributing to the activities started in the framework of the project of the Observatory (Click here for further information about the Observatory) and responds to a need expressed by signatories of the European Charter for Equality to get further support for evaluating and following-up the implementation of the Charter.

 

To deliver the project, CEMR is collaborating with the Consultancy Agency ICF and the Basque University in Spain.

 

Objectives of the project:

  1. Monitoring the state of play of the Charter, its signature and its state of implementation (the outcome of this step is to elaborated “Member state factsheets” including/presenting information about the situation in the different EU –countries)

  2. Developing scientific indicators that will allow monitoring the articles of the Charter;

  3. Monitoring the implementation of the articles of the Charter by applying the indicators to the signatories

  4. Developing a toolkit for using the expected indicators to create a basis for self-assessment 

  5. Organisation of a final conference to present the results of the project

 

Main activities carried out so far (updated in January 2015)

As a part of objective 1 “Monitoring the State of play of the Charter and its state of implementation” the Study team elaborated and disseminated a questionnaire to all signatories of the Charter in EU Member states. The overall response rate of the questionnaire was 18,5 %.

 

Process for selecting the indicators

Based on the results of the questionnaire, Member State factsheets were elaborated to present the current state of play of the implementation of the Charter in different countries. Furthermore, an analysis was made of the monitoring systems currently in place and the indicators already developed by local authorities. Thanks to this analysis, the study team elaborated a first list of indicators including at least one indicator by article of the Charter.

 

The Study team presented the first list of indicators at a workshop organised in Brussels on the 11th of July. Experts’ members of the Steering Group of the Pilot project, representatives from the European Commission and representatives from a selected number of local authorities participated in the workshop and provided their inputs on the suggested indicators.

 

Testing phase

The indicators agreed upon during this workshop were sent to a selected number of signatories that were able to test them during the months of July to September 2014. During these months, the signatories applied the indicators to their local context. An analysis of the feedback of signatories was made and presented during a second workshop in Brussels in November 2014. Following this meeting, the study team revised the indicators further and proposed a final list of indicators to the European Commission who approved it at the beginning of December 2014.

 

Monitoring phase

In January 2015, the project entered the monitoring phase in which the signatories are invited to participate and use the indicators to monitor their gender equality policies. The monitoring will run until the 15th of March 2015. The results of the monitoring will be presented in a report elaborated by the study team and also available through an online database.

 

What’s next?

  •  Development of a toolkit for the indicators

A toolkit will also be developed in order to support local and regional authorities in their use of the indicators. It will be tested among a selected number of local and regional authorities in different countries in order to make sure it is adapted for different contexts. The aim of the toolkit is to support signatories to make a self-assessment of their gender equality policies by using the indicators. It will be available for all signatories at the end of the project so they can use the indicators in the forthcoming years.

  •  Organisation of a final conference

The outcomes of the project including the final indicators and the toolkit for self-assessment will be presented at a final conference that will be organised in Brussels in October 2015. It will be the occasion to present good practices of monitoring and implementation of gender equality policies from local authorities signatory of the Charter from all over the European Union. In addition, some signatories will be awarded prices of ”good practices” for their work with the Charter and their active participation in the pilot project.

 

Note: EU policies – contextual background

The Pilot project goes in line with the objectives of the European Union in promoting and enhancing equality between women and men, stated in the Treaty on the European Union and reinforced gradually since 1990 through various legislation and strategies, which include:

  • Treaty on the European Union;

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights;

  • Lisbon Treaty;

  • Commission’s Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010-2015;

  • European Pact for Gender Equality; and

  • EU 2020 Strategy.

  • (In addition, – the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, initiated in 1995 during the Fourth World Conference for women is also relevant to mention in this perspective)

 

For more information:


test uk

This is example


Pilot project: update on the current activities

The “Pilot project for development of indicators to measure the implementation of the European Charter of women and men in local life” is progressing.

In May 2014, a questionnaire was sent out to the signatories of the Charter to gather information about the current “state of play” of the implementation of the Charter in different EU Member states.

The aim of this questionnaire was:

  • to gather information on the implementation of the Charter;
  • to collect background material for the process of developing indicators based on the articles of the Charter

The questionnaire covered a several issues related to the Charter such as;

  • level of competences of local and regional authorities in relation to gender equality,
  • the existence and contents of action plans and activities put in place,
  • the existence of monitoring frameworks,
  • challenges in implementing the Charter.

 

The response rate from signatories varied significantly between different member states, however the overall response rate was 18,5 %.

 

Based on the results of the questionnaire Member State factsheets were elaborated presenting the current state of play of the Charter in different countries.

