Gender mainstreaming of employment policies
A comparative review of thirty European countries






Gender mainstreaming of employment policies


A comparative review of 30 European countries


European Commission


Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
Unit G1


Manuscript completed in July 2007


Danièle Meulders & Síle O’Dorchai, Belgium (BE)
Iskra Beleva, Bulgaria (BG)


Alena Křížková,Czech Republic (CZ)
Ruth Emerek, Denmark (DK)


Elisabeth Botsch & Friederike Maier, Germany (DE)
Anu Laas, Estonia (EE)


Ursula Barry & Sarah Murphy, Ireland (IE)
Maria Karamessini, Greece (EL)
María Luisa Moltó, Spain (ES)
Rachel Silvera, France (FR)


Paola Villa, Italy (IT)
Alexia Panayiotou, Cyprus (CY)


Ilze Trapenciere, Latvia (LV)
Vida Kanopiene, Lithuania (LT)


Robert Plasman & Salimata Sissoko, Luxembourg (LU)
Beáta Nagy, Hungary (HU)


Roselyn Borg, Malta (MT)
Janneke Plantenga


& Chantal Remery, The Netherlands (NL)
Ingrid Mairhuber, Austria (AT)


Ania Plomien, Poland (PL)
Virgínia Ferreira, Portugal (PT)
Elena Zamfir, Romania (RO)


Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, Slovenia (SI)
Magdalena Piscová, Slovakia (SK)


Anna-Maija Lehto, Finland (FI)
Anita Nyberg, Sweden (SE)


Colette Fagan, Peter Urwin, Jill Rubery and
Rory Donnelly, United Kingdom (UK)


Lilja Mósesdóttir, Iceland+(IS)
Ulrike Papouschek and Ines Hofbauer, Liechtenstein+(LI)


Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Norway+(NO)


Janneke Plantenga, Chantal Remery and Jill Rubery


Group of experts on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment (EGGSIE)*
The national experts and co-authors (+ indicates non-EU countries)




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3

Executive summary .......................................................................................................................... 5


Résumé......................................................................................................................................... 11


Zusammenfassung ......................................................................................................................... 17


Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 25


1. Gender mainstreaming employment policy: a checklist ........................................................ 27


2. Gender mainstreaming and gender equality in 30 European countries ................................. 33


3. Active labour market policies .................................................................................................. 41


4. Pay and career policies .......................................................................................................... 49


5. Reconciliation policies ........................................................................................................... 57


6. ‘Flexicurity’ policies ................................................................................................................. 67


7. Concluding remarks ............................................................................................................... 73


References ................................................................................................................................. 75


Table of contents




4

Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Country abbreviations:


BE Belgium


BG Bulgaria
CZ Czech Republic


DK Denmark


DE Germany


EE Estonia


IE Ireland


EL Greece


ES Spain


FR France


IT Italy


CY Cyprus


LV Latvia


LT Lithuania


LU Luxembourg


HU Hungary


MT Malta


NL The Netherlands


AT Austria


PL Poland


PT Portugal


RO Romania


SI Slovenia


SK Slovakia


FI Finland


SE Sweden


UK United Kingdom


IS Iceland


LI Liechtenstein


NO Norway




5

Although the European Employment Strategy recognises
that gender equality and gender mainstreaming are essential
for progress, the analysis of the National Reform Programes
2005 and 2006 indicated that the visibility of gender and the
attention paid both to gender equality policies and gender
mainstreaming in the national reports has declined. This
decline appears to be strongly linked to the disappearance
of the specific gender guidelines following on from the
earlier removal of the equal opportunities pillar from the
European Employment Strategy guidelines. A reversal of
this development can only be attained if all stakeholders
have a better knowledge of concrete examples of gender
mainstreaming and share the commitment to integrate
gender issues in the European Employment Strategy
in the future. This report, therefore, provides a checklist
for effective gender mainstreaming and analyses the
most relevant employment policy domains from a gender
perspective. As such the report contains information for the
27 Member States in addition to three EEA-EFTA countries:
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


The process of gender mainstreaming


According to the European Commission (EC 1996), gender
mainstreaming ‘involves not restricting efforts to promote
equality to the implementation of specific measures to help
women, but mobilising all general policies and measures
specifically for the purpose of achieving equality by actively
and openly taking into account at the planning stage their
possible effects on the respective situation of men and women
(gender perspective). This means systematically examining
measures and policies and taking into account such possible
effects when defining and implementing them’. Gender
mainstreaming should thus be seen as a gender equality
strategy, which focuses on transforming by questioning the
status quo (mainstream) and assuming that a transformation
of institutions and/or organisations may be necessary to
establish gender equality. As such, gender mainstreaming
should not be regarded as a replacement for direct equal
opportunities policy but as an addition to it.


An effective gender mainstreaming strategy consists of four
steps. The central focus of the first step ‘getting organised’
is on implementation and organisation, and building
awareness and ownership. Implementation and organisation
of gender mainstreaming refers to the process of providing
a structural and cultural basis for equal opportunities. This
includes formulation of objectives and targets, making a
plan, drawing up a budget and defining responsibilities and
accountability of the different actors involved. In addition,
stakeholders should consider gender mainstreaming
as part of their tasks and responsibilities. It is therefore
important ‘to build ownership’. A next step in the process of
gender mainstreaming is ‘learning about gender differences’.


A description of the actual situation is essential in order to
assess actual gender (in)equality and to prioritise areas
for attention. In addition, monitoring the situation over time
provides information on the trends in gender (in)equality.
The European Commission has identified four dimensions to
the assessment of gender inequality: participation (referring
to the gender composition of the target group/population of
the policy); resources (referring to the access to/distribution
of resources such as time, money, and power), norms and
values (referring to the value attached to men and women
or to masculine and feminine characteristics) and rights
(referring to direct or indirect sex discrimination, human rights
and access to justice in the legal, political or socio-economic
environment).


The third step, ‘assessing the policy impact’, is to analyse
the potential gender impact of the policy with reference to
participation, resources, norms and values and rights. An
important issue regarding participation is that both quantitative
as well as qualitative aspects should be taken into account.
With respect to access to resources, it is critical to take
into account not only the impact on household resources
but also the impact on individual resources. On the level of
social norms and values, it is important that reconciliation
policies address men’s involvement in domestic labour,
and with regard to rights, it is relevant to include the right
to care as well as to undertake employment. Finally, the
fourth step ‘redesigning policy’ is to identify ways in which the
policy could be redesigned to promote gender equality. The
need for redesign is particularly strong where initial gender
differences are high and have major impacts on women’s
life chances. When redesigning policy it should be taken into
account that gender mainstreaming calls for a more joined-
up approach which may involve more than one policy area
or department.


Gender mainstreaming and gender
equality in 30 European countries:
current state of affairs


An important precondition for an effective gender
mainstreaming strategy is the establishment of a clear
and transparent organisational infrastructure with a clear
focus on gender equality. In some countries like Denmark,
Germany and the United Kingdom this is backed up by
legislation. To give an example: in the United Kingdom
the most important recent legislative change in relation to
gender mainstreaming is the Equality Act 2006. This places
a statutory ‘general duty’ on all public authorities when
carrying out their functions to have due regard to the need
to (a) eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment,
and (b) to promote equality of opportunity between men
and women. Other countries like Sweden, France, the


Executive summary




6

Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Netherlands and Iceland have formulated the principle
of gender mainstreaming as a general policy principle.
In France, for example, gender mainstreaming is part of
the ‘Equality Charter’, which was adopted on 8 March
2004. The aim is to introduce a gender mainstreaming
approach in all actions: ‘Concern for equality between men
and women should be incorporated not only in all public
policies, nationally, regionally and locally, but also be
diffused through all political, economic and social sectors’.
In addition, some governments have a specific ministry
for gender equality issues that is responsible for gender
mainstreaming or co-ordinates the policy. In Luxembourg,
for example, the government created the Ministry for
Female Advancement in 1995. In 2004 the name was
changed into the Ministry of Equal Opportunities to better
underline the fact that this ministry is not only dedicated to
female advancement but to equal opportunities between
both sexes. Other countries have installed inter or intra-
ministerial committees to enhance the process of gender
mainstreaming, or rely on external committees or gender
equality institutes.


In addition to a transparent structure aimed at gender
equality, an essential precondition for successful gender
mainstreaming is the availability of gender-disaggregated
statistics. Such statistics enable the description of the
actual situation in order to assess actual gender (in)
equality and to prioritise areas for attention. The possibility
of monitoring the situation over time might also provide
information on the trends in gender (in)equality. Gender
impact assessment (GIA) and gender budget analysis
(GBA) are important instruments for implementing gender
mainstreaming. A systematically conducted GIA identifies
whether the policy under scrutiny has positive or negative
outcomes in terms of promoting gender equality and can
be used to improve the quality and efficacy of policy design.
With the instrument of GBA expenditure can be analysed
from a gender perspective. Several countries report
developments regarding the use of these instruments. In
Italy, for example, gender auditing and/or budgeting have
received increasing attention in recent years, especially
by local governments, where most administrations
have set up a department for equal opportunities. The
Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality has been
promoting gender budgeting since 2002. In cooperation
with the Department of Planning and Administration the
ministry coordinates the efforts to integrate gender and
equality perspectives in work on the budget. Training and
awareness raising have been core elements of the gender
budget process and a guide to gender analysis in ministry
budget bills has been developed.


This assessment of the current state of affairs in 30 Euro-
pean countries indicates that there are large differences
in the organisation and implementation of gender main-
streaming and gender equality. Though most countries


have developed initiatives regarding gender mainstream-
ing, the focus seems rather narrow and patchy. Perhaps
with the exception of the Nordic countries, a systematic
and comprehensive approach is generally lacking and ac-
tual implementation is often problematic. Moreover, the at-
tention paid to gender mainstreaming may be sensitive to
political changes, resulting in a lack of consistency.


Gender mainstreaming of active labour
market policies


Active labour market policies (ALMPs) aim to increase the
likelihood of employment or improve income prospects for
unemployed people/groups who find it difficult to enter the la-
bour market. Public employment services (PES) play an im-
portant role in this respect by facilitating the integration of the
unemployed and other job seekers into the labour market. In
addition, active measures include training, job rotation and
job sharing, employment incentives, integration of specific
groups, direct job creation and start-up incentives. In order
to promote gender equality, equal opportunities, principles
should be embedded within the operation of the public em-
ployment service. An effective method in this respect is the
appointment of a specific equal opportunities officer, who has
the necessary expertise. Denmark, Germany and Italy provide
good examples in that respect. It also seems to be essential
that PES employees are informed on the issue of gender
mainstreaming and receive training in how to incorporate this
in their work. To give an example: in Poland a project ‘Gen-
der mainstreaming in labour market institutions’ was set up,
funded by ESF resources, to raise the level of qualifications
and professional skills of public and non-public labour mar-
ket institutions in the area of gender equality, and to prepare
the participants for implementing the gender mainstreaming
strategy in the activities of their institutions. Another important
aspect of gender mainstreaming of public employment serv-
ices is that active labour market programmes are open to all
inactive people and not restricted only to benefit claimants,
and that men and women have equitable access to ALMPs.
In several countries, such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden,
this is common practice. However, other countries follow a
more restrictive policy.


Regarding training, a gender mainstreaming approach
would imply that both quantitative as well as qualitative
aspects are taken into account. This means that
training should not only improve the employability of
the unemployed, but also promote the entry of women into
high quality and/or non-traditional jobs. The same concern
holds for measures focusing on direct job creation. As the
national experts of Cyprus, Luxembourg and France indicate,
however, this is not always the case. In France, for example,
the ‘plan for services to individuals’ intends to create 500,000
neighbourhood jobs between 2006 and 2009. Though




7

Executive summary


it is expected that the jobs created will concern women in
particular, the gender implications have never been an issue.
Moreover, the jobs are part-time and there are concerns
regarding the job quality (in terms of working hours and
pay). Active labour market measures may also focus on the
integration of specific groups into the labour market. In this
respect a gender mainstreaming approach would imply that
the needs of specific groups are addressed. Lone parents,
for example, may be helped by providing child care services,
the disabled by providing social services and technical aid,
and women returners after long-term caring by providing
training facilities. When it comes to start-up measures it is
important that men and women benefit in equal terms from
initiatives that promote entrepreneurship, by encouraging the
unemployed and target groups to start their own business or
to become self-employed.


The assessment of active labour market policies in 30
European countries indicates that gender mainstreaming
remains uneven and rather narrow in focus. In quite a
number of countries, policies in this area have not been
developed with any explicit gender perspective or reference
to gender equality and mainstreaming. This conclusion may
not be problematic if gender inequality is rather modest. For
example, in Finland, labour force participation has been
almost equal between men and women for a long time
and gender gaps in employment and unemployment have
been among the narrowest in the European Union. This is,
however, a rather exceptional case as most national experts
draw attention to existing gender inequalities.


Gender mainstreaming of pay
and career policies


Reducing the gender pay gap is an important topic on the
European political agenda. Since 1999 it has been part of
the European Employment Strategy and policy efforts have
intensified over the years. The gender pay gap refers to
the differences between the wages earned by women and
by men.


Given the complexity of the causes of the gender pay
gap, gender mainstreaming pay policies would imply the
need for a variety of measures. Firstly, countries may
implement an equal pay policy aimed at tackling direct
or indirect gender wage discrimination. Examples include
(additional) legislation, availability and dissemination of
information and initiatives with respect to job evaluation.
To give a few examples: in Luxembourg, since June 2004,
a law has been in force that obligates social partners to
bargain on equal pay. Similar legislation exists in France,
where gender pay bargaining in companies and sectors is
obligatory. The establishment of gender specific institutions
might support the implementation of equal pay legislation;


the Netherlands, Finland and Norway mention examples
in this respect. Innovative examples with regard to the
dissemination of information are provided by Denmark,
Italy and Portugal, as they have introduced legislation that
obliges employers to provide data on wages. Finally, job
evaluation systems are often used to determine the value of
a job. Job evaluation systems may, however, be (in)directly
discriminating against women. It is, therefore, important
that a critical assessment of system-specific characteristics
and criteria is made. Examples in this respect are provided
by Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Iceland.


A second policy line may be targeted at reducing horizontal
as well as vertical segregation. Policies to reduce horizon-
tal segregation generally focus on young girls in order to
encourage them to consider a wider range of occupational
options, and to opt for science and technology instead of
caring, cleaning and catering. Greece, for example, has a
programme that aims at promoting gender equality in sec-
ondary education and post-secondary initial training. Among
others, actions include using vocational guidance and coun-
selling services of schools to combat gender stereotypes in
occupational choices and encouraging girls to participate
in initial training courses in specialties where women are
under-represented. Policies to reduce vertical segregation
generally aim to increase the number of women in high-level
and/or management jobs. In Greece and Spain a number of
policy measures have been introduced aimed at equality in
career opportunities. In Norway ‘women and management’
has been a major issue in the public debate in recent years,
and there have been several policy measures to reduce
the gender imbalance. The most prominent public policy
measure is the Public Limited Companies Act, enforced on
1 January 2006. It imposes a gender balance (approximate-
ly 40/60%) in the boards of all privately owned public lim-
ited companies (ASA), amounting to about 500 companies.
Establishments that have not obtained a gender balance by
2008 will be sanctioned. Similar laws were already in force
for state-owned companies.


A third policy line refers to gender mainstreaming of ‘gen-
eral’ wage policies aimed at reducing wage inequality and
improving the remuneration of low-paid and/or female-dom-
inated jobs. Wage policies in this respect may vary from the
introduction of a mandatory minimum wage, thereby setting
a floor to the wage structure, the centralisation of the system
of wage bargaining, thereby decreasing inter-industry and
inter-firm wage differentials, and the revaluing of low-paid
and/or female-dominated jobs, for example as part of an an-
ti-poverty or equality strategy. Most European countries have
minimum wage legislation. Ireland and the United Kingdom,
however, have introduced such legislation quite recently. An
example where there has been an increase in the level of
pay in low-paid jobs is provided by Lithuania. Though gender
mainstreaming may not have been a major consideration in
this policy, given that women are over-represented among




8

Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


the low-paid, it may play a role in closing the pay gap by im-
proving their relative wage position.


The assessment of pay and career policies in 30 European
countries indicates that in most countries the gender pay
gap has a rather low profile, both in the public debate and
in the policy agenda. The emphasis on deregulation and
voluntary action by employers seems in some countries to
restrict national policy options. One of the main problems
appears to be that there is no real owner of the problem, as
nobody feels responsible for the gender pay gap. Organising
political support for closing the gap seems to be an important
challenge for the near future.


Gender mainstreaming of reconciliation
policies


Reconciliation policies can be defined as policies that directly
support the combination of professional, family and private
life. As such, they may refer to a wide variety of policies rang-
ing from childcare services, leave facilities, flexible working
arrangements to other reconciliation policies such as finan-
cial allowances for working partners. A gender mainstream-
ing perspective in the domain of reconciliation is to a certain
extent established, in so far as most European governments
recognise the impact of care responsibilities on women’s em-
ployment. Yet countries differ in their policy responses and in
their implicit or explicit focus on gender equality. Some coun-
tries encourage the supply of public and private services, oth-
ers improve the opportunities to work part-time hours. Some
still consider reconciliation a woman’s affair, whereas others
recognise the role of men in care and family responsibilities.


Since 1996, national policy in the field of leave arrangements
has been underpinned by a European directive which obliges
Member States to introduce legislation on parental leave to
enable parents to care full-time for their child over a period
of three months. In principle this refers to an individual, non-
transferable entitlement. This directive ensures that a certain
minimum standard is guaranteed within the Member States.
Over and above this, however, there is a broad range of na-
tional regulations, with countries differing in the length of leave
facilities, the level of payment, the flexibility and the entitle-
ment. The wide variety in leave regulations makes the actual
policy choices rather diverse. Some countries (Ireland, the
United Kingdom and the Netherlands) report a lengthening of
the – relatively short – leave provisions and an improvement
of the level of payment. Other countries report a shortening
of the – relatively long – leave period (Germany), an increase
in the flexibility or a change in entitlements (Czech Repub-
lic, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria). Presumably, the actual
policy choices depend to a large extent on the different start-
ing points, the current situation of the labour market and the
gender equality challenge. Practically all countries, though,


report an uneven involvement of men. Some countries react
with specific regulations with regard to a father’s take-up of
leave, others remain rather passive, considering reconcilia-
tion to be mainly a woman’s issue.


In 2002, at the Barcelona Summit, targets were set with re-
gard to childcare. Confirming the goal of full employment,
the European Council agreed that Member States should
remove disincentives to female labour force participation
and strive, taking into account the demand for childcare
facilities and in line with national patterns of provision, to
provide childcare by 2010 to at least 90% of children be-
tween three years old and the mandatory school age, and
at least 33% of children under three years of age. Although
assessing the availability of childcare services is not an
easy task, it seems obvious that in most countries the Bar-
celona childcare targets are far from being reached. There
are, however, large differences between countries. In Fin-
land, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, for example, child-
care is framed as a social right. In Norway, unlike the other
Scandinavian countries, childcare services are not a social
right. Yet, since the late 1980’s full coverage has been the
common political goal for care services. Also Slovenia,
France and Belgium report an almost full coverage. At the
other end of the spectrum, quite a number of countries report
a persistent low level of childcare facilities. This concerns,
for example, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Cyprus,
Greece, Spain and Latvia. Only three countries (Greece, The
United Kingdom and the Netherlands) report a real expan-
sion of childcare services over the last few years.


