The European Union highlights the importance of gender and gender mainstreaming. This has resulted in the so-called European Pact (2011-2020), which aims to eliminate gender-related differences on the labour market as well as to establish a sound balance between work and private life for men as well as women.
For this reason, it goes without saying that ESF Flanders also places importance on gender and gender mainstreaming in its operational programme and its projects.
By the designation ‘gender’ we mean the differences between men and women which are not innate, but on the contrary are socially determined and which may vary from one culture to another.
A plain example may clarify this. Unless science could change this, only women are able to bear children. But it is culture that determines the fact that it is mainly women who take up care for children. And this of course also has consequences for the way in which women behave on the labour market.
Briefly summarized, gender mainstreaming can be defined as ‘integrating gender equality in daily policy’. For each issue it has to be checked whether the decision or the measure takes into account the differences between men and women or its effect on men and women.
This gender-check will not always be an easy job, especially when you have to introduce it in a project. But the website www.mvunited.be provides plenty of practical cases which demonstrate how you can establish gender equality and gender mainstreaming. The process not only involves the project as such, but also the communication about the project.