 

The Study team also drafted a report on the “State of play” of the Charter in different EU Member States. Some of the results were the following:

  • Based on the study 7 out of 10 local and regional authorities have elaborated an action plan on gender equality
  • Most respondents are implementing activities although not necessarily in the framework of an action plan. Most are implementing some activities rather than all presented in their action plans;
  • Financial and human resources are the most commonly mentioned solutions to the challenges of implementation
  • Overall less than 50 % are monitoring the actions in their plan

The results of the questionnaire gave interesting information and provided a basis for the Study team to elaborate a first draft set of indicators. Even if many respondents confirmed that they monitor the implementation of their action plan or gender equality policies related to the Charter, only a few of the respondents said they are using indicators to measure progress and performance which confirms the need for developing a framework of indicators.

 

The pilot project has now entered in the testing phase of the first set of indicators. In the elaboration of this set of indicators, the Study team has taken into consideration the information on existing indicators provided by signatories via the questionnaire.  

 

The suggested indicators were presented for the first time at a workshop organised in Brussels on the 11th of July. Among the participants in this workshop were experts from the Steering group of the Pilot project, representatives from DG Justice and representatives from a selected number* of local and regional authorities from Austria, Germany, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

 

The draft indicators are currently being tested among a selected number* of signatories from different countries (Austria, Germany, Finland, France, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) that are invited to provide their comments on the feasibility and the applicability of the suggested indicators. The signatories participating in the testing phase have been selected based on the responses they have provided in the questionnaire of the Pilot project and their previous experience from having worked with indicators to evaluate their gender equality activities.

 

A final set of indicators will be presented at the next meeting with the Steering group of the Pilot project that will be organized in Brussels on the 6th of November.

 

For background information on the aim and overall objectives of the Pilot project please click on the following link.

 

For more information about the current activities of the Pilot project please contact:

 


EnGendering Cities

Within the framework of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, the network genderSTE is organizing the conference “EnGendering Cities; Designing Sustainable Urban Environments for All” on the 25th and 26th of September in Rome (Italy). The aim of the conference is to increase knowledge of the gender dimension related to environmental and urban issues identified in the European research Framework Program, “Horizon 2020” and will also cover topics such as: quality of life, energy, climate, inclusion, transport, safety etc.

 

For more information please visit the following link.


Conference on Combating Gender Stereotypes in and through Education

The Council of Europe organizes, together with the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, a conference on how to combat gender stereotypes in Education. The conference will be held in Helsinki (Finland) on the 9-10th of October 2014.

 

The conference aims to:

  • Raise awareness on the crucial role of education in promoting equality and combatting stereotype and empowering individuals at an early age
  • Present the results of the first monitoring report of the Committee of Ministers on recommendations on gender mainstreaming in education
  • Exchange good practices and identify ways to implement the recommendations
  • Facilitate partnership and network among stakeholders including government officials, school management professionals, teachers, trainers and training institutions, parents, and civil society
  • Support member states in implementing existing standards, including the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on gender mainstreaming in education.

 

For further information, please consult the following website of the Council of Europe.


City of Berne – interview

City of Berne – Interview 2014/02/19

 

Interview with Barbara Krattiger – Head of Service of equality between women and men in the hall of Berne

 

Signature of the Charter: May 2007

 

Background to the signature of the Charter: The city of Berne has a long tradition of implementing gender equality. Previously, the municipality had been working with equality issues mainly from an employer’s perspective: in 2002 the municipality received the award “Prix Egalité” for outstanding efforts as an equal opportunity employer. In 2006, the municipal council decided to implement local policies to improve gender equality for citizens, and commissioned a working group to reflect upon the elaboration of an action plan. The signature of the Charter in 2007 was a way of reaffirming and strengthening this process, and brought the equality work of the municipality into a broader European context.

 

Elaboration of the Action Plan: The working group that was established to elaborate the action plan was composed of five persons representing each department of the municipality. The members of the working group were highly qualified administrative staff with an extensive experience in municipal strategies and policies.

The elaboration of the Action plan took two years and was done in two phases;

  • 1st phase: Took one year and consisted of defining five main areas and nine objectives for the action plan. The main areas and objectives were based on the European Charter.

Approval of the gender equality strategy: After the first year, the municipal council approved the five areas and nine objectives defined by the working group as a strategy for the work on gender equality of the municipality. The support from the Municipal council was important for the working group to confirm that their work was going in the right direction.

  • 2nd phase: Was to prepare specific measures needed to achieve the formulated objectives and then to outline these and draft action plan. This period took ten months. In this phase the working group also established procedures on monitoring and reporting. The action plan was elaborated for a period of 4 years.

The strategy for gender equality was approved by the City council for the period 2008-2015 which meant that a second action plan would be drafted and implemented after the first one.