The assessment of reconciliation policies in 30 European
countries indicates that although reconciliation is high on
the policy agenda in quite a number of countries, actual
policies remain rather limited. The majority of countries are
a long way from reaching the Barcelona target for children
aged below three. In addition, there seems to be no uniform
trend with regard to childcare facilities. Some countries like
the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are clearly mov-
ing towards a higher coverage. Others are more or less at
a standstill, whereas in some of the former Eastern Euro-
pean countries there is clear downward trend. Also policies
with regard to parental leave seem rather diverse. Depend-
ing on the different starting points, some countries report a
lengthening of the leave facilities, others a shortening, an
increase in the flexibility or a change in entitlements. Practi-
cally all countries report an uneven involvement of men.


Gender mainstreaming of ‘fl exicurity’
policies


Flexicurity policy can be described as ‘a policy strategy
that attempts, synchronically and in a deliberate way, to
enhance the flexibility of labour markets, the work organi-




9

Executive summary


sation and labour relations on the one hand, and to enhance
security – employment security and social security – notably
for weaker groups in and outside the labour market on the
other hand’ (Wilthagen and Tros 2004: 169). This definition
makes clear that a fully integrated approach to flexicurity
goes beyond narrowly defined policies on labour market flex-
ibility and employees’ security. Also included are active labour
market policies, with active job search, job availability, and life
long learning as important ingredients. The central focus is
on finding a balance of policies with the aim of increasing the
adaptability of workers and the work place. As such the flexi-
curity approach implies a shift from a job security paradigm
(having the same job all your life) to an employment security
paradigm (having employment possibilities and abilities all
your life).


The relationship between flexicurity and gender equality is
not self-evident. On the one hand proponents may claim that
flexicurity offers an answer to gender inequality because it
helps to reduce the segmentation risks of a more mobile and
flexible labour market. On the other hand, critics may claim
that the actual flexicurity measures carry the risk of deepen-
ing gender equalities because of the active encouragement
of flexible jobs. A gender mainstreaming approach to policies
in the area of flexicurity would recognise the role of gender in
reinforcing inequalities associated with flexible working and
in shaping flexible working patterns, and would address the
reconciliation needs of employees with care commitments
while recognising the risks of extending working hours or un-
social work schedules. In addition a mainstreaming approach
would support pathways out of non-standard work and work-
ing times to avoid the risks of long-term traps and segmenta-
tion of women in disadvantaged employment forms.


The actual state of affairs with regard to flexicurity differs
widely among the EU Member States. In most studies, Den-
mark and The Netherlands are seen as paradigmatic cases
with countries in South, Central and Eastern Europe lagging
behind. The Danish model of flexicurity is often described
as a golden triangle, where a relatively low level of employ-
ment protection, a comprehensive unemployment benefit for
a short period of time and an active labour market policy form
the three corners. The Dutch approach relies more on a care-
ful balancing of rights and obligations for different contractual
forms. In a number of other Member States flexicurity is high
on the policy agenda. The German government, for example,
is trying to find a new balance between flexibility and secu-
rity by introducing measures which vary from new part-time
regulations, the creation of mini-jobs, new dismissal regula-
tions and cuts in unemployment benefits. Although women
are affected by all these policy areas, the level of gender
mainstreaming is limited. The concept of flexicurity is also
widely discussed in France. Yet, as in Germany, the meas-
ures seem to be based on a rather traditional model in which
men work longer, while women will be given – or will even ask
for – part-time work. In most other countries the concept of


flexicurity is still to be developed, as a result of which policy
developments within this framework have been limited. Some
national experts hope that measures under this heading may
improve the accessibility of the labour market to women as
it would provide more flexible options especially in the pri-
vate sector. Other national experts express their concern that
flexibility measures may be more readily taken than security
measures, with the result that labour market inequalities may
increase.


The assessment of flexicurity policies in 30 European coun-
tries indicates that a gender mainstreaming approach is still
largely missing. Given the centrality of gender to the issue
of flexibility and security in European labour markets, the
limited evidence of gender mainstreaming is rather striking.
Increasing the responsiveness of European labour markets,
by increasing the adaptability of workers and the work place,
will only lead to a more inclusive labour market if increased
flexibility does not imply increased insecurity for certain
vulnerable groups in the labour market. In each country,
the paradigmatic shift from job security to employment se-
curity calls for a specific mixture of policies, in accordance
with the national labour market situation, and adapted to the
specific trends and circumstances. A gender mainstreaming
approach would imply that these measures are designed by
taking into account the gender equality issues which emerge
in relation to flexible contracts, flexible working hours, career
breaks and labour market mobility.


Conclusion: gender mainstreaming of
employment policies


Important preconditions for an effective gender main-
streaming strategy are a clear and transparent organi-
sational structure, clear enforcement mechanisms and
a strong focus on achieving substantial equality. In
addition, an analysis of the actual situation is essen-
tial in order to assess gender (in)equality, to prioritise
areas for attention and to analyse the potential gender
impact of policy measures. The present study indicates
that most countries are still far from adopting a full gen-
der mainstreaming approach to employment policies.
The awareness of gender equality, especially in the
field of pay and flexicurity policies, is usually rather
limited. In addition, gender equality is often not taken
into account in the actual design of policy measures.
In order to improve the knowledge of gender
mainstreaming of employment policies, this report
has provided not only an analysis of current trends
but also a checklist and a number of examples of ef-
fective gender mainstreaming. As such the report
may be used as a manual for all actors involved in
gender mainstreaming at the national as well as at the
European level.






11


L’égalité des sexes et l’approche intégrée du genre sont
des éléments essentiels dans la stratégie européenne pour
l’emploi. Néanmoins, l’analyse des Programmes nationaux
de réforme de 2005 et 2006 montre que la dimension du
« genre » est moins visible qu’auparavant et que l’intérêt
porté aux politiques d’égalité des sexes et à l’approche
intégrée a diminué. Cette baisse semble être étroitement
liée à la disparition de lignes directrices spécifiques suite à
la suppression du pilier de l’égalité des chances dans les
lignes directrices de la stratégie européenne pour l’emploi.
Pour inverser cette tendance, il est nécessaire que tous les
acteurs aient connaissance d’exemples concrets d’approche
intégrée de l’égalité des sexes et s’engagent à intégrer les
questions de « genre » dans cette stratégie. Le présent
rapport fournit une liste contenant les points à vérifier
(“checklist”) pour une intégration effective de l’égalité entre
les sexes et examine, dans une perspective de genre, les
domaines les plus pertinents des politiques de l’emploi. Ce
rapport couvre les 27 Etats membres et trois pays de l’EEE
(Islande, Liechtenstein et Norvège).


Le processus d’intégration de la
dimension de genre


Pour la Commission européenne (CE 1996) « il s’agit
[…] de ne pas limiter les efforts de promotion de l’égalité
à la mise en œuvre de mesures spécifiques en faveur
des femmes, mais de mobiliser explicitement en vue de
l’égalité l’ensemble des actions et politiques générales,
en introduisant dans leur conception de façon active et
visible l’attention à leurs effets possibles sur les situations
respectives des femmes et des hommes (“gender
perspective”). Cela suppose d’interroger systématiquement
ces actions et politiques et de prendre en considération ces
effets possibles dans leur définition et leur mise en œuvre
». L’intégration du « genre » doit donc être conçue comme
une stratégie de changement en faveur de l’égalité entre
les hommes et les femmes, qui interroge le statu quo et
part du principe qu’une transformation des institutions et
des organisations peut être nécessaire pour mettre en
œuvre l’égalité. Ainsi, l’intégration de la dimension de
genre s’ajoute aux mesures directes en faveur de l’égalité
des chances et n’y substitue pas.


Pour être effective une approche intégrée de l’égalité
s’effectue en quatre étapes. La première, « comment
s’organiser », porte sur la mise en œuvre et l’organisation,
la sensibilisation et l’appropriation (“ownership”). La mise
en œuvre et l’organisation correspondent à la mise en
place de bases culturelles et structurelles pour l’égalité des
chances. Il s’agit ici de fixer des objectifs, d’établir des plans
et un budget et de définir les responsabilités et l’obligation de
rendre compte (“accountability”) de tous les participants. Par
ailleurs, les acteurs doivent inclure l’intégration de l’égalité


dans leurs tâches et responsabilités. Il est donc important
d’instaurer un sens d’appropriation (“ownership”).


L’étape suivante consiste à « analyser les disparités hom-
mes-femmes ». Une description de la situation s’impose
pour évaluer concrètement l’(in)égalité des sexes et iden-
tifier les domaines prioritaires. De plus, un suivi de la
situation à travers le temps permet d’identifier les tend-
ances de l’(in)égalité entre les sexes. La Commission
européenne a mis en évidence quatre dimensions pour
l’évaluation de l’inégalité entre les hommes et les femmes:
participation (composition d’hommes et de femmes dans
le groupe cible à la population concernée par une certaine
mesure), ressources (accès et distribution des ressources -
temps, budget, pouvoir), normes et valeurs (à savoir
la valeur attribuée aux hommes et aux femmes ou
aux caractéristiques masculines et féminines) et droits
(discrimination sexuelle directe ou indirecte, droits de
l’Homme, et accès à la justice dans la sphère juridique, poli-
tique ou socio-économique).


La troisième étape consiste à « évaluer l’impact des poli-
tiques » d’un point de vue du genre, en termes de participa-
tion, de ressources, de normes et de valeurs et de droits. Il
convient de noter qu’en matière de participation, les aspects
qualitatifs comme quantitatifs doivent être pris en compte. En
ce qui concerne l’accès aux ressources, il est essentiel de
tenir compte non seulement de l’impact sur les ressources
du ménage mais aussi de l’impact sur les ressources indi-
viduelles. En termes de valeurs et de normes sociales, il est
important que les politiques de conciliation (entre vie profes-
sionnelle, vie familiale et vie privée) traitent de la question de
la participation masculine au travail domestique et en termes
de droit, il est important de considérer le droit de garder un
enfant mais aussi celui d’occuper un emploi.


La quatrième et dernière étape « reconcevoir les
politiques » consiste à déterminer comment les politiques
analysées peuvent être reformulées pour promouvoir
l’égalité. Ce besoin est d’autant plus pressant lorsque les
disparités hommes-femmes sont marquées et ont un im-
pact significatif sur les chances des femmes au cours de
leur vie. La reformulation des politiques doit tenir compte
du fait que l’intégration de la dimension de genre peut im-
pliquer plusieurs domaines politiques et donc une collabo-
ration entre services.


L’intégration de la dimension de genre
et l’égalité entre les hommes et les
femmes dans les 30 pays européens


La mise en place d’une infrastructure organisationnelle
claire et transparente centrée sur l’égalité entre les sexes


Résumé




12


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


est une condition préalable à toute stratégie d’intégration
effective de l’égalité. Dans des pays comme le Danemark,
l’Allemagne et le Royaume-Uni, cela est assuré par la
législation. Au Royaume-Uni, le changement législatif récent
le plus important en matière d’approche intégrée de l’égalité
a été la loi sur l’Egalité de 2006 (“Equality Act 2006”). Cette
loi impose une « obligation générale » statutaire à tous les
pouvoirs publics de tenir compte du besoin a) d’éliminer
toute discrimination illégale et tout harcèlement, et b) de
promouvoir l’égalité des chances entre les hommes et les
femmes. D’autres pays – la Suède, la France, les Pays-
Bas et l’Islande – ont introduit le principe de l’intégration de
l’égalité des sexes comme fondement de leurs politiques.
En France, par exemple, l’intégration de l’égalité fait partie
intégrante de la Charte de l’Egalité introduite le 8 mars
2004. L’objectif de cette Charte est d’inclure une approche
intégrée dans toutes les actions : « l’engagement en faveur
de l’égalité doit s’inscrire non seulement dans les actions
menées par les pouvoirs publics, aux niveaux national,
régional et local, mais toucher tous les secteurs politiques
et socio-économiques ». En outre, certains pays ont institué
un ministère spécifique pour les questions d’égalité entre
les sexes, responsable de l’intégration du genre ou de la
coordination des politiques. En 1995 le Luxembourg s’est
doté d’un Ministère de la Promotion féminine, devenu le
Ministère de l’Egalité des chances en 2004 afin de mieux
souligner que l’engagement ne porte pas seulement sur
la promotion des femmes mais aussi sur l’égalité des
chances hommes-femmes. D’autres pays ont mis en place
des comités interministériels ou intra-ministériels afin de
consolider le processus d’intégration, ou font appel à des
comités externes ou des instituts pour l’égalité entre les
sexes.


Outre une structure transparente, il est essentiel
également de disposer de données désagrégées par sexe.
Ces données permettent de décrire la situation en cours
afin d’évaluer concrètement l’(in)égalité réelle entre les
hommes et les femmes et de déterminer les domaines
prioritaires. De plus, un suivi à travers le temps doit
indiquer les tendances en matière d’(in)égalité. L’analyse
d’impact selon le genre et l’analyse budgétaire selon le
genre constituent des instruments importants pour la
mise en place d’une approche intégrée de l’égalité. Mener
systématiquement des analyses d’impact selon le genre
permet de déterminer si les mesures examinées ont des
effets positifs ou négatifs par rapport à la promotion de
l’égalité entre les sexes et elle peut aider à améliorer la
qualité et l’efficacité des politiques. L’analyse budgétaire
selon le genre permet, elle, d’examiner les dépenses
officielles dans une perspective de genre. De nombreux
pays ont progressé dans ces domaines. En Italie, par
exemple, les processus d’audit et de budget selon le genre
ont fait l’objet d’une attention plus marquée au cours des
dernières années, particulièrement de la part des autorités
locales qui ont mis en place des services d’égalité des


chances. Le Ministère norvégien des Enfants et de l’Egalité
encourage depuis 2002 la prise en compte du genre dans
les processus budgétaires et collabore avec les services de
Planification et d’Administration pour coordonner les efforts
d’intégration de l’égalité dans le processus budgétaire. La
formation et la sensibilisation sont au cœur du processus
budgétaire selon le genre et un guide d’analyse selon le
genre des projets de budget ministériels a été élaboré.


L’analyse de la situation en cours dans les 30 pays
européens révèle des écarts importants dans l’organisation
et la mise en œuvre de l’intégration du genre et de l’égalité
entre les hommes et les femmes. Si la majorité des Etats
membres ont pris des initiatives en matière d’intégration de
la perspective de genre, celles-ci restent limitées. Exception
faite peut-être des pays nordiques, l’approche suivie n’est
ni exhaustive ni systématique et la mise en œuvre s’avère
souvent problématique. Par ailleurs, l’attention portée à
l’intégration du genre dépend parfois des changements de
politiques, ce qui entraîne un manque de cohérence.


L’intégration de la dimension de genre
dans les politiques actives du marché
de l’emploi


Les politiques actives du marché de l’emploi visent à
accroître la probabilité de participation (au marché du
travail) ou à améliorer les perspectives d’emploi pour les
personnes ou les groupes qui ont du mal à entrer sur le
marché du travail. Les services publics de l’emploi jouent
ici un rôle majeur en facilitant l’intégration des chômeurs
et autres demandeurs d’emploi sur le marché du travail. A
cela viennent s’ajouter des mesures actives qui incluent la
formation, la rotation et le partage des emplois, les aides à
l’emploi, l’intégration de groupes donnés, la création directe
d’emplois et le soutien à la création d’entreprises.


Afin de promouvoir l’égalité entre les sexes, le principe
d’égalité des chances doit être ancré dans les actions des
services publics de l’emploi et le recrutement d’un agent
responsable des questions d’égalité des chances doté
de l’expertise nécessaire est utile, comme le montrent les
exemples de l’Allemagne, du Danemark et de l’Italie. Il
semble également crucial que les employés des services
publics de l’emploi soient informés sur les questions
d’intégration du genre et formés quant à la prise en compte
des questions d’égalité dans leurs responsabilités.


A titre d’exemple, un projet d’ « intégration du genre
dans les institutions du marché de l’emploi » a été mis
en place en Pologne, grâce au Fonds Social Européen.
Ce projet avait pour but de relever le niveau de formation
et de compétences techniques, en matière d’égalité des




13


Résumé


sexes, dans les institutions (publiques ou autre) chargées
du marché de l’emploi, et pour préparer les participants
à mettre en œuvre l’approche intégrée dans les activités
de leurs institutions. Une autre façon d’intégrer l’égalité
pour les services publics de l’emploi est l’ouverture des
programmes actifs du marché du travail à l’ensemble des
inactifs et non pas seulement aux chômeurs bénéficiaires
d’allocations, et donc que tous les hommes et les femmes
aient un accès égal à ces programmes. Cette pratique est
courante dans plusieurs pays (Danemark, Finlande, Suède)
mais des approches plus restrictives sont appliquées dans
les autres Etats membres.


Une approche intégrée de l’égalité dans le domaine de
la formation ferait de sorte que les aspects qualitatifs tout
comme les aspects quantitatifs soient pris en compte. La
formation ne doit pas seulement renforcer l’employabilité
des chômeurs mais devrait promouvoir l’accès des
femmes à des emplois de haut niveau ou non traditionnels.
Le même principe devrait s’appliquer aux mesures de
création directe d’emplois. Cependant, comme le montrent
les cas de Chypre, du Luxembourg et de la France, ce
n’est pas toujours le cas. En France, le Plan des services
à la personne a pour objectif de créer 500.000 emplois de
proximité entre 2006 et 2009. Bien que l’on s’attende à
ce que les emplois ainsi créés concernent les femmes en
particulier, les implications en regard du genre n’ont pas
été débattues. Par ailleurs il s’agit d’emplois à temps partiel
dont la qualité (en termes d’horaires et de rémunérations)
n’est pas assurée.


Les mesures actives en faveur de l’emploi peuvent aussi
porter sur l’intégration de groupes spécifiques dans
le marché du travail. L’approche intégrée de l’égalité
implique de prendre en compte les besoins de ces groupes
spécifiques : les parents isolés peuvent être aidés par
une offre de services de garde d’enfants, les handicapés
par l’offre de services sociaux et d’aide technique, et les
femmes de retour sur le marché du travail suite à une
longue période d’inactivité par des formations spécifiques.
En ce qui concerne le soutien à l’entrepreneuriat, il est
important que les hommes et les femmes bénéficient de
manière égale des initiatives qui visent à encourager les
chômeurs et certains groupes-cibles à démarrer leur propre
entreprise ou à se mettre à leur compte.


L’analyse des politiques actives du marché de l’emploi
dans les 30 pays européens montre que l’intégration
de la dimension de genre reste irrégulière et restreinte.
Dans un nombre non négligeable de pays, les politiques
actives du marché de l’emploi sont formulées sans prise
en compte explicite du genre et sans référence à l’égalité
des sexes ou l’approche intégrée de l’égalité. Cela n’a pas
une importance majeure si le niveau d’inégalité est réduit
et si les écarts entre hommes et femmes sont faibles. En
Finlande par exemple, les taux d’emploi et de chômage des


hommes et des femmes sont quasiment identiques depuis
longtemps et les disparités entre les sexes sont les plus
faibles d’Europe. Néanmoins, il s’agit d’un cas exceptionnel
et la plupart des pays examinés sont caractérisées par de
fortes disparités de genre sur le marché du travail.


L’intégration de la dimension de genre
dans les politiques relatives aux salaires
et aux carrières


La réduction des écarts salariaux entre les hommes et les
femmes est un thème important de l’agenda politique eu-
ropéen. Depuis 1999, il fait partie de la stratégie européenne
pour l’emploi et les efforts en termes d’adoption de politiques
se sont intensifiés depuis lors. Etant donné la complexité des
causes qui sous-tendent l’écart de salaire entre les sexes,
l’intégration de l’égalité dans les politiques salariales se tra-
duise par une variété de mesures.


