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Equality between Women and Men

Note: The information on this website refers to the ESF funding period 2014-2020. The website is still available until further notice, but it will no longer be updated after the 30th of June 2021.

Gender equality policy within the ESF is regulated and financed by treaties, regulations and directives as well as within the framework of the structural policy of the European Union and national legislations.

Article 7 of the ESF Regulation (EU) No. 1304/2013 stipulates that equality between men and women is to be taken into account and promoted throughout the preparation and implementation of ESF measures; the sustainable participation of women in employment must be increased and their professional progress must be improved, thus combating the feminisation of poverty. Furthermore, gender-based segregation must be reduced, gender stereotypes must be combated in the labour market and in general, education as well as vocational training, the reconciliation of work and personal life for all as well as the equal sharing of care responsibilities between women and men must be promoted.

Significant documents and legal provisions within the context of the EU gender equality policy are the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011–2020) and the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, which include central gender equality policy objectives and requirements concerning important ESF fields of intervention and core objectives, such as employment and education policy.

In Germany, the gender equality policy is based on Article 3, Section (2) of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany: “Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.”
In July 2020 the first German Gender Equality Strategy of the Federal Government was published. Thematically, it ties in with the two equality reports from 2011 and 2017: New pathways – Equal opportunites gender equality over women's and men's life courses. Central results and recommendations for action of the First report on gender equality in Germany and New ways of restructuring paid work and (unpaid) care work. Expertise of the Second Gender Equality Report of the German Government. In addition to numerous individual measures from all federal ministries, the equality strategy includes a positive reference to gender mainstreaming and the prospect of a scientific advisory infrastructure.

The German Federal Operational Programme formulates clear objectives concerning equality of women and men which address, for instance, the increase in employment securing a livelihood and the economic independence of women, a better reconciliation of work and personal life, the removal of gender-specific stereotypes in career choice and the increase of the share of women in decision making positions. These objectives are implemented with the support of specific actions and the gender mainstreaming strategy and are monitored by (the ESF’s own) controlling tools, including Gender Budgeting, which enables an optimisation of programme controlling from a gender perspective.

For more information about how to integrate gender equality into ESF management and implementation see the website of the The European Community of Practice on Gender Mainstreaming:
GenderCoP’s European Standard on Gender Mainstreaming in the ESF.

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