In line with this decision, the Equality department of Berne started preparing a second action plan in 2011 (when the first action plan had come half-way). A conference with other cities having put in place action plans (Zurich, Berlin, Heidelberg) was organized in order to exchange ideas and good practices.

In summer 2013, the Equality service presented the final report of the first action plan. And it was mandated to establish a working group for drafting a second action plan.

 

Additional information: The working group that elaborated the action plan did not benefit from external support in the elaboration of the action plan. However, the working group used the European Charter for Equality and the CEDAW-convention on Elimination of all forms of discriminations towards women elaborated by UN as instruments in the elaboration of the action plan.

Length of the action plan: The reason for drafting an action plan for four years is that this is the duration of the mandate for the City Council.

 

Lessons learned:

  • Importance of Political will: commitment and support of the City Council (Parliament), of the Municipal Council and of top administrative management was essential.
  • Need for monitoring: The emphasis on monitoring has been crucial for the success in the implementation of the action plan and has contributed to facilitate the implementation of activities.
  • Involvement of concerned stakeholders: In the evaluation of the first action plan, it became clear that the most efficient measures were those that closely involved concerned stakeholders. The main resistances in the implementation of the action plan also came from stakeholders that felt insufficiently consulted   in the process of the elaboration of the action plan.
  • Including external stakeholders: Considering different stakeholders in the elaboration of the action plan is both a challenge in order to adapt the measures according to the needs and the specific situations and a challenge to obtain/get the support from stakeholders.

 

Added value of the Charter:

  • Served as an instrument to educate staff and elected representatives on the concept of gender mainstreaming
  • Through the concrete measures that the Charter proposes, especially in the different roles of local and regional authorities (as regulating and decision-making power, as employer and as service provider); the idea of reaching out to women and men through the provision of services for instance was better understood.
  • Served as a tool in the elaboration of the action plan providing ideas
  • The adoption of the Charter strengthened the political commitment by showing there were synergy possibilities in Europe.

 

The Equality Service/Department of the City of Berne

 

Established in: 1996

Number of employees: 3 persons (2,3 FTE)

 

Mandate:

  • To ensure that gender equality is considered in the role as employer of the municipality
  • To promote gender equality at local political level and in the services delivered to citizens

The Equality Service is working in a transversal way with the other municipal departments in order to implement the action plan. The Equality service does not have specific expertise but have a coordinating role to mobilize concerned stakeholders and support them in their work and to monitor the implementation of activities.

 

 


Commissioner designates hearings – statements on Gender Equality

On the 1st of October, hearings were held with Commissioner designates Ms Marianne Thyssen (DG Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility) and Ms Vera Jourová (DG Justice, Consumers and Gender equality).

During three hours members of the European parliament were invited to ask questions to the Commissioner designates on the work of their coming mandate.

The fact that Gender Equality is explicitly mentioned in the title of the Commissioner, is a novelty and a strong political message.

 

Ms Jourová expressed her commitment to gender equality and gave the following statements:

 

 

  • Violence against women: encouraged all Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention and also by the European Commission.

 

  • Poverty and gender equality: Ms Jourová expressed her concerns on the recent trends of women living in precarious conditions

 

 

  • Maternity Leave Directive: stated her commitment to continue the negotiations with Member States. The Maternity Leave Directive was also supported by Ms Marianne Thyssen – Commissioner designates (DG Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility).

 

  • Employment and Gender pay gap: Ms Marianne Thyssen also stated she would push for measurements to promote women’s employment and tackle the gender pay and pension gaps.

 

For more information please consult:

  • Article from European Women’s Lobby, link.
  • Article from “Le portail de référence pour l’espace de liberté, sécurité et justice », link.
  • Website DG (DG Justice) link.
  • Website (DG Employment, Social Affairs, Inclusion) link.

City of Reykjavik – interview

City of Reykjavik – -Interview 2014/02/20

 

Interview with: Halldóra Gunnarsdóttir – working at the Human rights office of the City of Reykjavik

 

Signed the Charter: In 2009

 

Background to the signature of the Charter:

The gender equality policy of the city of Reykjavik is a part of the work of the Human Rights Office, an administrative body in charge of implementing the Human Right policy with a mandate coming from the Human Rights Council, a political body (composed of seven elected representatives) deciding on the policies regarding i.e. human rights, gender equality and anti-discrimination.

The interest for signing the Charter came from the human rights office, which was the driving force that encouraged the human right council and later the city council to sign it. The signature took place in 2009 at the beginning of the 2009-2015 action plan.

 

Added value of the Charter:

The Charter has served as a reference point when discussing how to develop the work on gender equality within different areas such as “the employer’s role” or “gender assessment” with the City council of Reykjavik.