En premier lieu, les Etats peuvent mettre en œuvre des ac-
tions directes contre la discrimination salariale directe et indi-
recte entre les hommes et les femmes. L’on peut citer, à titre
d’exemples, la législation (ou des renforcements de la légis-
lation existante), la disponibilité et la diffusion d’informations
et les initiatives relatives à une meilleure évaluation des em-
plois. Au Luxembourg, une loi introduite en juin 2004 oblige
les partenaires sociaux à négocier l’égalité des salaires.
Une législation semblable existe en France où la prise en
compte de la dimension du genre dans les accords collectifs
est obligatoire aux niveaux des entreprises et des branches.
L’instauration d’institutions pour l’égalité spécifiques peut
aider la mise en application de la législation sur l’égalité des
salaires, comme le montrent les exemples des Pays-Bas,
de la Finlande et de la Norvège. Des exemples novateurs
en matière de diffusion des informations sont fournis par le
Danemark, l’Italie et le Portugal où la législation oblige les
employeurs à fournir des statistiques sur les salaires. Enfin,
les systèmes d’évaluation des emplois en place peuvent
discriminer (in)directement contre les femmes. Il est donc
important qu’une évaluation critique des caractéristiques du
système d’évaluation et des critères utilisés soit effectuée,
comme le montrent les exemples de la Belgique, du Luxem-
bourg, de l’Autriche et de l’Islande.


Un autre ensemble de mesures peut viser à réduire la ségré-
gation horizontale et verticale. Pour la première, les mesures
ciblent généralement les jeunes filles pour les encourager à
envisager une gamme élargie de choix professionnels et à se
tourner vers la science et les technologies plutôt que vers les
emplois de garde, de nettoyage et de restauration. La Grèce
a mis en place un programme de promotion de l’égalité
des sexes dans l’enseignement secondaire et dans la for-
mation post-secondaire. D’autres mesures consistent à re-




14


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


courir aux services d’orientation professionnelle dans les
établissements scolaires pour lutter contre les stéréotypes
de genre dans les choix de carrière et pour encourager
les filles à suivre des formations dans des domaines à fai-
ble représentation féminine. Les politiques visant à lutter
contre la ségrégation verticale visent à accroître la part de
femmes dans les emplois de haut niveau ou de cadres.
La Grèce et l’Espagne ont introduit des mesures visant à
garantir l’égalité des chances aux hommes et aux femmes
dans les possibilités de faire carrière. En Norvège la ques-
tion des femmes aux postes de direction figure dans le dé-
bat public et plusieurs mesures ont été prises pour réduire
le déséquilibre hommes-femmes. L’initiative la plus connue
est la loi sur les sociétés anonymes, entrée en vigueur le
1er janvier 2006. Cette loi impose un équilibre de genre
(représentation minimale de 40% pour le sexe sous-rep-
resenté) dans les conseils d’administration de toutes les
sociétés anonymes, à savoir 500 sociétés. Les entreprises
n’ayant pas atteint un équilibre hommes-femmes en 2008
seront pénalisées. Une législation similaire existe déjà
dans les entreprises publiques.


Le troisième ensemble de mesures concerne l’intégration
de l’égalité dans les politiques salariales « générales
» pour réduire les disparités salariales et améliorer les
taux de rémunération des emplois à bas salaires et à
prédominance féminine. Les politiques salariales peuvent
inclure l‘introduction d’un salaire minimum imposé, et donc
d’un plancher pour la structure salariale, la centralisation
des accords salariaux, ce qui réduit les différentiels
intersectoriels et entre les entreprises, et la revalorisation
des emplois peu rémunérés ou féminisés, dans le cadre
par exemple d’une politique de lutte contre la pauvreté et
en faveur de l’égalité. La plupart des pays européens ont
mis en place une législation de salaire minimum bien que
cela se soit fait plus récemment en Irlande et au Royaume-
Uni. La Lituanie fournit un exemple récent de valorisation
des emplois à bas salaires. Bien que l’intégration de la
dimension de genre n’ait pas nécessairement été un
objectif majeur de cette politique, elle peut néanmoins aider
à combler l’écart des salaires en améliorant la position
salariale relative des femmes étant donné que les femmes
sont surreprésentées dans les emplois peu rémunérés.


L’analyse des politiques salariales et professionnelles dans
les 30 pays européens montre que l’écart des salaires
entre les hommes et les femmes ne figure pas au centre du
débat public ou de l’agenda politique dans la majorité des
pays. Dans certains pays, l’accent mis sur la dérégulation
et l’autonomie des employeurs dans la politique des
salaires semble réduire les possibilités d’action au niveau
national. Un des problèmes principaux semble résider
dans le fait que personne ne se sent responsable de l’écart
salarial entre les hommes et les femmes. Un des enjeux
est donc de renforcer le soutien politique à la lutte contre
les disparités de salaires entre hommes et femmes.


L’intégration de la dimension de genre
dans les politiques de conciliation


Les politiques de conciliation visent à soutenir la recherche
d’un meilleur équilibre entre vie professionnelle, vie familiale
et vie privée. Elles peuvent se traduire par un éventail de
mesures telles que les infrastructures de garde d’enfants,
les modalités des congés, l’aménagement du temps de tra-
vail et d’autres mesures de conciliation comme les alloca-
tions versées aux parents qui travaillent. Dans le domaine
de la conciliation, la dimension du genre est, dans une cer-
taine mesure, déjà intégrée du fait que la plupart des Etats
membres reconnaissent l’impact des responsabilités famil-
iales sur l’emploi des femmes. Mais les politiques varient
fortement selon les pays et selon que l’accent est mis ex-
plicitement ou implicitement sur l’égalité hommes-femmes.
Certains pays promeuvent l’offre de services publics et
privés, d’autres visent à accroître les possibilités de travail
à temps partiel. Certains considèrent que les problèmes
de conciliation ne concernent que les femmes tandis que
d’autres reconnaissent la part des hommes dans les re-
sponsabilités familiales et de garde d’enfants.


Depuis 1996, les politiques nationales relatives aux
modalités de congés sont encadrées par une directive
européenne qui a obligé les Etats membres à introduire
une législation sur les congés parentaux qui permettent
aux parents d’assurer à temps plein la garde de leur
enfant sur une période de trois mois. Il s’agit en principe
d’un droit individuel et non transférable. Cette directive
assure le maintien d’un niveau minimum de congé parental
dans les Etats membres. Il existe cependant une grande
variété de dispositions législatives en termes de congé
parental entre les Etats membres, notamment en matière
de durée des congés, niveau de rémunération, flexibilité
et droits. Dans certains pays (Irlande, Royaume-Uni et
Pays-Bas) on observe un rallongement des périodes,
relativement courtes, de congés et une hausse des taux de
rémunération. D’autres pays font état d’une réduction des
périodes (relativement longues) de congés (Allemagne),
une plus grande souplesse ou un changement en matière
de droits (République Tchèque, Hongrie, Slovaquie et
Autriche). Les stratégies nationales diffèrent donc et
dépendent du point de départ, de la situation du marché
de l’emploi et du niveau d’(in)égalité entre les sexes. Mais
presque tous les pays font état d’une faible implication de
la part des hommes. Certains Etats membres réagissent
en introduisant des mesures spécifiques pour favoriser le
recours des pères au congé parental; d’autres ne prennent
aucune mesure en partant du principe que la conciliation
concerne principalement les femmes.


Le Sommet européen de Barcelone en 2002 avait fixé des
objectifs en matière de services de garde d’enfants. Con-
firmant l’objectif du plein emploi, le Conseil européen avait
conclu que les Etats membres devaient supprimer les élé-




15


Résumé


ments dissuasifs à la participation des femmes au marché
du travail et s’efforcer – tout en tenant compte de la de-
mande de dispositifs de garde et conformément aux tend-
ances nationales – d’offrir d’ici 2010 des dispositifs de garde
pour 90% des enfants entre trois ans et l’âge de scolarité
obligatoire, d’une part et pour 33% au moins des enfants de
moins de trois ans, d’autre part. Evaluer la disponibilité des
services de garde n’est pas sans difficultés mais il semble
que dans la majorité des pays les objectifs dits de Barce-
lone sont loin d’être atteints. Des disparités nationales sig-
nificatives existent cependant. La Finlande, le Danemark, la
Suède et l’Islande font valoir les services de garde comme
un droit social. En Norvège, contrairement aux autres pays
scandinaves, les services de garde ne constituent pas un
droit social. Il n’en demeure pas moins que depuis la fin des
années 1980 l’objectif commun a été d’offrir une couverture
généralisée. La Slovénie, la France et la Belgique assurent
une couverture quasi-totale. En revanche bon nombre de
pays enregistrent encore de faibles niveaux de couverture.
C’est le cas de l’Irlande, de l’Italie, de la Lituanie, de la Po-
logne, de Malte, de Chypre, de la Grèce, de l’Espagne et de
la Lettonie. Seulement trois pays (Royaume-Uni, Pays-Bas
et Grèce) font état d’une expansion réelle des dispositifs de
garde au cours des dernières années.


L’analyse des politiques de conciliation dans les 30
pays européens indique que si la conciliation est bien
placée dans le débat politique d’un certain nombre de
pays, l’introduction de mesures concrètes reste limitée.
La majorité des Etats membres sont en deçà de l’objectif
de Barcelone pour les enfants de moins de 3 ans et
il est difficile de dégager une tendance uniforme en
termes d’évolution. Le Royaume-Uni et les Pays-Bas
voient clairement augmenter leur taux de couverture
tandis que d’autres pays maintiennent un niveau stable
et que la tendance est à la baisse dans certains des pays
de l’ex-Europe de l’Est. Les dispositions relatives aux
congés parentaux sont également très différentes en
fonction des pays. En partant de situations différentes,
certains pays enregistrent un rallongement des con-
gés parentaux, d’autres une réduction, et l’on observe
également des changements dans les droits de con-
gé parental, notamment une plus grande flexibilité.
Presque tous les pays font état d’une faible implication
de la part des hommes.


L’intégration de la dimension de genre
dans les politiques de « fl exicurité »


La flexicurité peut se définir comme « une stratégie visant,
de manière synchronisée et délibérée, à rendre plus
flexibles les marchés de l’emploi, l’organisation du travail
et les relations industrielles d’une part, et, d’autre part,
à renforcer la sécurité – sécurité de l’emploi et sécurité


sociale – en particulier pour les groupes les plus faibles à
l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du marché du travail » (Wilthagen
& Tros 2004). Cette définition établit clairement qu’une
approche intégrée de la flexicurité va au-delà des politiques
visant uniquement la flexibilité du marché de l’emploi et la
sécurité des salariés. Cela inclut également les politiques
actives du marché du travail où la recherche active d’un
emploi, la disponibilité des emplois et la formation continue
sont des éléments importants. L’accent est mis sur un
équilibrage des mesures afin de renforcer l’adaptabilité
des travailleurs et du marché de l’emploi. C’est ainsi
que l’approche de flexicurité implique un changement de
paradigme, du principe de sécurité du poste de travail
(occuper le même emploi toute sa vie) vers le principe de
sécurité des emplois (avoir des possibilités d’emploi et des
compétences toute sa vie).


Le rapport entre flexicurité et égalité entre les sexes n’est
pas nécessairement évident. Les partisans de la flexicurité
arguent que cette dernière permet de répondre à l’inégalité
parce qu’elle réduit les risques de segmentation du marché
du travail et facilite mobilité et flexibilité. De l’autre côté,
des approches plus critiques soulignent que concrètement
les politiques de flexicurité risquent de renforcer les
inégalités en renforçant la flexibilité des emplois. Dans ce
domaine, une approche intégrée de l’égalité reconnaîtrait
le rôle du genre dans le renforcement des inégalités liées
aux emplois flexibles et à leurs modalités et prendrait en
considération les besoins de conciliation des salariés
ayant des responsabilités familiales, tout en tenant compte
des risques de l’allongement du temps de travail et des
horaires atypiques. Par ailleurs, une approche intégrée
soutiendrait les initiatives pour sortir des emplois précaires
et des horaires atypiques, afin d’éviter que les femmes
soient cantonnées à long terme dans des formes d’emploi
défavorables.


Le niveau de flexicurité varie considérablement d’un
Etat membre à l’autre. La plupart des études présentent
le Danemark et les Pays-Bas comme des cas modèles,
tandis que les pays du Sud et d’Europe centrale et
orientale sont considérés comme en retard. Le modèle
danois de flexicurité est souvent décrit comme un triangle
doré délimité par les trois composantes suivantes : un
niveau de protection de l’emploi relativement faible, une
couverture exhaustive en cas de chômage (mais pour
une courte durée de temps) et une politique active du
marché de l’emploi. Aux Pays-Bas, l’approche retenue vise
surtout à soigneusement équilibrer les droits et obligations
résultant de diverses formes contractuelles. Dans un
certain nombre d’Etats membres, la flexicurité occupe
une place centrale dans les politiques. A titre d’exemple,
le gouvernement allemand s’efforce d’atteindre un nouvel
équilibre entre flexibilité et sécurité en instaurant des
mesures telles qu’une nouvelle régulation du temps partiel,
la création de mini-emplois, de nouvelles dispositions de




16


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


licenciement et des réductions des allocations-chômage.
Bien que ces domaines concernent particulièrement les
femmes, l’intégration de la dimension du genre reste
limitée. En France le concept de flexicurité fait également
l’objet de nomnbreuses discussions. Pourtant, comme en
Allemagne, les mesures prises semblent se fonder sur un
modèle relativement traditionnel qui veut que les hommes
travaillent plus tandis que les femmes auront (ou même
demanderont) la possibilité de travailler à temps partiel.
Dans la plupart des autres pays le concept de flexicurité
reste à élaborer, ce qui fait que peu de mesures ont été
prises dans ce domaine. Certains experts espèrent que les
mesures prises dans le cadre de la flexicurité rendront le
marché du travail plus accessible aux femmes en offrant
des choix plus souples, en particulier dans le secteur
privé. D’autres craignent que des politiques de flexicurité
renforcent la flexibilité mais pas la sécurité d’emploi, et que
les inégalités de genre ne s’accentuent encore.


L’analyse des politiques de flexicurité dans les 30 pays
européens montre que l’intégration du genre est encore
largement absente dans ce domaine. Ceci peut paraître
surprenant étant donné l’importance de la dimension du
genre dans les questions de flexibilité et de sécurité sur
les marchés de l’emploi européen. Renforcer l’adaptabilité
des salariés et du marché du travail aboutira à une plus
grande inclusion seulement si une flexibilité accrue ne se
traduit pas simplement par une plus grande insécurité pour
les groupes les plus vulnérables du marché de l’emploi.
Dans chacun des pays, le passage de la sécurité du poste
de travail à la sécurité des emplois requiert un ensemble
spécifique de mesures, en conformité avec la situation du
marché national de l’emploi et adapté aux tendances et


caractéristiques particulières. Une approche intégrée de
l’égalité impliquerait que ces mesures prennent en compte
les questions d’égalité entre les sexes posées par les
contrats flexibles, les horaires souples, les interruptions de
carrière et la mobilité sur le marché de l’emploi.


Conclusion : l’intégration du genre dans
les politiques de l’emploi


Pour être effective une stratégie d’intégration du genre doit
reposer sur une structure organisationnelle transparente
et des mécanismes de mise en application clairement
définis et avoir comme objectif la réduction des inégalités.
Par ailleurs, une analyse concrète de la situation s’impose
pour évaluer l’(in)égalité entre les hommes et les femmes
afin d’accorder une attention particulière aux domaines
prioritaires et d’analyser l’impact possible des mesures
prises. Le présent rapport montre que la majorité des pays
sont encore loin d’avoir introduit une approche véritablement
intégrée du genre dans leurs politiques de l’emploi. La prise
en compte de l’égalité entre les sexes reste limitée dans le
domaine des politiques salariales et de flexicurité. De plus
cette dimension est souvent absente de l’élaboration des
politiques. Dans le but de faire mieux connaître l’intégration
du genre dans les politiques de l’emploi, ce rapport inclut
une liste contenant les points à vérifier (“checklist”) pour
une intégration effective de l’égalité entre les sexes et des
exemples concrets d’approche intégrée de l’égalité. Le
rapport peut donc servir d’outil à tous les acteurs impliqués
dans l’intégration de la dimension de genre au niveau
national et européen.




17


Obwohl in der europäischen Beschäftigungsstrategie deut-
lich gemacht wird, dass die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter
(Gender-Mainstreaming) für den Fortschritt entscheidend
ist, zeigte die Analyse der nationalen Reformprogramme für
2005 und 2006, dass das Bewusstsein für geschlechterspe-
zifische Fragen nachgelassen hat und die Aufmerksamkeit
für politische Maßnahmen zur Gleichstellung von Frauen
und Männern sowie für Gender-Mainstreaming in den na-
tionalen Berichten zurückgegangen ist. Dieser Rückgang
scheint in deutlichem Zusammenhang mit dem Wegfall der
spezifischen Geschlechterleitlinien infolge der vorherigen
Entfernung der Säule der Chancengleichheit aus den Leit-
linien der europäischen Beschäftigungsstrategie zu ste-
hen. Eine Umkehrung dieser Entwicklung kann nur erreicht
werden, wenn alle Interessengruppen besser über konkre-
te Beispiele für Gender-Mainstreaming Bescheid wissen
und sich gemeinsam verpflichten, geschlechterspezifische
Fragen künftig in die europäische Beschäftigungsstrategie
aufzunehmen. Dieser Bericht enthält daher eine Checkliste
für ein effektives Gender-Mainstreaming und analysiert die
wichtigsten Bereiche der Beschäftigungspolitik aus einer
geschlechtsspezifischen Perspektive. Dazu liefert er Infor-
mationen über die 27 Mitgliedstaaten sowie die drei EWR-
EFTA-Länder Island, Liechtenstein und Norwegen.


Der Gender-Mainstreaming-Prozess


Gemäß der Europäischen Kommission (EG 1996) gebietet
Gender-Mainstreaming „die Förderung der Gleichstellung der
Geschlechter nicht auf die Einführung spezifischer Maßnah-
men zur Unterstützung von Frauen zu beschränken, sondern
alle allgemeinen Strategien und Maßnahmen zur Gleichstel-
lung der Geschlechter zu mobilisieren, indem ihre mögli-
chen Auswirkungen auf die jeweilige Situation von Frauen
und Männern (geschlechtsspezifische Perspektive) bereits
in der Planungsphase aktiv und offen berücksichtigt werden.
Das bedeutet eine systematische Prüfung der Maßnahmen
und Strategien und die Berücksichtigung der möglichen
Auswirkungen bereits bei ihrer Festlegung und Umsetzung.”
Gender-Mainstreaming sollte daher als Strategie der Gleich-
stellung von Frauen und Männern betrachtet werden, die
sich auf Veränderungen durch Infragestellen des Status quo
(Mainstream) konzentriert und davon ausgeht, dass eine
Veränderung von Institutionen und/oder Organisationen er-
forderlich sein kann, um die Gleichstellung von Frauen und
Männern zu erreichen. Daher sollte Gender-Mainstreaming
nicht als Ersatz für eine direkte Politik der Chancengleich-
heit, sondern als Ergänzung betrachtet werden.


