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Thursday, May 26, 2005

European Commission promotes gender mainstreaming in the Structural Funds

Social Affairs, Public Management, Local development,

News Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, has hosted the third meeting of the High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming, which comprises senior civil servants from EU Member States responsible for promoting the gender dimension in the management of the structural funds.

Best practice examples include a Gender Institute in Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany), pre-school care facilities in Kent (UK) and a micro-credit scheme for female entrepreneurs in Finland. The Commission has organised the third High Level Group on Gender mainstreaming on the 25th of May, 2005, following the two previous meetings in June and November 2004. The members of the Group are high-level officials from the Managing Authorities of the 25 Member States of the European Union, plus from Romania and Bulgaria as observers. The action of the High Level Group is based on the Commission Communication on the “Implementation of gender mainstreaming in the Structural Funds programming documents 2000 – 2006” adopted on 20 December 2002 (COM (2002)748final). The High Level Group contributes to the development of tools and mechanisms to integrate the gender dimension at every stage of the regional and cohesion policy process. It acts as a network to give input on gender mainstreaming to the authorities managing the Structural Funds. Meeting on a bi-annual basis, it is geared to build a stronger partnership, to consult informally on related issues and to share best practices. Among best practices, in Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany), a Gender Institute was set up. The role of the Gender Institute is to improve the level of training, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide equal access to the labour market for women and men. In Kent (United-Kingdom), a new pre-school will be opened in the local community centre in order to provide community based services and facilities, such as childcare. Other practical examples, including a micro-credit scheme for female entrepreneurs in Finland, has been presented during the meeting. Background: Gender mainstreaming is not limited to measures to help women, but encompasses the respective positions of men and women in a wider gender perspective. It aims at overcoming the structural inequalities in the organisation of working and family life, which constrain the participation of many women in the labour market and in public life. Structural funds constitute traditionally an important catalyst for community and national policies in favour of gender equality. Thus they are in line with their objective to reduce development disparities and promote the socio-economic cohesion of the European Union. Growth, competitiveness and employment can only be achieved through the fullest mobilisation of all citizens, male and female.

Source :  DG Regional Policy




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