 

Elaboration of the action plan:

When elaborating the action plan, the Human Rights Office wanted to link the Icelandic Law on Gender equality, the Human Rights Policy of Reykjavik and the European Charter. The drafting took place with cooperation of the human right council and consultation of the other departments within the city. The Action plan was based on the already existing Human Rights Policy that had previously been adopted by the City (and that had been elaborated in consultation with citizens, NGO’s and other stakeholders).

The Human Right office also tried to get feedbacks from the civil society on the draft of the Action Plan by publishing it on the municipality’s website. However there were very limited reactions.

The elaboration took approximately one year and the draft version was presented in 2011 to the City council, which members were invited to come with ideas that were then integrated in the plan before the approval of the final document.

 

Collaboration with other municipalities: The Human rights council of Reykjavik indented to work in collaboration with a network of seven other Icelandic municipalities in the elaboration of an action plan but that failed due mostly to lack of time and human resources (people involved in the project were not working directly with gender equality issues but did this as an “extra” which made it difficult to meet and coordinate).

 

Renewal of the action plan: The equality action plan is renewed together with the city action plan every four years. It corresponds to the duration of the city council’s mandate.

 

Focus areas:

The action plan covers seven main areas: Stereotypes, gender assessment and gender mainstreaming, multiple discriminations and disadvantage, role as employer, public procurement and contracts, culture, sports and recreation and gender-based violence.

 

The Human Right Office particularly focused on Gender-based violence as part of a national strategy addressing the issue. In Iceland, the perception of gender-based violence and of the way to address it has changed significantly since 2012 due to investments from national level.

 

The government commissioned a University to do a large scale research on gender-based violence in order to make a diagnostic of the situation. Qualitative and quantitative research allowed getting an overview of the extent of this problem. It also served to raise awareness among the population and to encourage political leaders to take action.

 

In the framework of this research, interviews with school teachers were held to find out on how they handle violence within schools, or how they address the issue of domestic violence when hearing about it from the children.

 

An action plan, implemented by the city, against gender based violence and violence against children followed.  

 

Lessons learnt, key factors:

  • Importance of data and diagnosis: the extensive research commissioned by the State in the field of gender-based violence served as a diagnostic for the municipality to frame an efficient policy concerning this issue. It provided a lot of material and a base for further discussion.
  • Importance of collaboration with other stakeholders: the synergies of the work of the different departments within the municipality, NGOs and the University. The support from the State was of course also a central aspect of this success.
  • Importance of internal collaboration: In the work of implementing the action plan, but also in the work of following up activities, it is very important to establish good connections with other key persons working within the city administration, building relations and personal trust.
  • “Be patient”: be aware that this type of work often takes time, keep in mind that “small steps are also important victories”.

 

The Human Rights Office of the city of Reykjavik

 

Established in: 2006

Number of employees: 7 persons, one of them working of Gender Equality

 

The Human Rights office is a small centralized office working closely with all the other departments within the city since they are requested to integrate human rights in their action.

 

A “Human rights officer” is appointed in every department and liaise with the Human Rights office through monthly meetings but also through sectorial projects to raise awareness on human rights and gender equality within the departments. As a result, the work of the human right office is adapted to the different audiences based on the context of intervention and the level of knowledge of the subject. 

 

The Human Rights Office is working closely with the Center for gender equality in Iceland, the University of Iceland and with NGOs.  


Galdakao and Gender equality – Women’s participation in local life

On a devoted website the municipality of Galdakao in the Basque country presents the activities carried out in the municipality to promote gender equality (to visit website click here).

 

An initiative taken by the municipality is to make a publication on the place of women in the history of Galdakao, (to access the publication please click on the following link).

 

The municipality of Galdakao has also done a Mobility and accessibility-study to identify specific needs of women in terms of mobility and design of urban spaces.

 

Background for making the study: Women are in general more frequent among pedestrians and use more often public transports. Moreover, women work to a larger extent in care-related professions (such as schools and hospitals) and visit commercial zones. They therefore depend, to a higher extent than men, on public transports to access these zones. Furthermore, women are also more likely to become victims of gender-based violence.

 

Based on these facts, the municipality of Galdakao took the initiative to carry out a public hearing with women from different age groups coming from different neighbourhood. In total 70 women from 9 neighbourhoods participated in the consultation and were invited to provide their input and suggestions on how to improve accessibility, public transport, services and the design of urban spaces.