Eine effektive Gender-Mainstreaming-Strategie besteht aus
vier Stufen. Im Mittelpunkt der ersten Stufe „Vorbereitung“
stehen die Umsetzung und Organisation sowie die Sen-
sibilisierung und Einbindung der Interessengruppen. Die
Umsetzung und Organisation des Gender-Mainstreaming


bezieht sich auf den Prozess der Schaffung einer struktu-
rellen und kulturellen Basis für die Chancengleichheit. Dazu
gehören die Formulierung von Zielen, die Erstellung eines
Plans, die Aufstellung eines Budgets und die Festlegung
von Zuständigkeiten und Verantwortung der verschiedenen
beteiligten Akteure. Darüber hinaus sollten die Interessen-
gruppen Gender-Mainstreaming als Teil ihrer Aufgaben und
Zuständigkeiten betrachten. Es ist daher wichtig, die Inter-
essengruppen einzubinden. Die nächste Stufe im Prozess
des Gender-Mainstreaming ist das „Erkennen geschlechts-
spezifischer Unterschiede“. Eine Beschreibung der ge-
genwärtigen Situation ist erforderlich, um die tatsächliche
Gleichheit (Ungleichheit) zwischen Frauen und Männern
zu beurteilen und diejenigen Bereiche zu erkennen, die be-
sonderer Aufmerksamkeit bedürfen. Des Weiteren liefert die
Beobachtung der Situation im Laufe der Zeit Informationen
über Trends in Bezug auf Gleichheit (Ungleichheit) zwischen
den Geschlechtern. Die Europäische Kommission hat vier
Dimensionen für die Bewertung der Ungleichheit zwischen
Frauen und Männern identifiziert: Beteiligung (bezieht sich
auf die Geschlechterzusammensetzung der Zielgruppe/
Bevölkerung in einem Politikfeld), Ressourcen (bezieht sich
auf den Zugang zu/die Verteilung von Ressourcen wie Zeit,
Geld und Macht), Normen und Werte (bezieht sich auf den
Männern und Frauen bzw. männlichen und weiblichen Ei-
genschaften beigemessenen Wert) und Rechte (bezieht
sich auf direkte oder indirekte sexuelle Diskriminierung,
Menschenrechte und Zugang zu Gerechtigkeit im rechtli-
chen, politischen oder sozioökonomischen Bereich).


Die dritte Stufe „Bewertung der Auswirkungen der Politik“
besteht in der Analyse der potenziellen geschlechtsspe-
zifischen Auswirkungen von Politik mit Bezugnahme auf
die Beteiligung, Ressourcen, Normen und Werte sowie
Rechte. Bei der Beteiligung ist wichtig, dass sowohl quan-
titative als auch qualitative Aspekte berücksichtigt werden
sollten. Was den Zugang zu Ressourcen anbelangt, ist es
entscheidend, nicht nur die Auswirkungen auf die Haus-
haltsressourcen, sondern auch die Auswirkungen auf die
individuellen Ressourcen zu berücksichtigen. In Bezug auf
die Vereinbarkeit sozialer Normen und Werte ist es wich-
tig, dass die politischen Maßnahmen auf die Beteiligung
der Männer an der Hausarbeit eingehen, und in Bezug auf
die Rechte ist es entscheidend, dass jeder sich zwischen
Kindererziehung und der Aufnahme einer Beschäftigung
entscheiden kann. Die vierte Stufe ist schließlich „Neuge-
staltung der Politik“. Das bedeutet, Wege zu finden, wie die
Politik neu gestaltet werden kann, um die Gleichstellung
von Frauen und Männern zu fördern. Eine Neugestaltung
ist insbesondere dort notwendig, wo es zunächst große
geschlechtsspezifische Unterschiede gibt und diese sich
beträchtlich auf die Chancen von Frauen auswirken. Bei
der Neugestaltung der Politik sollte berücksichtigt werden,
dass Gender-Mainstreaming einen Ansatz erfordert, bei
dem alle an einem Strang ziehen und der mehrere poli-
tische Bereiche oder Ressorts betreffen kann.


Zusammenfassung




18


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Gender-Mainstreaming und die Gleich-
stellung von Frauen und Männern in
30 europäischen Ländern: aktuelle Lage


Eine wichtige Voraussetzung für eine effektive Gender-
Mainstreaming-Strategie ist der Aufbau einer übersichtli-
chen und transparenten organisatorischen Infrastruktur
mit einem klaren Fokus auf die Chancengleichheit von
Frauen und Männern. In einigen Ländern wie Dänemark,
Deutschland und Großbritannien ist dies sogar im Gesetz
verankert. Ein Beispiel: In Großbritannien ist die wichtig-
ste Gesetzesänderung, die in letzter Zeit in Bezug auf
die Gleichstellung von Mann und Frau stattgefunden hat,
der Equality Act 2006. Dadurch wird allen Behörden bei
der Ausführung ihrer Aufgaben eine gesetzliche „grund-
sätzliche Pflicht“ auferlegt, gebührend darauf zu achten,
(a) dass keine unrechtmäßigen Diskriminierungen und
Belästigungen mehr vorkommen und (b) dass die Chancen-
gleichheit zwischen Frauen und Männern gefördert wird.
Andere Länder wie Schweden, Frankreich, die Niederlande
und Island haben den Grundsatz des Gender-Mainstream-
ing als allgemeinen Grundsatz für die Politik festgelegt.
In Frankreich ist Gender-Mainstreaming beispielsweise
Teil der „Equality Charter“, die am 8. März 2004 verab-
schiedet wurde. Das Ziel ist, bei allen Maßnahmen einen
Gender-Mainstreaming-Ansatz einzuführen. „Das Ziel der
Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern sollte nicht nur in
sämtlichen nationalen, regionalen und lokalen politischen
Maßnahmen verankert werden, sondern auch in allen poli-
tischen, wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Bereichen eine zent-
rale Rolle spielen.“ Darüber hinaus haben einige Regierun-
gen ein eigenes Ministerium für Gleichstellungsfragen,
das für Gender-Mainstreaming verantwortlich ist oder die
politischen Maßnahmen koordiniert. In Luxemburg wurde
1995 beispielsweise das „Ministerium für die Förderung der
Frau“ gegründet. Im Jahr 2004 wurde der Name in „Minis-
terium für Chancengleichheit“ geändert, um die Tatsache
stärker hervorzuheben, dass das Ministerium sich nicht nur
um die Förderung der Frau bemüht, sondern um Chancen-
gleichheit zwischen beiden Geschlechtern. Andere Länder
haben innerministerielle oder ministerienübergreifende
Ausschüsse eingerichtet, um den Prozess des Gender-
Mainstreaming zu fördern, oder stützen sich auf externe
Ausschüsse oder Institute für die Gleichstellung von Frau-
en und Männern.


Zusätzlich zu einer transparenten Struktur, deren Ziel
die Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern ist, ist die
Verfügbarkeit von geschlechterspezifischen Statistiken
eine wesentliche Voraussetzung für ein erfolgreiches
Gender-Mainstreaming. Solche Statistiken ermöglichen
die Beschreibung der gegenwärtigen Situation, um die
tatsächliche Gleichheit (Ungleichheit) zwischen Frauen und
Männern zu beurteilen und diejenigen Bereiche ausfindig
zu machen, die besonderer Aufmerksamkeit bedürfen. Die


Möglichkeit der Beobachtung der Situation im Laufe der
Zeit könnte ebenfalls Informationen über die Trends bei
der Gleichheit (Ungleichheit) zwischen den Geschlechtern
liefern. Die Bewertung der geschlechtsspezifischen
Auswirkungen (Gender Impact Assessment – GIA) und
die geschlechtsspezifische Haushaltsanalyse (Gender
Budget Analysis – GBA) sind wichtige Instrumente für die
Umsetzung des Gender-Mainstreaming. Eine systematisch
durchgeführte GIA stellt fest, ob die auf dem Prüfstand
stehende Politik positive oder negative Auswirkungen in
Bezug auf die Förderung der Gleichstellung von Frauen
und Männern hat, und kann zur Verbesserung der Qualität
und Effizienz der Politikgestaltung verwendet werden. Mit
dem Instrument der GBA können Haushaltsausgaben
aus einer geschlechtsspezifischen Perspektive analysiert
werden. Mehrere Länder melden in Bezug auf die Nutzung
dieser Instrumente Entwicklungen. In Italien beispielsweise
erhielten Gender Auditing und/oder Gender Budgeting in den
letzten Jahren erhöhte Aufmerksamkeit, insbesondere von
den Gemeinden, in denen die meisten Verwaltungen eine
Abteilung für Chancengleichheit eingerichtet haben. Das
norwegische Ministerium für Kinder und Gleichstellung setzt
sich seit 2002 für Gender Budgeting ein. In Zusammenarbeit
mit der Abteilung für Planung und Verwaltung koordiniert
das Ministerium die Bemühungen um die Einbeziehung von
Gender-Mainstreaming- und Gleichstellungsperspektiven
bei der Verteilung der Haushaltsmittel. Schulungen und
Sensibilisierungskampagnen waren Hauptbestandteile des
Gender-Budgeting-Prozesses, und es wurde ein Leitfaden für
die geschlechtsspezifische Analyse der Haushaltsentwürfe
der Ministerien entwickelt.


Die Bewertung der aktuellen Lage in 30 europäischen Ländern
hat ergeben, dass es bei der Organisation und Umsetzung
des Gender-Mainstreaming und der Gleichstellung von
Frauen und Männern große Unterschiede gibt. Obwohl die
meisten Länder Gender-Mainstreaming-Initiativen entwickelt
haben, scheint der Fokus solcher Initiativen ziemlich eng und
lückenhaft zu sein. Grundsätzlich fehlt ein systematischer
und umfassender Ansatz, und die Umsetzung in die Praxis
stellt sich oft als problematisch dar, wobei die nordischen
Länder möglicherweise eine Ausnahme bilden. Darüber
hinaus kann die Aufmerksamkeit für Gender-Mainstreaming
durch politische Veränderungen beeinflusst werden und zu
einem Mangel an Kohärenz führen.


Gender-Mainstreaming bei aktiven
arbeitsmarktpolitischen Maßnahmen


Aktive arbeitsmarktpolitische Maßnahmen zielen darauf
ab, die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Beschäftigung zu erhöhen
oder die Einkommensperspektiven für arbeitslose Perso-
nen/Personengruppen, die Schwierigkeiten haben, in das
Erwerbsleben einzutreten, zu verbessern. Die öffentlichen




19


Zusammenfassung


Arbeitsvermittlungsstellen spielen dabei eine wichtige Rolle,
indem sie bei der Integration der Arbeitslosen und sonstiger
Arbeitssuchender in den Arbeitsmarkt behilflich sind. Zu den
aktiven Maßnahmen gehören außerdem Schulungen, Arbeit-
splatztausch und Arbeitsplatzteilung, Beschäftigungsanreize,
die Integration bestimmter Gruppen, die direkte Schaffung
von Arbeitsplätzen und Anreize für Existenzgründer. Um die
Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern zu fördern, sollten
die Arbeitsvermittlungsstellen bei ihrer Tätigkeit an Chancen-
gleichheitsgrundsätze gebunden sein. Eine effektive Methode
dafür ist die Ernennung eines speziellen Chancengleichheits-
beauftragten, der über das notwendige Fachwissen verfügt.
Dänemark, Deutschland und Italien gehen in dieser Hinsicht
mit gutem Beispiel voran. Ein wesentlicher Faktor scheint
auch zu sein, dass die Mitarbeiter der Arbeitsvermittlungss-
tellen über das Thema Gender-Mainstreaming informiert sind
und über dessen Umsetzung in ihrer Arbeit geschult werden.
Ein Beispiel: In Polen wurde ein aus ESF-Mitteln finanziertes
Projekt „Gender-Mainstreaming in Arbeitsmarktinstitutio-
nen“, ins Leben gerufen, um die Qualifikationen und beru-
flichen Kompetenzen der öffentlichen und nicht öffentlichen
Arbeitsmarktinstitutionen im Bereich Gleichstellung von
Frauen und Männern zu verbessern und die Teilnehmer
auf die Umsetzung der Gender-Mainstreaming-Strategie
bei den Tätigkeiten ihrer Institutionen vorzubereiten. Ein
weiterer wichtiger Aspekt des Gender-Mainstreaming der
Arbeitsvermittlungsstellen ist, dass die aktiven Arbeits-
marktprogramme allen nicht erwerbstätigen Personen
offen stehen und nicht nur auf Leistungsberechtigte
beschränkt sind und dass Männer und Frauen gleichen
Zugang zu den aktiven arbeitsmarktpolitischen Maßnahmen
haben. In mehreren Ländern wie Dänemark, Finnland und
Schweden ist das allgemein übliche Praxis. Andere Länder
hingegen wenden eine restriktivere Politik an.


Was die Schulungen anbelangt, würde ein Gender-Main-
streaming-Ansatz bedeuten, dass sowohl quantitative als
auch qualitative Aspekte berücksichtigt werden. Das heißt,
dass Schulungen nicht nur die Beschäftigungsfähigkeit der
Arbeitslosen verbessern, sondern auch den Zugang von
Frauen zu höher qualifizierten Stellen und/oder nicht typis-
chen Frauenberufen fördern sollten. Dasselbe gilt für Maßnah-
men, die sich auf die direkte Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen
konzentrieren. Gemäß den nationalen Experten von Zypern,
Luxemburg und Frankreich ist dies jedoch nicht immer der
Fall. In Frankreich beispielsweise sollen zwischen 2006 und
2009 mit dem „Plan für Dienstleistungen für Privatpersonen“
500.000 Nachbarschaftsjobs geschaffen werden. Obwohl
davon ausgegangen wird, dass die geschaffenen Stellen ins-
besondere Frauen betreffen, sind die geschlechtsspezifischen
Auswirkungen nie ein Thema gewesen. Außerdem handelt
es sich um Teilzeitstellen und es gibt Bedenken hinsichtlich
der Qualität der Jobs (in Bezug auf Arbeitszeit und Bezahl-
ung). Aktive arbeitsmarktpolitische Maßnahmen können sich
auch auf die Integration bestimmter Gruppen in den Arbeits-
markt konzentrieren. In diesem Fall müsste bei einem Gen-


der-Mainstreaming-Ansatz auf die Bedürfnisse bestimmter
Gruppen eingegangen werden. Alleinerziehenden kann zum
Beispiel durch die Bereitstellung von Kinderbetreuungsleis-
tungen geholfen werden, Behinderten durch die Bereitstel-
lung von Sozialfürsorgediensten und technischen Hilfsmitteln
und Frauen, die nach einer langen Kindererziehungspause
wieder in das Erwerbsleben einsteigen, durch das Angebot
von Schulungen. Was die Maßnahmen für Existenzgründer
betrifft, ist es wichtig, dass Männer und Frauen in gleicher
Weise von Initiativen profitieren, die den Unternehmergeist
fördern, indem sie die Arbeitslosen und Zielgruppen bei der
Gründung ihres eigenen Unternehmens oder der Aufnahme
einer selbständigen Tätigkeit unterstützen.


Die Bewertung der aktiven arbeitsmarktpolitischen Maßnah-
men in 30 europäischen Ländern hat gezeigt, dass Gender-
Mainstreaming immer noch unausgeglichen und auf einen
ziemlich engen Bereich beschränkt ist. In vielen Ländern
wurden die politischen Maßnahmen in diesem Bereich nicht
mit einer expliziten geschlechtsspezifischen Perspektive oder
einer Bezugnahme auf die Gleichstellung von Frauen und
Männern und Gender-Mainstreaming ausgearbeitet. Dieses
Ergebnis mag unproblematisch sein, wenn die Ungleichheit
zwischen Frauen und Männern eher gering ist. In Finnland
beispielsweise ist die Beteiligung am Arbeitsmarkt zwischen
Männern und Frauen seit langem fast gleich verteilt, und ge-
schlechtsspezifische Diskrepanzen bei Beschäftigung und
Arbeitslosigkeit sind unter den geringsten der Europäischen
Union. Dies ist jedoch eher eine Ausnahme, da die meisten
nationalen Experten auf bestehende geschlechtsspezifische
Ungleichheiten aufmerksam machen.


Gender-Mainstreaming im Bereich der
Lohn- und Berufspolitik


Die Reduzierung des Einkommensunterschieds zwischen
den Geschlechtern (Gender Pay Gap) ist ein wichtiges
Thema in der europäischen Politik. Seit 1999 ist dieses
Thema Teil der europäischen Beschäftigungsstrategie, und
die politischen Maßnahmen wurden im Laufe der Jahre
intensiviert. Der Gender Pay Gap bezieht sich auf die
Einkommensunterschiede zwischen Frauen und Männern.


Angesichts der Komplexität der Ursachen des Gender
Pay Gap würde die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter bei
der Lohnpolitik eine Vielzahl von Maßnahmen erfordern.
Zunächst können die Länder eine Politik zur Anwendung
des Grundsatzes des gleichen Entgelts für Männer und
Frauen mit dem Ziel, direkte oder indirekte geschlechtsspe-
zifische Lohndiskriminierungen zu bekämpfen, einführen.
Dazu zählen zum Beispiel (zusätzliche) Rechtsvorschriften,
die Verfügbarkeit und Verbreitung von Informationen und
Initiativen in Bezug auf die Arbeitsplatzbewertung. Hier ein
paar Beispiele: In Luxemburg ist seit Juni 2004 ein Gesetz in




20


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Kraft, das die Sozialpartner verpflichtet, über Entgeltgleich-
heit von Frauen und Männern zu verhandeln. Ähnliche Ge-
setze gibt es in Frankreich, wo das Verhandeln über Ent-
geltgleichheit von Frauen und Männern in Unternehmen und
Branchen Vorschrift ist. Die Errichtung geschlechterspezifi-
scher Institutionen könnte die Anwendung des Grundsatzes
des gleichen Entgelts für Männer und Frauen fördern; die
Niederlande, Finnland und Norwegen geben hierfür Beispie-
le. Innovative Beispiele in Bezug auf die Verbreitung von In-
formationen stammen aus Dänemark, Italien und Portugal.
Diese Länder haben Rechtsvorschriften eingeführt, die die
Arbeitgeber verpflichten, die Löhne offen zu legen. Schließ-
lich werden Arbeitsplatzbewertungssysteme oft benutzt, um
den Wert eines Arbeitsplatzes zu ermitteln. Arbeitsplatzbe-
wertungssysteme können jedoch (in)direkt Frauen diskrimi-
nieren. Daher ist es wichtig, die systemspezifischen Merk-
male und Kriterien kritisch zu beurteilen. Beispiele hierfür
geben Belgien, Luxemburg, Österreich und Island.