 

Based on the comments from the study-panels, the municipality drafted a report. Some of the main conclusions drawn from the project were:

  • Public transport: Change, increase or renovate certain bus stops, especially in underground zones, extend the timetable to provide bus transports by night to bigger cities, extend the offer of public transport between neighbourhoods, make sure all public transport provide a platform for strollers
  • Lightening: Lack of lightening in urban zones created a feeling of insecurity, it was proposed that the municipality should increase the level of lightening in certain areas
  • Green areas: Increase public meeting spaces such as parks and green areas
  • Difficulties in accessibility: such as stairways, which especially have made it difficult for older women to move freely and also for women with strollers
  • Promotion of small businesses: Almost all women participating in the project underlined the importance of promoting and protecting small business in order to keep the neighborhoods alive, despite the structural changes that have benefitted large commercial stores outside of towns, the women called for local policies encoring small businesses in neighborhoods.

 

The municipality of Galdakao has also elaborated their second Action plan for the period 2014-2017. One of the main priorities of this plan is to include a gender perspective in the functioning of all the Municipality’s departments (regarding budgets, language, equal representation, disaggregated data etc), so called gender mainstreaming. One of the most important achievements in this regard is the approval of a set of guidelines encouraging introducing social, environmental and language clauses linked to gender equality and other public policies into the contracting procedures of the city of Galdakao.

 

Please click on the following link to access the Action plan: II Plan para la Igualdad entre mujeres y hombres de Galdakao


Training on the Charter in Serbia

Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – National Association of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM) in cooperation with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) supported by Sweden, are organising a two days training on how to create an action plan, or improve existing one, how to really implement the Charter.

 

After participating in the similar training held in Stockholm on 8th and 9th of October, representatives of SCTM, supported by two gender experts from Sweden, are preparing adjusted version of the training for 12 participants, representing 6 municipalities from Serbia.

 

The training will be held in Belgrade, in SCTM premises, on 20th and 21st of October from 9:30 to 16:30.

 

Participants will be employees and elected representatives of municipalities that have signed the Charter. Basic knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues is necessary to participate in this training. The activity will be held within the program “Support to local governments in Serbia in the European integration process” supported by Sweden.


gender@sustainability conference

WIDE Switzerland* (Women in Development Europe) organizes a conference in Bern on the 31st of October on the topic of Gender and Sustainability as responses to the ongoing economic crisis.

 

The aim of the conference is to bring up the relation between gender equality, ecology and social welfare and also to provide a discussion on ‘sustainable development’, to explore what the concept includes and what influence it can have on political level.

 

Among the speakers, experts from different European countries and various academic backgrounds (political science, economists and sociologists) will present their visions on sustainability, ecology, welfare politics, social change and perceptions from a feministic point of view.

 

The conference will include 4 “workspaces” on the following topics:

  • Workspace 1: Theory & Analysis – Feminist Debate on the Crisis of Gender Justice
  • Workspace 2: Political Practice and Movements – Shaping the Global Space
  • Workspace 3: Feminist political economy – Taking Care into Account
  • Workspace 4: Economic Literacy – Standard of Living from the Household Perspective

 

The conference will be held in English and German.

 

For more information:

  • please visit the following link
  • or contact Dögg Sigmarsdóttir, coordinator of the conference wide@cfd-ch.org.

*Note: WIDE Switzerland is a member  of the WIDE+ network, for more information please visit this link.


Global Gender Gap report 2014

 

The World Economic Forum has released the Global Gender Gap Report for 2014.

 

The Global gender Gap report was first launched by the World Economic Forum in 2006 and provides an overall framework for capturing gender disparities in different countries around the world. The report presents an index showcasing gender gaps in the following areas; Economic participation and opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survivor and Political Empowerment. This year’s report covers 142 countries and also provides a country ranking making it easy to compare countries across regions, according to income group and over time.

 

According to this year’s report, the worldwide gender gap in the different fields is the following:

  • Economic participation and opportunity: 60 % (compared to 56 % in 2006)
  • Educational Attainment: 94 % (compared to 92 in 2006), 25 countries has closed the gap entirely
  • Health and Survivor: 96 % (compared to 97 % in 2006), 35 countries have closed the gap entirely
  • Political Empowerment: 21 % (compared to 14 % in 2006)

 

The Nordic countries remain in the top 5: Iceland (1), Finland (2), Norway (3), Sweden (4), Denmark (5). Nicaragua comes on 6th place and ranks highest among countries in Latin America. On 7th place comes Rwanda, a new country in the report this year.

 

For further information and an overview of the report please visit the following link.

 

To download full report for 2014, please click on the following link.

 


Meeting Steering group Pilot project

A meeting with the Steering group of the Pilot project (on developing indicators to measure the European Charter for Equality) will be organised in the premises of CEMR on the 6th of November (from 10h30-16h30 approximate time) to discuss the testing phase of the proposed indicators and to select the final list of indicators.

Present in the meeting will be:

  • The Study team: composed of representatives from the CEMR Secretariat and its partner on this project
  • Representatives from the DG Justice – European Commission
  • Experts from European Institutions part of the Steering group of the Pilot project
  • Representatives from some of the signatories having participated in the testing phase

For further information please contact Manon Huchet – Junior Project Officer at (manon.huchet@ccre-cemr.org)


City of Gothenburg – Interview

Interview with Eva Kjellström – Planning officer – Gender Equality

Date of interview: 2014/16/19

Signature of the Charter: 2008

 

Background to the signature of the Charter:

The City of Gothenburg had had an objective to work on gender equality since many years. In June 2008, one of the political parties submitted a motion to the Municipal Government to sign the European Charter.  After the motion had circulated and been accepted by various bodies within the municipality, the Municipal Government finally accepted the proposal.

 

1st step – Planning and identification of areas for intervention:   When the City of Gothenburg was going to start the work with the Charter the City wanted to look into how they could combine working on Human Rights, diversity issues and gender equality. The City started mapping how the different departments, services and district councils were working on these issues. However, the mapping turned out to be more complex and took more time than expected. Therefore, the City decided to separate the work on Gender Equality and Diversity.

 

General overview on Gender equality in relation to the Charter: As a result of this decision, the Human Rights department started a new screening in 2013 of what was done in the area of gender equality within different departments. It was already known that most work on gender equality was done by departments in the welfare sector; however the extent of actions and focus varied a lot. At the same time the gender equality work within a majority of the technical departments turned out to be very limited.  

 

The aim of the overview was to screen what was done in Gothenburg according to the different articles of the European Charter. The results of the overview showed that the implemented activities in different areas covered most articles of the European Charter. The objective was also to present suggestions and recommendations of interventions and priority areas that could improve the work, which would also constitute the basis to develop a gender action plan for the city of Gothenburg. The report was presented for the Municipal Council in August 2014. The full report is accessible (in Swedish) on the following link.

 

 

Lessons learned:

  • The leadership’s commitment is essential: In those cases where the management has provided resources for gender equality work and requested results, this has generated positive outcomes.
  • Systematization: The gender dimension needs to be further integrated in the planning and follow-up system in order to facilitate a more systematic way of working with gender issues, in which interventions to supporting gender equality and results at different levels are linked.
  • Gender mainstreaming is a question of accessibility and power to influence. Equal access to the service provided by the municipality is essential, but gender equality is also a question of power. Gender interventions should contribute to the Swedish national gender equality policy goal that stipulates that women and men have the same power to shape society and their own lives.
  • Connecting Gender equality to Diversity/Human rights issues. Many departments engaged in gender equality, work from an intersectional and norm-critical perspective taking into account these issues as well. An area of development is to build upon these examples and systematize it with the city’s development of human rights work.

 

 

Good practices from Gothenburg

 

Through financial support from “Sustainable Equality” – a project from SALAR the City of Gothenburg had the opportunity to implement several interesting projects. The success of these projects was that they looked at the daily work and tried to improve the working processes instead of making separate projects that would not be linked to daily routines. In this way the City could integrate the gender aspect in a better way to ensure sustainability. In order to build up and improve internal structures, the City has also started training staff working at the City administration on gender issues to support colleagues and leadership in gender integration. In that way the City is not dependent external consultants that are often expensive.

 

  • Activities for elderly people: The City reviewed its activities offered for elderly people and started mapping how many women respectively men that attended these activities. It became clear that there was a lack of activities meeting men’s interest. When the City changed and adapted the offer of activities more men started attending. This example shows that gender equality can increase quality of services and is a matter of ensuring that the interest of all citizens is taken into consideration. It also shows how working on gender equality also is a matter of democracy, inclusion and looking at power structures.
  • Citizen dialogue and Urban planning: Another project involved citizens dialogue and urban Planning. When mapping the citizens that showed up at the public consultations it turned out that a majority were old, mostly white men with a high social economic background. The challenge for the project was to find ways to support and empower other groups in the society to also take part in public consultations and get involved in the dialogue on urban planning-issues.

Action plan based on the Charter? – Share your experience

The Secretariat of the Observatory has started to conduct interviews with signatories on the elaboration of action plans and the European Charter for Equality. So far, the Secretariat has interviewed the following cities, to access the interviews please click on the links:

 

 

Other interviews will be published soon!

 

Do you want to share the experiences of your city on working with the Charter?

 

Please contact the Secretariat of the Observatory:

Johanna Törnström (Johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org) and

Manon Huchet (manon.huchet@ccre-cemr.org)


Equality Day for local authorities in the Ile de France Region

The Centre Hubertine Auclert (a resource center for Gender equality issues established by the Ile de France region) is organizing its second edition of the Equality Day for local authorities in the Ile de France Region on the 3rd of December ( at 8h45-17h15) to inform recently appointed staff and elected representatives in municipalities on gender equality policies at local level and how to create incentives to get engaged in these questions.