Eine zweite Strategie kann darauf abzielen, die horizontale
sowie die vertikale geschlechterspezifische Segregation zu
reduzieren. Politische Maßnahmen zur Reduzierung der ho-
rizontalen Segregation konzentrieren sich in der Regel auf
junge Mädchen, um sie zu ermutigen, eine größere Band-
breite beruflicher Optionen in Betracht zu ziehen und sich
für wissenschaftliche und technische Berufe anstelle von
Tätigkeiten in den Bereichen Pflege, Reinigung und Gas-
tronomie zu entscheiden. Griechenland hat zum Beispiel
ein Programm, dessen Ziel die Förderung der Gleichstel-
lung von Frauen und Männern in höheren Schulen und in
der postsekundären Erstausbildung ist. Die Maßnahmen
umfassen u.a. den Einsatz von Berufsberatungsdiensten
und Orientierungshilfen von Schulen, um geschlechtsspe-
zifische Stereotypen bei der Berufswahl zu bekämpfen, und
die Förderung der Teilnahme von Mädchen an Erstausbil-
dungskursen in Fachgebieten, in denen Frauen unterreprä-
sentiert sind. Politische Maßnahmen zur Reduzierung der
vertikalen Segregation zielen im Allgemeinen darauf ab,
die Anzahl der Frauen in höheren und/oder Führungspo-
sitionen zu erhöhen. In Griechenland und Spanien wurde
eine Reihe von politischen Maßnahmen eingeführt, deren
Ziel die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter bei den Berufs-
möglichkeiten ist. In Norwegen war das Thema „Frauen und
Management“ ein zentrales Thema in den öffentlichen Dis-
kussionen der vergangenen Jahre und es gab mehrere poli-
tische Maßnahmen zur Reduzierung des Ungleichgewichts
zwischen den Geschlechtern. Die bedeutendste politische
Maßnahme ist der Public Limited Companies Act (Aktienge-
sellschaftsgesetz), der am 1. Januar 2006 in Kraft getreten
ist. Er schreibt ein Gleichgewicht zwischen den Geschlech-
tern (etwa 40/60 Prozent) in den Verwaltungsräten aller Ak-
tiengesellschaften (ASA) in Privatbesitz vor, von denen es
rund 500 Gesellschaften gibt. Unternehmen, die bis 2008
kein Gleichgewicht zwischen Frauen und Männern erreicht
haben, werden sanktioniert. Ähnliche Gesetze waren bereits
für staatseigene Betriebe in Kraft.


Eine dritte Strategie besteht in der Gleichstellung der Ge-
schlechter aus einer „allgemeinen“ Lohnpolitik, deren Ziel es
ist, die Ungleichheit bei den Löhnen zu reduzieren und die
Bezahlung für Niedriglohnarbeit oder von Frauen dominierten
Arbeitsplätzen zu verbessern. Diesbezügliche lohnpolitische
Maßnahmen können von der Einführung eines gesetzlichen
Mindestlohns und damit der Festsetzung einer Untergrenze
für die Lohnstruktur, der Zentralisierung des Systems der
Lohnverhandlungen und damit der Reduzierung von Lohn-
differenzen zwischen Branchen und Unternehmen, bis zur
Aufwertung von niedrig bezahlten und/oder von Frauen do-
minierten Stellen, zum Beispiel als Teil einer Strategie zur
Armutsbekämpfung oder zur Gleichstellung von Frauen
und Männern, reichen. Die meisten europäischen Länder
haben gesetzliche Mindestlöhne. Irland und Großbritannien
haben die gesetzlichen Mindestlöhne allerdings erst kürz-
lich eingeführt. Ein Beispiel für die Aufwertung von Niedrig-
lohnarbeitsplätzen liefert Litauen. Obwohl bei dieser Politik
Gender-Mainstreaming keine entscheidende Rolle gespielt
haben mag, kann sie eine Rolle spielen bei der Schließung
der Gender Pay Gap durch die Verbesserung der relativen
Lohnposition von Frauen angesichts der Tatsache, dass
Frauen im Niedriglohnsektor überrepräsentiert sind.


Aus der Bewertung der Lohn- und Berufspolitiken in 30 eu-
ropäischen Ländern geht hervor, dass der Gender Pay Gap
in den meisten Ländern bei den öffentlichen Diskussionen
und auf der politischen Agenda einen eher geringen Stellen-
wert hat. Die Betonung von Deregulierung und freiwilligen
Maßnahmen seitens der Arbeitgeber scheint die Möglichkei-
ten der nationalen Politik in einigen Ländern einzuschrän-
ken. Eines der Hauptprobleme scheint die Tatsache zu sein,
dass es keinen wirklichen „Eigentümer des Problems“ gibt,
da sich niemand für den Gender Pay Gap verantwortlich
fühlt. Politische Unterstützung zu organisieren erscheint
eine wichtige Herausforderung für die nahe Zukunft zu sein,
um den Gender Pay Gap zu schließen.


Gender Mainstreaming bei politischen
Maßnahmen zur Vereinbarung von
Beruf, Familie und Privatleben


Politische Maßnahmen zur Vereinbarung von Beruf, Familie
und Privatleben können als Maßnahmen definiert werden,
deren Ziel es ist, die Vereinbarkeit dieser drei Bereiche di-
rekt zu unterstützen. Es kann sich dabei um eine Vielzahl
verschiedener Maßnahmen handeln, darunter Kinderbe-
treuungsleistungen, Elternurlaub, flexible Arbeitszeitrege-
lungen und andere Maßnahmen wie finanzielle Zulagen für
den berufstätigen Partner. Gender-Mainstreaming im Be-
reich der Vereinbarung von Beruf, Familie und Privatleben
ist bis zu einem gewissen Grad ein anerkanntes Ziel, da sich
die meisten europäischen Regierungen der Auswirkungen




21


Zusammenfassung


bewusst sind, die die Verantwortung für die Kinderbetreuung
auf die Beschäftigung der Frauen hat.. Dennoch reagieren
die Länder mit unterschiedlichen politischen Maßnahmen
und unterscheiden sich durch ihre implizite oder explizi-
te Schwerpunktsetzung bezüglich der Gleichstellung von
Frauen und Männern. Einige Länder fördern das Angebot
von öffentlichen und privaten Dienstleistungen, andere ver-
bessern die Möglichkeiten der Teilzeitarbeit. Einige betrach-
ten die Vereinbarung von Beruf und Familie immer noch als
Frauensache, während andere die Rolle der Männer bei der
Kindererziehung und in der Familie anerkennen.


Seit 1996 basiert die nationale Politik im Bereich Elternur-
laubsregelungen auf einer europäischen Richtlinie, die die
Mitgliedstaaten verpflichtet, Gesetze in Bezug auf den El-
ternurlaub einzuführen, die es den Eltern ermöglichen, sich
drei Monate lang Vollzeit um ihr Kind zu kümmern. Grund-
sätzlich handelt es sich hierbei um einen persönlichen, nicht
übertragbaren Anspruch. Diese Richtlinie stellt sicher, dass
in den Mitgliedstaaten ein bestimmter Mindeststandard ga-
rantiert wird. Darüber hinaus gibt es jedoch eine Vielzahl
von nationalen Rechtsvorschriften, die sich je nach Land
in der Länge des Elternurlaubs, der Höhe der Bezahlung,
der Flexibilität und den Ansprüchen unterscheiden. Dadurch
dass die Bestimmungen in Bezug auf den Elternurlaub so
unterschiedlich sind, weichen die tatsächlichen politischen
Entscheidungen ebenfalls entscheidend voneinander ab.
Einige Länder (Irland, Großbritannien und die Niederlande)
melden eine Verlängerung des – relativ kurzen – möglichen
Elternurlaubs und eine bessere Bezahlung. Andere Länder
melden eine Verkürzung des – relativ langen – möglichen
Elternurlaubs (Deutschland), eine Erhöhung der Flexibilität
oder eine Änderung der Ansprüche (Tschechische Republik,
Ungarn, Slowakei und Österreich). Vermutlich hängen die
tatsächlichen politischen Entscheidungen in hohem Maße
von den verschiedenen Ausgangspunkten, der aktuellen
Situation am Arbeitsmarkt und von der Herausforderung
der Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern ab. Praktisch
alle Länder geben jedoch an, dass die Männer bei der Inan-
spruchnahme von Elternurlaub unterrepräsentiert sind. Eini-
ge Länder reagieren mit besonderen Bestimmungen für die
Inanspruchnahme des Elternurlaubs durch den Vater, ande-
re bleiben eher passiv, da sie die Vereinbarung von Beruf
und Familie eher als Frauensache ansehen.


Beim Gipfel von Barcelona von 2002 wurden in Bezug auf
die Kinderbetreuung Ziele gesetzt. Der Europäische Rat be-
stätigte das Ziel der Vollbeschäftigung und setzte sich da-
für ein, dass die Mitgliedstaaten abschreckende Faktoren
für die Teilnahme weiblicher Arbeitskräfte am Arbeitsmarkt
beseitigen und unter Berücksichtigung der Nachfrage nach
Kinderbetreuungseinrichtungen und im Einklang mit den
nationalen Modellen danach streben sollten, bis 2010 für
mindestens 90% der Kinder zwischen 3 Jahren und dem
Schulpflichtalter und für mindestens 33% der Kinder unter
3 Jahren einen Betreuungsplatz bereitzustellen. Obwohl die


Bewertung der Verfügbarkeit von Kinderbetreuungsangebo-
ten keine leichte Aufgabe ist, scheint es offensichtlich, dass
die Kinderbetreuungsziele des Barcelona-Gipfels in den
meisten Ländern bei weitem nicht erreicht sind. Es gibt je-
doch große Unterschiede zwischen den einzelnen Ländern.
In Finnland, Dänemark, Schweden und Island ist die Kinder-
betreuung zum Beispiel als soziales Recht gesetzlich veran-
kert. In Norwegen sind Kinderbetreuungsleistungen dagegen
anders als in den anderen skandinavischen Ländern kein
soziales Recht. Dennoch ist das flächendeckende Angebot
seit dem Ende der 80er Jahre das gemeinsame politische
Ziel für Betreuungsleistungen. Auch Slowenien, Frankreich
und Belgien verfügen über ein fast flächendeckendes An-
gebot. Am anderen Ende des Spektrums gibt es in einigen
Ländern ein dauerhaft geringes Angebot an Kinderbetreu-
ungseinrichtungen. Dies betrifft zum Beispiel Irland, Italien,
Litauen, Polen, Malta, Zypern, Griechenland, Spanien und
Lettland. Nur in drei Ländern (Griechenland, Großbritannien
und die Niederlande) wurden die Kinderbetreuungsangebo-
te in den letzten Jahren tatsächlich erweitert.


Die Bewertung der politischen Maßnahmen zur Vereinbar-
keit von Familie und Beruf in 30 europäischen Ländern zeigt,
dass obwohl das Thema in zahlreichen Ländern auf der
politischen Agenda ganz weit oben steht, die tatsächlichen
Maßnahmen eher begrenzt sind. Die meisten Länder sind
weit davon entfernt, das in Barcelona gesetzte Ziel für die
Betreuung von Kindern unter 3 Jahren zu erreichen. Außer-
dem scheint es keinen einheitlichen Trend im Hinblick auf
Kinderbetreuungseinrichtungen zu geben. Einige Länder
wie Großbritannien und die Niederlande steuern deutlich
auf eine höhere Flächendeckung zu. In anderen Ländern
herrscht mehr oder weniger Stillstand, während in einigen
der ehemaligen osteuropäischen Länder ein deutlicher Ab-
wärtstrend zu verzeichnen ist. Auch Maßnahmen in Bezug
auf den Elternurlaub scheinen in verschiedene Richtungen
zu gehen. Abhängig von den verschiedenen Ausgangspunk-
ten melden einige Länder eine Verlängerung des möglichen
Elternurlaubs, andere eine Verkürzung, eine Erhöhung der
Flexibilität oder eine Änderung der Ansprüche. Praktisch alle
Länder geben an, dass die Männer bei der Inanspruchnah-
me von Elternurlaub unterrepräsentiert sind.


Gender-Mainstreaming bei politischen
Maßnahmen zur Vereinbarung
von Flexibilität und Sicherheit
(„Flexicurity“-Maßnahmen)


Flexicurity-Maßnahmen können als politische Strategie be-
schrieben werden, mit der versucht wird, die Flexibilität der
Arbeitsmärkte, die Arbeitsorganisation und die Beziehungen
zwischen den Sozialpartnern auf der einen Seite und die Si-
cherheit – Beschäftigungssicherheit und soziale Sicherheit –




22


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


insbesondere für schwächere Gruppen innerhalb und außer-
halb des Arbeitsmarktes auf der anderen Seite – synchron
und bewusst zu verbessern (Wilthagen und Tros 2004: 169).
Diese Definition macht deutlich, dass ein voll integrierter Fle-
xicurity-Ansatz über eng definierte politische Maßnahmen
in den Bereichen Arbeitsmarktflexibilität und Sicherheit der
Beschäftigten hinausgeht. Wichtige Bestandteile sind dar-
über hinaus aktive arbeitsmarktpolitische Maßnahmen mit
einer aktiven Stellensuche, Stellenangeboten und lebens-
langem Lernen. Die zentrale Aufgabe ist es, ein Gleichge-
wicht von politischen Maßnahmen zu finden mit dem Ziel,
die Anpassungsfähigkeit der Arbeitnehmer und der Arbeits-
plätze zu steigern. Daher beinhaltet der Flexicurity-Ansatz
den Übergang von einem Modell der Arbeitsplatzsicherheit
(das ganze Leben lang denselben Arbeitsplatz) zu einem
Modell der Beschäftigungssicherheit (das ganze Leben
lang Beschäftigungsmöglichkeiten und -fähigkeiten).


Das Verhältnis zwischen Flexicurity und Chancengleichheit
von Frauen und Männern liegt nicht auf der Hand. Einer-
seits können die Befürworter behaupten, dass Flexicurity
eine Antwort auf die Ungleichheit zwischen Frauen und
Männern darstellt, weil sie dazu beiträgt, die Segmentie-
rungsgefahren durch einen mobileren und flexibleren Ar-
beitsmarkt zu reduzieren. Andererseits können Kritiker
behaupten, dass bei den tatsächlichen Flexicurity-Maßnah-
men die Gefahr besteht, dass sich der Graben zwischen
Frauen und Männern wegen der aufgrund Förderung flexib-
ler Stellen noch vertieft. Ein Gender-Mainstreaming-Ansatz
zu politischen Maßnahmen im Bereich Flexicurity würde
die geschlechtsspezifische Rolle bei der Verstärkung der
Ungleichheiten, die mit einem flexiblen Arbeitsmarktund
der Entwicklung flexibler Arbeitsmuster verbunden sind,
anerkennen und die Bedürfnisse der Beschäftigten nach
der Vereinbarkeit mit der Kinderbetreuung berücksichtigen
und gleichzeitig die Risiken im Auge haben, die mit der
Ausdehnung der Arbeitszeiten oder einer unsozialen Ar-
beitszeitgestaltung verbunden sind. Darüber hinaus würde
ein Mainstreaming-Ansatz Wege aus Arbeitsmodellen und
Arbeitszeiten unterstützen, die vom Standard abweichen,
um die Risiken langfristiger Fallen und die Segmentie-
rung von Frauen in benachteiligten Beschäftigungsformen
zu vermeiden.


Die tatsächliche Situation in Bezug auf Flexicurity stellt
sich in den einzelnen EU-Mitgliedstaaten sehr unterschied-
lich dar. In den meisten Studien gelten Dänemark und
die Niederlande als Musterbeispiele, während Länder in
Süd-, Mittel- und Osteuropa hinterherhinken. Das dänische
Flexicurity-Modell wird oft als goldenes Dreieck beschrie-
ben, bei dem ein relativ geringer Beschäftigungsschutz,
eine umfassende Arbeitslosenunterstützung für einen kur-
zen Zeitraum und eine aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik die drei


Ecken bilden. Der niederländische Ansatz stützt sich mehr
auf das sorgfältige Austarieren der Rechte und Pflichten
für verschiedene Vertragsformen. In zahlreichen anderen
Mitgliedstaaten steht Flexicurity oben auf der politischen
Agenda. Die deutsche Regierung versucht zum Beispiel,
ein neues Gleichgewicht zwischen Flexibilität und Sicher-
heit zu finden, indem sie Maßnahmen einführt, die von neu-
en Teilzeitregelungen, der Schaffung von Minijobs, neuen
Kündigungsbestimmungen bis zu Kürzungen der Arbeits-
losenunterstützung reichen. Obwohl Frauen in all diesen
Bereichen politischer Maßnahmen betroffen sind, sind
die Gender-Mainstreaming-Bemühungen begrenzt. Auch
in Frankreich wird das Flexicurity-Konzept viel diskutiert.
Allerdings scheinen die Maßnahmen wie in Deutschland
auf einem eher traditionellen Modell zu basieren, bei dem
die Männer länger arbeiten, während die Frauen Teilzeit-
stellen bekommen oder sogar anstreben.


In den meisten anderen Ländern muss das Flexicurity-
Konzept erst noch entwickelt werden, weshalb es bisher
kaum zu politischen Maßnahmen basierend auf diesem
Konzept gekommen ist. Einige nationale Experten hoffen,
dass die Maßnahmen in diesem Bereich den Zugang zum
Arbeitsmarkt für Frauen verbessern könnten, da sie zu
flexibleren Optionen insbesondere im privaten Sektor
führen würden. Andere nationale Experten zeigen sich
besorgt, dass Flexibilität bereitwilliger eingeführt werden
könnte als Sicherheitsmaßnahmen, sodass die Ungleich-
heiten am Arbeitsmarkt steigen würden.


Die Bewertung der Flexicurity-Politiken in 30 europäischen
Ländern zeigt, dass ein Gender-Mainstreaming-Ansatz
in weiten Bereichen noch fehlt. Angesichts der zentralen
Rolle, die die Geschlechterfrage für das Thema Flexibilität
und Sicherheit auf den europäischen Arbeitsmärkten spielt,
sind die geringen Gender-Mainstreaming-Bemühungen
ziemlich erstaunlich. Die Steigerung der Reaktionsfähig-
keit der europäischen Arbeitsmärkte durch die Erhöhung
der Anpassungsfähigkeit der Arbeitnehmer und der Arbeit-
splätze wird nur zu einem inklusiveren Arbeitsmarkt führen,
wenn mit der erhöhten Flexibilität nicht eine erhöhte Un-
sicherheit für bestimmte besonders schutzbedürftige
Gruppen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt einhergeht. In jedem Land
erfordert der Übergang vom Modell der Arbeitsplatzsicher-
heit zu Beschäftigungssicherheit eine besondere politische
Zielsetzung entsprechend der nationalen Arbeitsmarkt-
situation und angepasst an die jeweiligen Entwicklungen
und Umstände. Ein Gender-Mainstreaming-Ansatz würde
implizieren, dass diese Maßnahmen unter Berücksichti-
gung der Gleichstellungsfragen, die sich im Zusammen-
hang mit flexiblen Verträgen, flexiblen Arbeitszeiten, Unter-
brechungen der Berufstätigkeit und Arbeitsmarktmobilität
stellen, entwickelt werden.




23


Zusammenfassung


Schlussfolgerung:
Gender-Mainstreaming bei
beschäftigungspolitischen Maßnahmen


Wichtige Voraussetzungen für eine effektive Gender-
Mainstreaming-Strategie sind eine klare und transparente
Organisationsstruktur, klare Durchführungsmechanismen
und ein klarer Fokus auf das Erreichen einer umfassen-
den Gleichstellung. Darüber hinaus ist eine Analyse der
tatsächlichen Situation wesentlich, um die Gleichheit
(Ungleichheit) zwischen den Geschlechtern zu beurtei-
len, um diejenigen Bereiche zu erkennen, die besonderer
Aufmerksamkeit bedürfen und um die potenziellen ge-
schlechtsspezifischen Auswirkungen politischer Maßnah-
men zu analysieren. Die vorliegende Studie zeigt, dass


die meisten Länder immer noch weit von der Anwendung
eines umfassenden Gender-Mainstreaming-Ansatzes
in der Beschäftigungspolitik entfernt sind. Insbesondere
im Bereich Lohnpolitik und Flexicurity-Politik ist das Be-
wusstsein für die Gleichstellung von Frauen und Män-
nern in der Regel noch relativ gering. Außerdem wird die
Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern bei der Ausarbei-
tung politischer Maßnahmen oft nicht berücksichtigt. Um
die Kenntnisse im Bereich Gender-Mainstreaming von
beschäftigungspolitischen Maßnahmen zu verbessern,
enthält dieser Bericht eine Analyse derzeitiger Trends
sowie eine Checkliste und eine Reihe von Beispielen
für eine effektive Gleichstellung der Geschlechter. Daher
kann dieser Bericht als Handbuch für alle beteiligten Ak-
teure des Gender-Mainstreaming auf nationaler sowie auf
europäischer Ebene verwendet werden.