 

The theme for the meeting is “Innovative public policies on gender equality.”

 

The Centre Hubertine Auclert is also hosting the network “local authorities in Ile de France for Equality” to provide a platform of exchange on gender equality work at local level.

 

To register please click on the following link.


CEMR Conference on Citizenship

Every four years, CEMR organises a conference on Citizenship. This year it will take place in Rome on the 15th and 16th of December. On occasion of this conference, a parallel session on the Charter called “Citizens Equality: From the European Charter for Equality to its implementation” will be organised.

 

On occasion of this parallel session, the Standing Committee for Equality and the Network of national coordinators will be gathered. The parallel session will be on Tuesday the 16th of December from 09h00-10h30.

 

For more information about the conference please visit: www.cemr2014.eu


CEMR Conference on Citizenship

The Conference on Citizenship – “Citizen in my city – Citizen in Europe” organized by CEMR in Rome on the 15-16th of December brought together around 300 mayors, leaders and representatives of civil society organization to exchange on the topic of active citizenship.

 

The workshop “Citizens equality: from the signature of the European Charter for equality to its implementation” was dedicated to the Charter and how to strengthen the work on gender equality at local level in Europe.

 

Ewa SAMUELSSON, Chair of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and Former Deputy Mayor of Stockholm underlined the important role of CEMR in promoting equality and the value of the European Charter as a common tool to support the work at local level.  Ewa Samuelsson also emphasized the importance of collecting data to identify gender disparities with the words “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”. In this regard, the indicators to monitor the implementation of the European Charter will be an important instrument offering a common tool for local and regional authorities to evaluate their work in the field of equality.

 

Ibone BENGOETXEA, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao and President of the Association of Basque Municipalities (EUDEL) presented various activities carried out by EUDEL to support the work on equality, such as the launch of the Virginia Woolf school to empower local women politicians, establishing a network of small cities to support their work on gender equality and provide several trainings for local authorities on gender issues.

 

Alexandre Van Der Linden, Executive assistant working at the office of Mohamed Ouriaghli, Deputy Mayor of Brussels presented the work done by the City of Brussels on the elaboration of an action plan based on the European Charter. In the drafting process the City Administration had been working in close collaboration with an “Equality Unit” composed of representatives from civil society working in the field of equality to anchor the work and ensure close collaborations with associations active on the field.

 

Please click on the following link to read an interview with the City of Brussels on their work with the Charter.

 

Emilia SAIZ from United Cities and Local Governments presented UCLGs work on gender equality on the international agenda, focusing on women’s participation at the political level, issues related to security and violence against women and the importance of adapting services for both women and men.

 

Patrizia DINI, Secretary General of AICCRE Tuscany made concluding remarks stating the challenges faced by any local and regional authorities as a result of the economic crisis and emphasized the importance of changing focus not only on money but also on the life of citizens. She called upon the importance of strengthening common efforts at European level and highlighted the importance of the European Charter.

 

On the eve of 16th of December Ewa SAMUELSSON was honored with a CEMR medal for her work as Chair of the CEMR Standing Committee for Equality and especially for the contribution from the Swedish Governments through the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) to establish the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality.

 

The Secretariat of the Observatory would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2015!


City of Brussels – interview

Interview with:

  • Anne-Cécile Huygens – Policy officer – Department of Equal Opportunities
  • Alexandre Van Der Linden – Executive Assistant to Deputy Mayor Mohamed Ouriaghli

 

Date of interview: 2014/11/14

 

Signature of the Charter: First signature in 2008, adopted by the Municipal Board in 2011

 

Background to the signature of the Charter:

The signature of the European Charter was an opportunity for the City of Brussels to structure the equality work within the City and put gender equality on the political agenda. The idea to sign the Charter came after a training-course provided for the staff of the Advisory Council.

Before the signature of the Charter, the work on equality in the City had mainly been carried out by local associations that received financial support from the City administration to work on activities focusing on certain groups of the population mainly women and on specific topics such as violence against women, literacy or integration of migrants.

An Advisory Board on equality of women and men was created in 2007, under the leadership of the Deputy Mayor in charge of Equal opportunities. The creation of the Advisory Board was a milestone for the work on equality of the city. The council consists of representatives of associations already active in the field and representatives of the city administration in charge of gender equality policies. The aim of the Advisory body is to be a platform for exchange with different stakeholders active in the field and to come up with propositions on activities and evaluation of the work related to equality in the city. Various working groups focusing on specific topics such as a “gender budgeting group” and a group dealing with gender based violence were established within the Advisory Board.

Once the Charter had been adopted by the Municipal Board a working group in charge of the Charter was established and the preparations to elaborate an action plan were initiated. This work was done in close collaboration with other municipalities within the Brussels area and with the Association of Cities and Municipalities in the Brussels Region (AVCB). The official signature of the Charter by the City of Brussels was done in 2011 after the adoption of the Charter in the Municipal Board.

 

Elaboration of the Action plan: The elaboration of the action plan started in 2008 with the first adoption of the Charter. The elaboration of the action plan was done in different steps. The first step constituted in identifying other action plans to learn from these practices and see how to develop an action plan adapted to the specificities of the City of Brussels.

The first draft of the action plan took 6 months and this was done in collaboration with local associations. During these six months the Department of Equal Opportunities made regular reports to the Advisory Council to keep them informed of the progress of the elaboration of the action plan.

A first draft action plan was presented at a meeting with representatives from different departments of different Deputy Mayors of the City. Each concerned department was invited to come up with ideas on how to change or improve the activities related to their areas of competence. Following this consultation, the action plan was revised and updated accordingly in order to ensure a broad political support in the Municipal Board.

In total, the elaboration of the action plan took 1,5 year. The final Action plan was published and officially launched in 2014.

The action plan of the City of Brussels has been elaborated according to the model of Agenda 21. Seventeen areas of action were defined corresponding to the articles of the European Charter and the areas of competence of the City of Brussels. Concrete objectives are proposed in the action plan corresponding to these areas. For each objective a clear desorption is provided on the purpose, context, concerned departments or stakeholders. A timeline is also presented as well as indicators to evaluate the proposed activities.

 

Added value of the Charter: The signature of the Charter was a way to officially demonstrate the commitment of the City of Brussels to working with equality, especially as a capital. The signature of the Charter also paved the way to encourage the City to set up a specific budget for developing activities on gender equality, to finance the project proposed by the Advisory Board and to elaborate the action plan.

 

The Department on Equal Opportunities and Diversity at the City of Brussels

The Department on Equal Opportunities and Diversity is working on different thematic: Equality between women and men, disability issues, minority issues, sexual diversity and domestic violence. Three employees are working full time at the department. They are also collaborating closely with elected representatives and partner associations.

 

The Department has a key role in coordinating the equality work of the City: elaborating the action plan, coordination its implementation, monitor the activities outlined in the action plan etc.


Seminar and Exposition “Gender Equality – local actions bringing real change”

On the week of the International Day of Women (from 2nd -6th of March), CEMR organises, together with the Swedish association of local authorities and regions (SALAR) an exposition on gender equality “local actions bringing real change” that will be exposed in the premises of the European parliament.

 

The exposition will officially be inaugurated on the 3rd of March with a seminar hosted by the Member of European Parliament and member of the FEMM Committee Anna Hedh (S&D-group).

 

At the seminar CEMR and SALAR will present their work on supporting local and regional authorities to take active measures to enhance equality of women and men particularly through the adoption and implementation of the European Charter for equality. The results of the project with the Observatory will also be presented.

 

The seminar will be an occasion for stakeholders active in the field of gender equality to meet and discuss further actions to advance gender equality at local, regional and European, level. The targeted audience for the seminar is members of the European Parliament, European institutions and organisations actively working with gender equality.

 

For further information please contact Johanna Törnström – Policy Officer Equality at johanna.tornstrom@ccre-cemr.org.


Municipal Day for Equality

 Every year on the 24th of October the Municipal Day for Equality is celebrated in Portugal. This initiative was launched by ANIMAR (Portuguese Association for Local Development) in 2010 to mobilise local stakeholders, raise awareness on equal opportunities and highlight the important role of municipalities in the work to promote equality. Since then ANIMAR is dedicated to celebrating this day together with partner organisations, and has managed to engage the public and private sector, hundreds of organisations and about thirty municipalities.

Municipal Day for Equality 2013

 

 Theater “The earrings of Ronaldo and other stories” about gender equality, staged by Alexandre Sampaio; interpretation: Alicia Gómez, José Armando and Sofia Borges

 

 On the Municipal Day of Equality in 2013 a theatre play was set up to showcase, with lots of humor, situations from everyday life and how we react and deal with gender stereotypes and our prejudices. From the workplace to the hairdresser, from the doctor to the market-place, from the taxi to the gate house, from the fitness session to the soccer game, the aim pf the theater play “The Earrings of Ronaldo and other stories” is to raise awareness and promote better equality.

 

Municipal Day for Equality 2014

 

 Workshop “Winning teams”, Team Speaker Jorge Sequeira, company Team Building

 

During the Municipal Day 2014 a workshop was held to understand group dynamics and how we can develop our common work and collective strength as a group and a local society.


The work of the