25


Although the European strategy for growth and em-
ployment recognises that gender equality and gender
mainstreaming are essential for progress, the analy-
sis of the National Reform Programmes (NRP) 2005
and 2006 illustrated that the gender mainstreaming
of the employment part of the NRP is limited and that
the visibility of commitment to women’s employment
and gender equality is declining (see Rubery et al.
2005; 2006). This decline appears to be strongly linked to
the disappearance of the specific gender guidelines, follow-
ing on from the earlier removal of the equal opportunities
pillar from the European Employment Strategy guidelines.
A reversal of this development can only be attained if all
stakeholders have a better knowledge of concrete exam-
ples of gender mainstreaming and share the commitment
to integrate gender issues in the European Employment
Strategy in the future. This report therefore provides a
checklist for effective gender mainstreaming and analyses
the most relevant employment policy domains from a gen-
der perspective. The report will contain information for the
27 Member States in addition to three EEA-EFTA countries:
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, based on the work of
the EU expert group on Gender, Social Inclusion and Em-
ployment (EGGSIE). As such, the aim of the report is to
provide a checklist for effective gender mainstreaming and
to analyse the most relevant employment policies from a
gender perspective.


The structure of the report is as follows. Firstly,
Chapter 1 deals with the issue of gender mainstreaming.
After a short history of the development of the concept
of gender mainstreaming within the European Employ-
ment Strategy, the Chapter provides a checklist concerning
the gender mainstreaming of employment policy.
Chapter 2 gives an overview of policy developments
with regard to gender equality and gender mainstream-
ing at the level of the EU Member States and EEA-EFTA
countries. As such, this chapter provides information on
the general climate with regard to gender equality and
gender mainstreaming as translated for example into na-
tional gender action plans and the equality infrastructure.
Chapters 3 to 6 provide an analysis of the most relevant
employment policy domains from a gender perspective
and examine examples of concrete gender mainstream-
ing in each area. In particular the report provides an as-
sessment of the following policy areas: active labour
market policies, pay and career policies, reconciliation
policies, and ‘flexicurity’ policies. Under each head-
ing the report provides information on the actual policy
developments and the results of the policies in terms
of gender equality. Together these four policy domains
cover all the core employment policy areas. Moreover, the
scope of the policy areas corresponds to the general focus
of the employment guidelines. Finally, Chapter 7 provides
the conclusions.


Introduction






27


The main part of the report provides an overview of the
current state of affairs regarding gender mainstreaming in
the field of active labour market policies, pay and career
policies, reconciliation policies and flexicurity policies. These
chapters illustrate that European countries have undertaken
a variety of initiatives, which are extremely valuable from a
gender equality point of view. At the same time it may be
concluded that gender mainstreaming is still in its infancy.
Given this state of affairs and the importance that current
and future policies are more clearly informed by a gender
specific analysis, this chapter starts with a short history of
the development of the concept of gender mainstreaming
within the European Employment Strategy. Subsequently,
a checklist on gender mainstreaming employment policies
is provided, with the ultimate aim of raising the visibility of
gender within the policy-making process and supporting
the inclusion of the gender dimension in the formulation of
employment policies.


A short history of gender mainstreaming and the
European Employment Strategy


The European Employment Strategy was first defined
by the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam. Later that year, at the
‘extraordinary’ 1997 Luxembourg Summit, it was agreed
that: ‘the ultimate objective of a coordination of Member
States’ employment policies is to arrive at a significant
increase in the employment rate in Europe on a sustainable
basis’ (OJEC 12.03.1999). With this agreement, the so-


called ‘Luxembourg process’ was launched, involving the
following stages (on an annual cycle): Council approval of
Employment Guidelines; Member State response to these
guidelines in the form of a National Action Plan (NAP);
examination of NAPs in the Joint Employment Report
(Commission and Council); Commission recommendation
to revise Employment Guidelines; and Council country-
specific recommendations. In 1998, the first year of this
process, 19 guidelines were agreed based on the four
pillars of employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability and
equal opportunities. Regarding equal opportunities four
guidelines were formulated, referring to tackling gender
gaps, reconciling work and family life, facilitating the
return to work and promoting the integration of people with
disabilities into working life (Rubery et al 2001).


At the end of this first cycle, at the Vienna Summit in 1998,
the number of guidelines for 1999 was increased to 22,
significantly including the addition of a mainstreaming
approach to equal opportunities. This provided a further
major impetus to the integration of equal opportunities
issues into the employment framework. Moreover,
mainstreaming has not been used within the guidelines as
a substitute for direct gender equality measures. Indeed in
the 1999 guidelines the second major change to the fourth
pillar involved the introduction of the gender pay gap as a
policy issue to be integrated into the Employment Strategy.
The overall approach, therefore, follows the twin track
recommended by the Council of Europe (Rubery et al 2000).
See Box 1 for two definitions of gender mainstreaming.


1. Gender mainstreaming employment policy:
a checklist


Box 1: Defi ning gender mainstreaming


‘Gender mainstreaming involves not restricting efforts to promote equality to the implementation of specifi c
measures to help women, but mobilising all general policies and measures specifi cally for the purpose of
achieving equality by actively and openly taking into account at the planning stage their possible effects on the
respective situation of men and women (gender perspective). This means systematically examining measures
and policies and taking into account such possible effects when defi ning and implementing them’
(European Commission 1996).


‘Gender mainstreaming may be described as ‘the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation
of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies, at all levels and at all
stages by the actors normally involved in policy-making’ (Council of Europe 1998: 12).




28


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


After the Vienna Summit, the Employment Guidelines
under the fourth pillar of equal opportunities were
collected around four principles. The first referred to
the need to adopt a gender mainstreaming approach.
Guidelines included promotion of equitable access to
active labour market policies among women and men in
unemployment, assessment of the gender impact of tax
and benefit systems, and application of the principle of
equal pay for work of equal value. The second principle
required Member States to tackle gender gaps. Guidelines
included the reduction of the unemployment gap through
supporting female employment growth (possibly in line
with a national target), action to reduce sex segregation,
initiatives to diminish the gender differential in income
and measures to further women’s advancement in
employment. The third principle required Member States
to encourage the reconciliation of work and family life.
The fourth principle referred to facilitating reintegration into
the labour market. From 2001 this last principle was no
longer included under the pillar of equal opportunities.


At Lisbon (March 2000), the Council re-emphasised the
gender dimension to employment: ‘Member States should
strengthen their efforts to include and make visible a gender
perspective across all the pillars’ (OJEC 24.01.01: L22/19).
And, for the first time, the Council stated that Member States
should each set quantitative targets for higher employment
rates in line with EU targets. These were set at 70% for all in
employment and 60% for women, to be reached by the year
2010. At the subsequent Stockholm meeting in 2001, inter-
mediate targets of 67% (total) and 57% (for women) were
set to be reached by 2005, as well as an additional employ-
ment target of 50% for older men and women (55-65 years
old) by 2010. The Lisbon Presidency conclusions have been
incorporated into the 2001 Employment Guidelines. Under-
pinning the guidelines are a number of ‘horizontal objectives’
which aim to build the conditions for full employment in a
knowledge-based society. Here the role of women’s employ-
ment and the quality of jobs created are clearly specified:
‘To this end [moving towards full employment], Member
States should consider setting national targets for raising
the rate of employment, in order to contribute to the overall
European objectives of reaching by 2010 an overall employ-
ment rate of 70% and employment rate of more than 60%
for women. In pursuing these targets the aim of increasing
the quality of jobs should also be taken into consideration’
(OJEC 24.01.01: L22/20).


Autumn 2003 marked the beginning of a new phase of the
European Employment Strategy following on from an inten-
sive review of the first five-year phase. The most significant
changes introduced in the second phase include:


A streamlining of the European Employment Strategy •
with other key policy coordination processes including
the broader economic policy guidelines and the internal
market strategy;


The adoption of three overarching and interrelated •
objectives – of full employment, quality and productivity
at work, and social cohesion and inclusion –and
the disappearance of the four pillars (employability,
entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities)
that provided the building blocks for the first phase;


The adoption of simplified and more limited guidelines– •
10 in comparison to the 18 of the previous phase–
referred to as the 10 commandments in the proposal
for guidelines put forward by the Commission to the
European Council (Rubery et al, 2004: 47).


Guideline 6 referred to gender equality and emphasised,
again, the integrated approach of combining gender
mainstreaming and specific policy actions. This approach
should focus on the reduction of gender gaps, in particular
the gender pay gap, and reconciling work and family life.
Moreover, it included the goals that ‘by 2010 Member
States should provide childcare to at least 90% of children
between three years old and the mandatory school age and
at least 33% of children under three years of age’ (OJEC
05.08.2003: L197/15).


In response to developments such as the weak growth per-
formance of the EU and insufficient job creation, in 2005
the Spring European Council decided to combine the Em-
ployment Strategy with the broad economic policy guide-
lines into the National Reform Programme (NRP). The inte-
grated guidelines for the period 2005-2008 should ‘provide
flexibility for Member States to choose local responses that
best address their reform challenges, thereby fostering na-
tional ownership’ (CEC 2005: 4). Regarding the objectives
of full employment, job quality, labour productivity and so-
cial cohesion, three priorities were set:


attracting and retaining more people in employment, •
increasing labour supply and modernising social
protection systems;


improving adaptability of workers and enterprises;•


increasing investment in human capital through better •
education and skills.


Eight new employment guidelines were drawn up
(corresponding to integrated guidelines 16-23). Gender




29


1. Gender mainstreaming employment policy: a checklist


equality is no longer included as a specific guideline. Gender
mainstreaming and the promotion of gender equality is
included as a general principle, though. Moreover, gender
equality is covered indirectly; for example guideline 17
refers to the employment target of 60% for women and
guideline 18 addresses the reduction of gender gaps and
the introduction of reconciliation policies as a means to
promote a lifecycle approach to work. However, due to the
disappearance of a specific gender equality guideline, the
visibility of gender and the attention paid both to gender
equality policies and gender mainstreaming in the national
reports has declined (Rubery 2005; 2006).


The loss of focus, and the increasing invisibility of gen-
der is also mentioned by the Joint Employment Report
2006/2007: ‘Through the European pact for gender equal-
ity Member States were asked to include a perspective of
gender equality when reporting on implementation. In spite
of this, the promotion of female employment and systemat-
ic gender mainstreaming of policies are rarely emphasised’
(JER 2007: 4). At the same time, and despite this develop-
ment, the EU Roadmap for equality is quite explicit about
the importance of gender equality and gender mainstream-
ing. ‘The EU remains an important partner in the global ef-
fort to promote gender equality. Turning globalisation into a
positive force for all women and men and fighting poverty
are major challenges. (...) If the EU is to meet these chal-
lenges, progress towards gender equality must accelerate
and gender mainstreaming be strengthened in all policies,
and in particular in those areas identified in this Roadmap’
(CEC 2006: 2).


Given the importance of gender mainstreaming, and the
apparent low profile of gender mainstreaming in current
employment policies, the rest of the chapter will provide a
short checklist in order to support the relevant stakeholders.
Gender mainstreaming may be seen as a complex and
long-term process. It involves a clear organisation structure,
aiming at gender equality, clear enforcement mechanisms,
and investment and resourcing. The checklist can be
interpreted as an instrument facilitating this process,
aimed at establishing a stronger gender mainstreaming
perspective across the policy system, and raising the profile
of gender equality.


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies:
a checklist


Gender mainstreaming is often seen as an innovative
concept, encompassing much more than ‘traditional’
equal opportunities policy. The work of Rees (1998) is
useful in this respect (see also Stevens and Van Lamoen


2001). She distinguishes three types of gender equality
strategies: tinkering, tailoring and transforming. Tinkering
refers to measures aimed at establishing formal equality
between men and women, such as equal treatment
legislation and mechanisms to ensure law enforcement.
Examples at the EU level are the directives regarding
equal pay and equal treatment in access to employment,
training, promotion and working conditions (see also EC
2004). Tinkering is in fact one of the oldest strategies
for promoting equal opportunities. The second strategy
is tailoring. As equal treatment does not automatically
lead to equal outcomes, specific measures and facilities
for women may be necessary. Examples are positive
action programmes for women and the provision of
childcare. Under this tailoring approach women are
supposed to assimilate into the status quo, which is in
itself not under discussion. The third strategy ‘transforming’
goes a step further by questioning the status quo (the
mainstream) and assuming that a transformation of
institutions and/or organisations may be necessary
to establish gender equality. Rees regards gender
mainstreaming as adding this potential for transformation
to the established gender equality policies of formal
equality and positive action.


Over recent years a variety of manuals on ‘how to gen-
der mainstream’ have been developed, often focusing on
specific areas and/or directed at certain target groups. An
example at the European level is the EQUAL guide on gen-
der mainstreaming that was written for those involved in
national EQUAL programmes (EC 2004). Another more
recent example is the gender mainstreaming manual,
developed by the Swedish Gender Mainstreaming Sup-
port Committee (Jämstöd 2007). Most manuals provide a
framework or distinguish certain stages. For example, a
useful framework for applying gender mainstreaming is pro-
vided by Stevens and Van Lamoen (2001), who developed
a manual for gender mainstreaming at universities. They
distinguish four toolkits or sets of instruments: 1) measure-
ment and monitoring, 2) implementation and organisation,
3) building awareness and ownership and 4)gender proof-
ing and evaluation. In addition, useful information may be
found in guides to gender impact assessment. Rubery &
Fagan (2000)describe, for example, a seven-stage gender
impact assessment process. Based on the literature and
taking the specific area and stakeholders into account, a
checklist for gender mainstreaming of employment policies
is developed, consisting of four steps, see Box 2.




30


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


STEP 1: GETTING ORGANISED
Implementation and organisation, and building awareness
and ownership may be regarded as important preconditions
of successful gender mainstreaming. Implementation
and organisation of gender mainstreaming refers to the
process of providing a structural and cultural basis for
equal opportunities (Stevens and Van Lamoen 2001:
52). This includes formulation of objectives and targets,
making a plan, drawing up a budget and defining
responsibilities and accountability of the different
actors involved. With regard to the budget, sufficient
resources for implementation need to be made available.
Moreover, the use of special (external) expertise might
be considered. In addition, gender mainstreaming implies
that all stakeholders involved in employment policy
should take equal opportunities of men and women into
account. In order to create a certain degree of gender
awareness and expertise, training is essential. In addition,
stakeholders should consider gender mainstreaming as
part of their tasks and responsibilities. It is therefore
important ‘to build ownership’ but different strategies may
be adopted. In some cases all the team may be expected
to take ‘ownership’ but where awareness levels are low
it may be necessary initially to have a nominated person
with specific knowledge and awareness within the policy-
making team or unit.


STEP 2: LEARNING ABOUT GENDER DIFFERENCES
A next step in the process of gender mainstreaming is the
collection of relevant data on the position of women and
men. A description of the actual situation is essential in
order to assess actual gender (in)equality and to prioritise
areas for attention. In addition, monitoring of the situation
over time provides information on the trends in gender (in)
equality. The European Commission (1998) has identified
four dimensions to the assessment of gender inequality:
participation, resources, norms and values, and rights
(see also Rubery and Fagan 2000). It is important to


consider the initial situation from a dynamic and not solely
a static perspective.


Participation


Participation refers to the gender composition of the
target group/population of the policy and implies the need
to gather basic information such as the share of men and
women in unemployment, among the disabled or among
those with flexible contracts. Where policy measures
specify particular groups of vulnerable people, the possible
differential impact on men and women should also be taken
into account. Over recent years considerable progress
has been made in improving the availability of gender
segregated statistics, a development which facilitates
this first step. Though statistics seem straightforward, it
is important to take measurement issues into account.
For example, unemployment may be measured in several
ways. Depending on the method, gender differences
might vary from rather low to quite high.


Resources


Gender differences may also occur regarding the
access to/distribution of resources such as time, space,
information and money, political and economic power,
qualifications, transport, use of public services etc. In
particular the unequal division of care responsibilities
has a major impact on the distribution of resources. For
example, with respect to active labour market policies,
the fact that women bear the main responsibility for
raising children should be taken into account. Availability
of childcare is, therefore, very important to enable, in
particular, women to be participants in the programmes.
In the field of reconciliation policies, a relevant issue is
whether leave arrangements are paid or unpaid. Women
are also more likely to be concentrated in the area of


Box 2: Th e four steps of gender mainstreaming


Getting organised: The central focus in this fi rst step is on implementation and organisation, and building
awareness and ownership.


Learning about gender differences: The aim of the second step is to describe gender inequality with regard to
participation, resources, norms and values, and rights, and to evaluate trends without policy intervention.


Assessing the policy impact: The third step is to analyse the potential gender impact of the policy with refer-
ence to participation, resources, norms and values and rights.


Redesigning policy: The fourth step is to identify ways in which the policy could be redesigned to promote
gender equality.




31


1. Gender mainstreaming employment policy: a checklist


the labour market most influenced by national minimum
wages and are therefore disproportionately affected
by decisions to raise the national minimum by more
or by less than the average rate of growth in earnings.


Norms and values


Norms and values influence gender roles and the gender
division of labour, and the attitudes and behaviour of women
and men. They also account in part for the inequalities in
the value attached to men and women or to masculine
and feminine characteristics. It is essential to identify the
role of policy measures in reinforcing social norms and
values that maintain gender inequality. Tax and benefit
policies are, for example, often based on the principle of
a male breadwinner household model. The move towards
more individualised models may, regardless of the impact
on participation rates, have an important symbolic value.
Along the same line, policy focusing on a more equal
sharing of paid and unpaid work – with men explicitly in a
role of carer – might also contribute to a more equal set of
norms and values.


Rights


Rights pertain to direct or indirect sex discrimina-
tion, human rights, and access to justice in the legal,
political or socio-economic environment. For example,
are active labour market schemes open to the inactive
(returners, not just benefit claimants) as well as to the
unemployed who are entitled to benefits? If not, then
women may be less able than men to claim support
for re-entering employment. In this respect it should
also taken into account that even where women have
formal rights on the same basis as men, lack of facili-
ties may restrict women’s ability to exercise their rights
to take up these opportunities. Similarly formal rights
for men to participate in reconciliation measures will
not necessarily be sufficient to promote gender
equality in care work.


STEP 3: ASSESSING THE POLICY IMPACT
The third step requires an assessment of the poten-
tial gender impact of the policy with reference to par-
ticipation, resources, norms and values and rights.
An important issue regarding participation is that both
quantitative as well as qualitative aspects should be
taken into account. For example, programmes to cre-
ate jobs may in particular concern women. This may
be assessed as positive from a gender equality point
of view. When, however, the job quality is problematic
(e.g. in terms of working hours and pay), such pro-
grammes might reinforce gender inequality. With respect


to access to resources, it is critical to take into account not
only the impact on household resources but also the im-
pact on individual resources. On the level of social norms
and values, reconciliation policies should address men’s
involvement in domestic labour. If only women make use
of reconciliation policies the traditional unequal division of
unpaid work between men and women will be reinforced,
thereby potentially reinforcing social norms in this respect.
With regard to rights it is relevant to include the right to
care as well as to undertake employment.


When assessing the impact of policy, it may be important
to differentiate between particular groups of men and
women such as ethnic minority groups, parents versus
the childless, age groups, educational groups, regional
groups, etc. While measures to increase the participation
rate might, for example, be effective for women from the
dominant group, women from ethnic minority groups may
require specific measures. In addition, a sound policy
assessment should include indirect effects. Changes to
gender relations outside as well as inside work may be
one of the indirect effects to be looked for. A strong focus
on part-time work could, for example, have the long term
effect of reinforcing gender divisions of labour both in and
outside work as women become more concentrated in
sectors offering flexible employment. This example also
illustrates the importance of distinguishing between short-
term and long-term effects.


STEP 4: REDESIGNING POLICY
Where the policy is assessed to have a negative im-
pact on gender equality or to be broadly gender neu-
tral, it is essential to identify ways in which the policy
could be redesigned to promote gender equality. The
need for redesign is particularly strong where initial
gender differences are high and have major impacts on
women’s life chances. Redesign does not necessar-
ily imply fundamental changes. For example, regarding
active labour market policies, a rather simple but
effective measure is to extend eligibility to all inactives.
Providing facilities to support working parents also seems
not too complicated. Other areas may be more complex.
For example, reducing vertical and horizontal segrega-
tion calls for more extensive policies. Redesign may
also require a multi-pronged approach involving more
than one policy area or department. For example, the pub-
lic employment service may need to cooperate actively
with the department responsible for the provision of
childcare if women seeking employment are to have
access to childcare to facilitate job search. Gender main-
streaming calls for a more joined-up approach to policy
design, where employment policy is not developed
in isolation from welfare provision and childcare serv-
ices on the one hand or tax and benefit policies on the
other hand.




32


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Conclusions


As a result of the disappearance of the equality guide-
line in the European Employment Strategy, gender
mainstreaming has slipped down the policy agenda The
declining visibility of gender contrasts sharplywith the im-
portance attached to gender equality at the broader EU
policy agenda. The following chapters serve to underline
the importance of a gender mainstreaming approach as
an integral part of policy making. Under each heading the


report will provide information on the actual policy devel-
opment and the results of the policies in terms of gen-
der equality. In addition, following the checklist provided
above, the report should provide information on the cur-
rent state of affairs with regard to gender mainstreaming
and provide some concrete examples of gender main-
streaming implemented at the national level. As such, an
important objective of the thematic report is to improve the
knowledge and understanding of gender mainstreaming
in employment policies.




33


EU policy and legislation concerning gender equality and
gender mainstreaming have been an important impetus
for national policy. In Greece, for example, the impact
of the European Union on gender equality and gender
mainstreaming has been quite significant. Also in Denmark,
with a long history regarding gender equality, legislation
and policy at EU level has had a strong impact on national
equality legislation. In addition, several of the new Member
States emphasise that accession to the European Union
provided a direct impulse. According to the national expert
from Cyprus, for example, the recent accession to the
European Union has accelerated the pace of legislative,
legal and policy reform on issues of equality and women’s
rights. Moreover, the National Action Plans, published within
the framework of the European Employment Strategy, have
also ‘forced’ the issue of equality into the foreground and
have prompted the Cyprian government to note (if not take)
specific steps towards equality and gender mainstreaming.
Hungary has had an Act on Equal Treatment and the
Promotion of Equal Opportunities since December 2003.
It took some years until the act was finally passed by the
Parliament and the EU accession played an important role
in this respect. Similarly, in Slovenia important changes in
legislation regarding gender equality were stimulated by
accession to the EU.


Given these positive developments, the decreasing visibility
of gender equality within the European Employment Strategy,
related to the loss of a specific gender guideline, should be
regarded rather negatively. Apparently, the strong focus within
EU policies on gender equality and gender mainstreaming
serves as a kind of catalyst, which increases the pace of
national policy developments. At the same time there is
evidence that at the national level positive developments
regarding gender equality are taking place, which may not be
mentioned by the Member States in their NRP (Rubery 2005;
2006). Therefore, the analysis of gender mainstreaming of
employment policies will start with an overview of the current
state of affairs with respect to gender mainstreaming. As
such, the chapter provides information on the general climate
with regard to gender equality and gender mainstreaming as
translated, for example, into national gender action plans and
the equality infrastructure.


Equality infrastructure


An important precondition of an effective gender main-
streaming approach is a transparent organisational struc-
ture. In Denmark, gender mainstreaming was formally intro-
duced in all public planning by the Equality Act of May 2000.
Since then all new relevant legislation has been subject to
equality screening. In Germany, all departments of the Fed-
eral Ministries have to implement gender mainstreaming
as guiding principle in all political, legal and administrative
measures of the federal government. In November 2001


the federal equality law became effective, providing the
implementation of the principle of gender mainstreaming
in its article 2. The federal states have also implemented
gender-mainstreaming regulations. In the United Kingdom
the most important recent legislative change in relation
to gender mainstreaming is the Equality Act 2006, which
amends the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. This places a
statutory ‘general duty’ on all public authorities when car-
rying out their functions to have due regard to the need to
(a) eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and
(b) to promote equality of opportunity between men and
women. The ‘general duty’ took effect in April 2007.


Other countries have formulated the principle of gender
mainstreaming as a general policy principle. For example,
Sweden adopted gender mainstreaming in 1994 as an
official strategy for achieving the policy goals of gender
equality. To help the ministries, the government adopted
a special six-year plan (2004-2009) that should provide
a common framework for all mainstreaming work in the
government offices. In France, gender mainstreaming is
part of the ‘Equality Charter’, which was adopted on 8 March
2004. The aim is to introduce a gender mainstreaming
approach in all actions: ‘Concern for equality between men
and women should be incorporated not only in all public
policies, nationally, regionally and locally, but also be
diffused through all political, economic and social sectors’.
The Dutch government published a policy document on
gender mainstreaming in 2001. Its point of departure was
that gender mainstreaming provides an important impetus
to the quality of the policy. It was assumed that, for optimal
results, departments should be responsible for gender
mainstreaming themselves, which was put into practice
in 2004. In Iceland, gender mainstreaming of all public
policy-making and actions has been included in (four-year)
equality action plans since 1998. In that year, Icelandic
authorities adopted a two-track gender equality strategy
involving, on the one hand, special measures to improve
the position of women and, on the other, integration of the
gender perspective into all public policies.


In addition, governments may have a specific ministry
for gender equality issues that is responsible for gender
mainstreaming or coordinating the policy. In Sweden, since
autumn 2006, the Minister for Integration and Gender
Equality has been responsible for the coordination of
gender equality policies. In Italy, the Ministry of Equal
Opportunities (Diritti e Pari Opportunità) was established
in 1996, at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. It is
a ministry without an autonomous budget and is supported
in its work by the Commission on Equal Opportunities
between men and women. The government of Luxembourg
created the Ministry for Female Advancement in 1995.
In 2004 the name was changed to the Ministry of Equal
Opportunities to better underline the fact that this ministry
is not only dedicated to female advancement but to equal


2. Gender mainstreaming and gender equality
in 30 European countries




34


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


opportunities between both sexes. The current minister
is also Minister of Family and Integration. In Norway,
responsibility for developing, coordinating and promoting
the advancement of equality between women and men
rests with the Minister of Children and Equality.


In order to support the process of gender mainstreaming,
equality units or the appointment of equal opportunity
officers may be helpful. In Ireland, two units to provide
advice and support on gender mainstreaming were set
up in 2000. The Gender Equality Unit established in the
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has
had responsibility for monitoring commitments to gender
mainstreaming and providing advice to policy-makers,
including in relation to data collection and analysis. Within
the Department of Education and Science, the Education
Equality Unit was set up with responsibility for gender
mainstreaming within the educational system. In Belgium,
a ‘gender mainstreaming’ group was set up within the
federal government at the beginning of 2001. The main
objective was to organise the practical application of a
gender mainstreaming process at the federal level and to
make visible any action undertaken and results obtained.
Recently this group has been replaced by the Institute for
Equality between Women and Men.


In addition to intra-ministerial support, inter-ministerial
committees may be used to promote the process of gender
mainstreaming. To give a few examples, Germany has
installed the high-level Inter-Ministerial Working Group on
Gender Mainstreaming (Interministerielle Arbeitsgruppe,
IMAGM) with a preparatory working group at the working
level and sub-groups on particular issues. In France, the
inter-ministerial committee responsible for women’s rights
was reactivated in 2000, in order to ensure the consistency
of the actions carried out by the different ministries, and
also in order to propose initiatives and ensure the regular
monitoring of decisions. In Luxembourg a regulation of
10 November 2005 has expanded and reinforced the
mission of the ‘Inter-Ministerial Committee for Equality of
Women and Men’. This regulation has also established
gender units within each ministry according to the 2004
policy declaration of the government. Austria has both an
inter-ministerial working group (IMAG) for gender equality
issues and an IMAG for gender mainstreaming. The
IMAG for gender equality issues in the Federal Ministry of
Women’s Issues is basically responsible for: a) advising the
federal government on all fundamental questions of gender
equality as well as the promotion of women in the
public sector, b) drawing up suggestions for the promotion
of women in the public sector and c) appointing a
representative to the Federal Equal Treatment Commission.
The IMAG for gender mainstreaming aims at supporting
and accompanying gender mainstreaming processes in
all ministries and on all political levels. All ministries, as
well as the Constitutional Court, Administrative Court,


the Ombudsman’s Office, the Court of Audit and the
Parliament’s administration are represented in the IMAG
for gender mainstreaming.


In addition to an “internal” infrastructure, policies may also
be supported by external committees or gender equality
institutes. In the Netherlands, E-Quality is a centre that
focuses explicitly on equal opportunities issues. E-Quality
is an independent knowledge and expertise centre for
female emancipation in a multicultural society, subsidised
by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, and is
supposed to support the process of gender mainstreaming.
The activities focus on providing information and expertise
about emancipation and mainstreaming to policy-makers at
various levels. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Family
Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth founded the
Gender Kompetenz Zentrum, an institute of applied research
at Humboldt University in Berlin with the task of assisting the
implementation of gender mainstreaming and consulting the
federal government.


Though gender equality institutes may be very useful
in supporting the process of gender mainstreaming,
they also bear the risk that the responsibility for gender
mainstreaming is passed exclusively on to them.
A clear example is provided by Belgium. In 2003,
a law was passed that provided for the creation of an
Institute for Equality between Women and Men. The aim
of the Institute is to watch over gender equality, fight
against all forms of gender discrimination or inequality
and elaborate tools and strategies based on an integrated
gender approach. However, with the creation of this
institute it seems as though an opportunity was created
to shift the entire responsibility for gender affairs to this
new structure and efforts by other actors appear to have
stalled. The Irish national expert also refers to the risk of
a narrow scope. In Ireland, an inter-departmental group
chaired by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law
Reform and supported by a social partnership consultative
group was set up to produce the National Women’s
Strategy (NWS). The NWS was stated as intending to
‘provide a framework within which the outstanding gaps
in the position of women in Irish society are addressed
over a 10-year period’. While the content of this promised
NWS is as yet unknown, it may prove very significant (and
potentially negative) if gender mainstreaming is seen as
part of the NWS rather than also part of wider economic
and social policy, e.g. the National Development Plan and
National Agreements.


Focus on gender equality


In addition to a transparent and effective structure, the
tasks of a supportive unit also have to be defined quite
strictly. Though it might make sense to combine equal




35


2. Gender mainstreaming and gender equality in 30 European countries


opportunities of women with equal opportunities of other
disadvantaged groups, this may come at the expense
of the attention paid to gender. In Hungary, after the
last election in 2006, the Directorate General for Equal
Opportunities was placed inside the Ministry of Social
Affairs and Labour. As a consequence of this process
the status of issues connected to gender equality dropped,
and the unit responsible for gender equality became only a
department with just a few employees, whereas the Roma
and disability issues were placed on a relatively higher level.
In Poland, the attention of the re-formed Department for
Women, Family and Counteracting Discrimination (DKR)
within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MPiPS)
shifted from gender equality towards wider concerns and
an emphasis on family issues. In the view of women’s
NGOs, the pro-family policies are ‘openly against equality
policies because they view them [equality policies] as
anti-family’ and there is ‘a justified apprehension among
women’s NGOs that gender issues will be marginalised
and women’s advancement jeopardised’.


Other examples in this respect are provided by Slovakia
and the Czech Republic. In Slovakia, the government
transformed the Department for Equal Opportunities and
Antidiscrimination (which is part of the Ministry of Labour,
Social Affairs and Family) in 2005 into the Department of
Family and Gender Policy. According to the Slovakian na-
tional expert, on the one hand this change is positive since
for the first time gender policy became institutionalised. On
the other hand, the linking of gender policy and family policy
carries the risk that the concept of gender equality will be
inspired by a traditional perception of the woman’s role. The
national expert from the Czech Republic gives the example
of the introduction of the so-called ‘gender focal point’. As
of 1 January 2002, all ministries were charged with estab-
lishing at least a half-time position for equal opportunities
for women and men. However, the actual responsibilities
were not clearly defined. Moreover, the post was often at-
tached to the post of human relations, which resulted in
ambiguity about the function and work activities.


Finally, it has to be taken into account that commitment
to gender mainstreaming also implies that stakehold-
ers have a certain level of gender awareness. A posi-
tive example is provided by Sweden. As part of their
gender mainstreaming effort, the government offices
incorporate a gender perspective into their internal train-
ing programmes, for example those focusing on budget
work and on the formulation of government bills. In addi-
tion, the regular course programmes are supplemented
with special gender-related training. Around 150 of the
4 600 employees in the government offices are directly in-
volved in work on gender mainstreaming and about 400
employees in the government offices have received train-
ing in gender issues. In Ireland the Gender Equality Unity
in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has


produced manuals on gender mainstreaming and supports
training, research and other policy initiatives in relation to
gender mainstreaming. The national expert from Iceland re-
ports that the Prime Minister’s Office has been working on
a manual for the evaluation of law proposals from a gender
equality point of view to be used by parliament, ministries,
municipalities, public institutions, boards and committees.
Other countries that report the development of a manual for
gender mainstreaming are Belgium, Germany, Spain and
the Netherlands.


Instruments for gender mainstreaming


As well as a transparent structure aimed at gender
equality, an essential precondition for successful gender
mainstreaming is the availability of gender-disaggregated
statistics. Such statistics enable the description of the
actual situation in order to assess actual gender (in)
equality and to prioritise areas for attention. In addition,
monitoring the situation over time provides information on
the trends in gender (in)equality. Innovative developments
are reported by Italy and Denmark. Both countries have
developed legislation to oblige employers to provide
data on wages (for more details see Chapter 4). Several
countries report important developments regarding the
availability of statistics. In Italy, for example, ISTAT (the
National Institute of Statistics) has increasingly invested
in improving the availability of statistical information by
gender since the ’90s. This has involved not only the goal
of overcoming the invisibility of women in many areas
(division of labour in the household, violence on women,
networks of informal help, etc.) but also overcoming
the invisibility of men in certain areas (such as reproductive
behaviour) typically considered as female domains. In
Cyprus, the number of gender-disaggregated statistics
provided by the government has increased lately.
According to the national expert this is most likely related
to the accession to the European Union. In Norway, since
2004, the Ministry of Children and Equality has provided
part of the funding for a half-time position at Statistics
Norway for the purpose of strengthening the development
of gender-responsive and equality-related statistics.
Among other things, Statistics Norway presents facts for
a ‘gender equality barometer’ on an annual basis, reporting
the status of gender equality in the main areas of society,
and produces a gender equality index for Norwegian
municipalities. Several countries (still) note, however, a
lack of gender statistics. For example, according to the Irish
national expert the development, presentation and analysis
of gender disaggregated data continues to be extremely
limited.


Gender impact assessment (GIA) is another important
instrument for implementing gender mainstreaming.
A systematically conducted GIA identifies whether




36


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


the policy under scrutiny has positive or negative outcomes
in terms of promoting gender equality, and can be used to
improve the quality and efficacy of policy design (see also
Rubery and Fagan 2000). Only a few countries report the
use of GIA. In Ireland, gender mainstreaming was adopted
at national policy level under the National Development Plan
2000-06 (NDP) and gender impact assessment guidelines
were adopted in March 2000 as a key administrative
system for the implementation of gender mainstreaming.
Recent evaluation showed that gender impact assessment
forms were completed for 75% of specified measures and
sub-measures under the NDP. According to the Dutch
national expert, since 1998, only seven full GIAs have been
conducted on a variety of policies, including a survey on
the tax system for the 21st century (Ministry of Finance)
and the life-course savings scheme of the Ministry of Social
Affairs and Employment. In the United Kingdom, the Women
and Equality Unit (WEU), a crosscutting departmental unit,
has produced a gender impact assessment toolkit, which
is available from its website. Government departments are,
however, not required to undertake GIA.


Gender budget analysis is yet another instrument for
gender mainstreaming. With this instrument expenditure
can be analysed from a gender perspective. Several countries
report developments regarding the use of this instrument. In
France, for example, a budgetary report (jaune budgétaire)
will be drawn up each year in order to render visible ‘the na-
tion’s efforts in favour of gender equality’. This document pro-
vides all the information concerning progress in equality and
data by the ministries on efforts devoted to equality. Ac-
cording to the Italian national expert, gender auditing and/or
budgeting have received increasing attention in recent years,
especially by local governments (local councils at the commune,
district and regional level), where most administra-
tions have set up a department for equal opportunities.
The general knowledge on gender auditing has certainly
increased, but there is not yet any systematic analysis
of local budgets on the basis of the gender impact
analysis. An increasing number of local administrations
have promoted some gender budgeting. However, this has
been brought about mostly by means of ‘external expertise’
(academic researchers), and not by developing internally
the skills required to do it on a regular basis. In the Czech
Republic, gender budgeting is one of the methodologies that
has been adopted by the government to monitor the gen-
der dimension of policies. It is problematic, however, that
no one actually applies them systematically in their work.
The Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality has been
promoting gender budgeting since 2002. In cooperation with
the Department of Planning and Administration, the minis-
try coordinates the efforts to integrate gender and equality
perspectives on work into the budget. Training and aware-
ness raising have been core elements of the gender budget
process and a guide to gender analysis in ministry budget
bills has been developed.


Monitoring


Finally, in order to assess the trends in gender (in)equality,
an effective gender mainstreaming approach includes
monitoring and evaluating actual performance. An interesting
example in this respect is provided by the Netherlands. In
2004 the (independent) Auditing Committee for Emancipation
(Commission Lodders) was installed with the task of
evaluating to what extent the ministries contribute to the
realisation of equal opportunities of men and women and
to what extent departments contribute to the realisation of
the targets set by the cabinet in the field of emancipation.
The final report concluded that the equal opportunities policy
and gender mainstreaming were not the focus of attention
of the departments (VCE 2007). In general, the top of the
departments showed no interest: emancipation was not
seen as an urgent topic and there was hardly any internal
infrastructure. Departments lacked specific knowledge in
the field of equal opportunities and gender mainstreaming,
emancipation impact assessments were hardly made and
external experts were hardly used. An important issue
of concern of the committee was the lack of support and
coordination of the policy. Though these conclusions are
not very positive from a gender equality point of view, the
analysis is extremely useful in signalling the strong and weak
aspects of the national situation.


Involvement of social partners


Given the wide scope of gender mainstreaming, the in-
volvement of the social partners is very important. Several
countries provide positive examples. The government of the
Flemish region co-signed the so-called pact of Vilvoorde
with the social partners and a number of environmental
organisations in 2001. This pact formulates 21 goals for
the 21st century that are to be realised by 2010. It explic-
itly aims at eliminating all gender gaps, such as in educa-
tion, in employment and unemployment, in poverty and so-
cial cohesion, in healthcare and in reconciliation. In France
the Equality Charter (see also ‘Equality infrastructure’ on p.
33) was drawn up in partnership with the social partners.
Portugal provides the example of the Observatory for Equal-
ity in Collective Bargaining (Observatório para a Igualdade
na Contratação Colectiva). This observatory was composed
of members of trade unions and of employers’ associa-
tions, as well as representatives of the public Commission
for Equality in Labour and Employment, representatives
of the Labour Ministry and several independent experts.
The goal was to scrutinise collective agreements in order
to identify discriminatory practices against men and women
(with regard to wages, job definitions, career ladders,
flexibility schemes, measures of reconciliation of work
and family life, etc.). Since 2001, however, this observa-
tory has not been very active due to a shortage of human
and material resources. In Slovenia, the Social Agreement




37


2. Gender mainstreaming and gender equality in 30 European countries


for 2003-2005, which involved the government, employers’
organisations and trade unions, supported gender main-
streaming/gender equality in work and employment. Nego-
tiations on the new agreement for 2006-2008 are still in
progress. In the draft, however, gender equality and equal
opportunities are given considerable attention.


Conclusions


Box 3 summarises the state of affairs regarding gender
mainstreaming in European countries. The countries show


a diverse picture of the organisation and implementation
of gender mainstreaming. In some countries gender
mainstreaming and gender equality is hardly developed,
whereas others – the Nordic countries par excellence – have
a long tradition in this field. Though most countries have
developed initiatives regarding gender mainstreaming, the
focus seems rather narrow and patchy. A systematic and
comprehensive approach is generally lacking and actual
implementation is often problematic. Moreover, attention
paid to gender mainstreaming may be sensitive to political
changes, resulting in a lack of consistency.


Box 3: State of aff airs regarding gender mainstreaming in 30 European countries


BE In 2001, an initiative aimed at the defi nition of ‘Strategic objectives of the federal government in terms of
equality’ was approved. As a result, heads of department within the federal government had to formulate
objectives to be pursued within their respective portfolios.


BG In Bulgaria, the visibility of gender in the policy process is improving slowly. Yet implementation remains dif-
fi cult due to underdeveloped infrastructure and substantial regional imbalances.


CZ Targets with regard to equal opportunities are set by the document ‘Priorities and procedures of the govern-
ment for promoting equal opportunities for women and men in the Czech Republic’. The document also de-
fi nes measures that should serve to attain this goal, defi nes who is responsible for implementing the adopted
measures, and deadlines. The text of the priorities is modifi ed annually to fi t the latest needs.


DK Gender mainstreaming was formally introduced in all public planning by the Equality Act of May 2000. From
then ‘all new relevant legislation is subject to equality screening’.


DE In 2000, all departments of the federal ministries were committed to implementing gender mainstreaming as
a guiding principle in all political, legal and administrative measures of the federal government. In November
2001, the federal equality law became effective, providing the implementation of the principle of gender main-
streaming in its article 2. The federal states have also implemented gender-mainstreaming regulations.


EE Gender mainstreaming in Estonia is weak. Gender expertise and knowledge is available, but an effective
organisational structure and clear enforcement mechanisms are lacking.


IE Gender mainstreaming has been adopted at national policy level under the National Development Plan 2000-
06. Gender mainstreaming within the plan was to be implemented through three key processes: completion of
gender impact assessment forms in relation to each relevant measure; inclusion of gender equality in project
selection criteria; commitments to monitor and evaluate progress on gender mainstreaming.


EL The gender equality policy in Greece has changed much, due mainly to the obligations and opportunities as-
sociated with EU membership. Since 1997 three medium-term action plans for gender equality have
been adopted by Greek governments, together with several working documents. In addition, the equality
infrastructure has been enriched to serve policy coordination and to cope with the implementation
of the gender mainstreaming principle.


ES The Law 30/2003 of gender mainstreaming has been the basis for subsequent developments such as
the manual for their application elaborated by Fundación Mujeres (2005). Moreover, except for three
regions (Cataluña, Extremadura and Andalucía) which had already legislated on gender mainstreaming,
the remainder of the regions included this mandate in their equality laws or equivalent developments.


FR The most important text with regard to gender mainstreaming is the Equality Charter. This charter, which was
presented on 8 March 2004, is a document that was drawn up in partnership with many players (ministries,
local authorities, social partners, associations and so forth). The aim is to introduce a gender mainstreaming
approach in all actions.


IT Gender auditing and/or budgeting have received increasing attention in recent years, especially by local
governments. The general knowledge on gender auditing has certainly increased, but there is not yet any
systematic analysis of (local) budgets on the basis of the gender impact analysis.


CY Gender issues and gender equality have gained some prominence, mostly the result of mandatory requests
to do so by the EC. However, the implementation and monitoring of policies remains rather weak.




38


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Box 3 (Cont.): State of aff airs regarding gender mainstreaming in 30 European countries


LV Starting in 2002, when the Latvian government was accepted as a participant in the Framework
Programme of the European Community on strategy of gender equality, several projects on development
and implementation of gender mainstreaming have been introduced in Latvia. As a result there is an increas-
ing public awareness on gender-equality principles.


LT In 2003 the parliament passed the Law on Equal Treatment. A mechanism for the enforcement of equal rights
and opportunities of women and men has been put in place at government level and the Offi ce of Equal Op-
portunities Ombudsperson has been established. A set of concrete policy measures for the advancement of
women were foreseen in the National Programmes on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women for the period
of 2003-2004 and for the period of 2005-2009.


LU In Luxembourg, the visibility of gender in the policy process is improving slowly. The principal tools for gender
mainstreaming of public policies are the Ministry for Equal Opportunities created in 1995, the development of
a legal framework on equality and of gender-disaggregated statistics.


HU The issue of gender equality plays only a marginal role both in the ministry responsible for gender equality
and in the whole national machinery.


MT The main body dealing with gender equality is the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality
between men and women. Several initiatives have been taken to promote gender equality.


NL For several decades gender equality has been part of Dutch government policy. Since 2004 the departments
have been responsible for gender mainstreaming. However, gender mainstreaming is not the focus of their
attention and the gender equality infrastructure is rather weak.


AT In 2000 the Austrian Council of Ministers set up an IMAG (inter-ministerial working group) for gender main-
streaming. This IMAG aims at supporting and accompanying gender mainstreaming processes in all minis-
tries and at all political levels. As of 9 March 2004, a further gender mainstreaming resolution was adopted,
focusing on the implementation of gender budgeting.


PL The Plenipotentiary for Equal Status of Women and Men (PRRS) 2001-05 was a dynamic advocate for
gender equality and equal status in general. The PRRS was dissolved, however, in November 2005 and part
of its competencies taken over by a new Department of Women, Family, and Counteracting Discrimination
(DKR) within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MPiPS). As a result of this restructuring, the potential
for gender mainstreaming has become more limited.


PT Equality bodies have shown some initiative in the creation of tools for gender mainstreaming, such as produc-
ing manuals and guides about how to accomplish gender mainstreaming in different organisational contexts.
The main problem is however, the low level of implementation.


RO Gender inequality has become more visible in public documents of social protection and social inclusion.
However, implementation is diffi cult due to an underdeveloped juridical infrastructure.


SI The Offi ce for Equal Opportunities (OEO) is the main actor in activities oriented toward raising
gender-equality and implementation of the principle of gender mainstreaming. The OEO is assisted by coordi-
nators for equal opportunities at all ministries and local communities’ authorities.


SK Although some progress has been achieved, the sensitivity towards gender issues is still low. Problematic
elements are: the unsatisfactory status of gender agenda, a lack of institutional environment, and a lack
of clear vision. In addition, there is generally alleged weakness in cooperation of various stakeholders:
government, parliament, trade unions, NGOs and experts.


FI Achievement of equality between men and women has been a conscious political goal since the 1960’s.
However, gender equality still deserves attention. During 2004, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
produced a guidebook enabling government civil servants to assess the gender impacts of legislation. To
support mainstreaming, the method of compiling statistics in different ministries will be revised so that the
information can be produced by gender as extensively as possible.


SE Gender mainstreaming has been an offi cial strategy since 1994. A platform was created for gender main-
streaming activities. In time, however, it became evident that this was not enough and the efforts were intensi-
fi ed ten years later and a six-year plan (2004-2009) was adopted to provide a common framework for all
gender mainstreaming work in the government offi ces.


UK Since April 2007 the ‘general duty’ has come into force. This means that public authorities, and non-public
sector organisations that provide public services, will have to take proactive steps to positively promote
equality rather than solely taking steps to prevent discrimination. In addition, the establishment of the Wom-
en’s Equality Unit and the associated ‘Minister for Women’ role has contributed to the development of gender
mainstreaming processes.




39


2. Gender mainstreaming and gender equality in 30 European countries


IS Limited progress has been made regarding the integration of gender mainstreaming into public policy-making.
The gender-mainstreaming strategy is still at the experimental stage or restricted to a few experimental
projects implemented in order to get ‘good examples’ of how the strategy can and should be carried out.


LI Since 2002 gender mainstreaming has been gradually being introduced in public administration.
A gender-mainstreaming steering committee has been formed with the government mandate to develop
an implementation plan. However, concrete implementation measures and legally binding initiatives remain
problematic.


NO Gender mainstreaming is applied in the planning of the state budget. Gender action plans are found in all
ministries as well as for specifi c sectors. The introduction of an activity obligation in the Gender Equality Act
obliges both public and private establishments to report annually on the status of gender equality regarding
personnel.


Source: National reports






41


As a result of the European Employment Strategy,
Member States have intensified their efforts to improve
the position of groups and individuals at the margins of
the labour market (JER 2007: 4). Active labour market
policies are an important instrument in this respect. As
defined in Employment in Europe 2006 (EC 2006: 120),
labour market policies are ‘public interventions in the
labour market targeted towards particular groups in the
labour market’ and, as such, may be distinguished from
general employment policies such as measures that lower
labour costs. Active labour market policies (ALMPs) ‘aim to
increase the likelihood of employment or improve income
prospects for the unemployed persons/groups who find
it difficult to enter the labour market’ (ibid: 120). Public
employment services (PES) play an important role in this
respect by facilitating the integration of the unemployed and
other job seekers into the labour market (e.g. placement,
counselling and advice). In addition, active measures
include training, job rotation and job sharing, employment


incentives, integration of specific groups, direct job creation
and start-up incentives (see also EC 2006: 121).


In order to promote gender equality, equal opportu-
nities principles should be embedded within the op-
eration of the public employment service. An effective
method in this respect is the appointment of a specific
equal opportunities officer, who has the necessary ex-
pertise.It also seems to be essential that PES employ-
ees are informed on the issue of gender mainstreaming
and receive training in how to incorporate this in their work.
Another important aspect of gender mainstreaming of
public employment services is that active labour market
programmes are open to all inactive people and not
restricted only to benefit claimants, and that men and
women have equitable access to ALMPs. This also implies
that the specific needs of disadvantaged groups need to
be addressed. See Box 4 for a checklist on gender main-
streaming of active labour market policies.


3. Active labour market policies


Box 4: Gender mainstreaming of active labour market policies


STEP 1. GETTING ORGANISED
Are there any guidelines or targets set with regard to equal opportunities?
Are all relevant stakeholders aware of the gender equality issues?
Is there a clear structure of responsibilities?
Are training facilities available and/or is it possible to make use of external expertise?


STEP 2. LEARNING ABOUT GENDER DIFFERENCES
Are all relevant statistics differentiated by gender?
What is the gender division of the target groups?
What is the gender division of specifi c disadvantaged groups like school drop outs, lone parents, people on
long-term leave, the long-term unemployed and ethnic minorities?
What are the relevant trends in this respect?


STEP 3. ASSESSING THE POLICY IMPACT
Do men and women have equitable access to active labour market policies, including training?
Are measures available to the inactive as well as the unemployed?
Are there measures addressing the needs of specifi c groups, like lone parents (by providing childcare services),
the disabled (by providing social services and technical aid), or women returners after long-term caring
(by offering training facilities)?
Do active labour market policies promote the entry of women into high quality, non-traditional jobs?
Do men and women benefi t in equal terms from initiatives to start-up businesses or any other services provided
by public employment services?


STEP 4. REDESIGNING POLICY
Given the results of steps 1, 2 and 3, identify ways in which the policy could be redesigned to promote gender
equality. Take into account that gender mainstreaming calls for a more joined-up approach, which may involve
more than one policy area or department.




42


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Public employment system


Denmark has a long tradition of gender mainstreaming of
the public employment service, for example by employ-
ing equality advisers in all offices. In the recent ‘structural
reform’ of the employment service, a new framework for
a more efficient and transparent labour market has been
created, where employment services and municipalities
are joined together in new job centres. The 91 new
local job centres will all have an anchor person for
equality and a connection to the new centre of equal-
ity consultants. In Germany in 1998 it was decided
to promote equal opportunities between women and men
as a permanent guideline of labour policy. Implementing
gender mainstreaming began accordingly. In the course
of the reform of the labour office, a strategic decision was
taken to integrate gender mainstreaming and diversity into
the day-to-day operation of the labour office. However, the
idea of gender mainstreaming has to be implemented by
the regional offices, and there are differences with regard
to that process. In all regional offices equal opportunities
commissioners for the labour market have been appoint-
ed. In November 2005, an overall plan for realising equal
opportunities on the labour market was finally introduced.
One of its main focuses was to provide information for
people receiving no financial support, especially people
wishing to return to paid work after a period of family care.
Another important task is to consult with employers. In
Italy local committees on equal opportunities in all public
institutions have been set up. Though these committees
do not have enforcement power, their work has had a pos-
itive impact as some local policies have been developed
which specifically focus on women.


Apart from the appointment of an equal opportunities
adviser, an essential condition for effective gender main-
streaming within the public employment services seems to
be training PES employees. In Poland, a project ‘Gender
mainstreaming in labour market institutions’ was set up,
funded by ESF resources, and implemented between Oc-
tober 2006 and September 2007 throughout Poland. The
participants in the programme are employees of regional
and local employment offices and non-governmental or-
ganisations, including women’s organisations. The activi-
ties encompass an opening and closing conference, 16
two-day training sessions and publishing of the projects’
brochure. The training promises that participants will be-
come familiar with the concept of gender mainstreaming,
gain knowledge of practical ways for implementing gender
equality in the activities of labour market institutions and
learn how to apply the gender equality rules. The Latvian
national expert considers training civil servants in order to
raise awareness of gender equality to be the main part of
the gender mainstreaming of active labour market policy


in her country. Courses have been developed such as
‘Rights and opportunities of men and women: what has
to be taken into account in the development of industrial
policy?’. In addition, booklets, postcards and TV adver-
tisements on gender equality in the labour market were
produced.


A gender mainstreaming approach to public employ-
ment services would imply that active labour market pro-
grammes are open to all inactive people and not restricted
to benefit claimants. In several countries, such as Den-
mark, Finland and Sweden, this is common practice. How-
ever, other countries, for example Germany, follow a more
restrictive policy. This is often at the expense of women
as they are generally over-represented among inactive
people not on benefits, e.g. non-working spouses. A few
countries report positive developments in this respect.
In Ireland eligibility for active labour market programmes
has been broadened to include lone parents and spouses
of the long-term unemployed. This has provided an im-
portant access route for many women. According to the
Irish national expert, the situation would be further im-
proved by establishing eligibility on the basis of long-term
absence from the labour market rather than the current
emphasis on those registered as unemployed (among
whom women are under-represented). In Iceland, since
2006, everyone between 16 and 70 years and searching
for a job has the right to participate in active labour market
measures. Lithuania has extended the list of groups that
are eligible for support, in ways that are favourable for
women. The new list now also includes pregnant women
and – under certain conditions – inactive people. In this
last group, the share of women is about 57%.


A clear example of gender mainstreaming in employ-
ment policy is provided by Greece. All employability
schemes are open to both the unemployed (on benefits
or not) and the inactive, provided they register with the
public employment service. In line with the female share
of the unemployed, a 60% quota for women in all em-
ployability schemes was announced in the NAP on em-
ployment for 1999. Since 2000, the quota has been con-
tinuously implemented on the announced numbers of
all training, job creation and work-experience schemes.
Since 2004 it also applies to the unemployed hired for
part-time jobs in the public sector. In Spain, reduction
of the female unemployment rate has been set as an
employment target in the NRP of 2005. Though this tar-
get is not quantified, it is stated that women have to ac-
count for 60% of the beneficiaries of all action measures.
In the implementation report to the government (2006)
it was stated that this target was complied with.
However, according to the Spanish national expert there
is no data to support this claim.




43


3. Active labour market policies


Training


One of the most important measures of active labour
market policy is providing training in order to improve the
employability of the unemployed and other target groups.
Training seems common policy in European countries.
However, despite the recurrence of training, examples of
gender mainstreaming are rare. In Cyprus, the Human
Resource Development Authority helps women to re-enter
the labour market by offering training. However, the national
expert does not consider this to be an example of gender
mainstreaming, since the training encourages women to
enter pink collar jobs that further segregate them into low
paying positions. A similar point is made in the report of the
Luxembourg national expert. Most of the training offered
by the Employment Administration concerns low-skilled
women and female-dominated occupations and industries,
except for IT training. This might reinforce occupational and
industry segregation among women. The Austrian national
expert is more positive and provides a best practice example
of gender mainstreaming. In Austria one of the targets of the
Public Employment Service for 2006 was to promote the
acquisition of vocational qualifications among low-skilled
employees of the prime age group. In the interest of gender
equality the criteria for participation in such measures differ
for men and women. Men are only eligible to participate
if they have completed no training exceeding compulsory
education; women are also eligible if they have attained
lower secondary education (apprenticeship or vocational
school). The reason is the concentration of girls in a very
limited number of trades, which implies that they – as
opposed to male apprentices – have great difficulty finding
skilled work after completing their apprenticeship.


Job rotation and job sharing


Job rotation and job sharing ‘include measures, which
facilitate placement of an unemployed person or a person
from another target group in work by substituting hours
worked by an existing employee’ (EC 2006: 121). In
Portugal the Employment-Family Measure (EM-FAMÍLIA)
supports the recruitment and training of the registered
unemployed to replace workers on maternity, paternity or
parental leave or special leave to assist children. This can
help to reduce employers’ resistance to providing work for
women as the most likely leave takers. A similar measure
in Lithuania is work rotation. This provides employers
with the opportunity to replace permanent employees by
unemployed/job-seekers in cases that are foreseen in
collective agreements or for the period of ‘special-purpose’
leave. The duration of the period of rotation may be not
longer than 12 months. The employers will receive monthly
compensation equivalent to 0.5 of the minimum monthly


salary for every person employed under these conditions
for the entire period of rotation. This measure should
extend the possibilities of (re)integration of unemployed
women and should help to eliminate hidden discrimination
of women in the labour market.


Employment incentives


Employment incentives may ‘facilitate the recruitment
of unemployed persons and other target groups or
help to ensure the continued employment of persons at
risk of involuntary job loss’ (EC 2006: 121). Examples
are subsidies or reduced social security contributions;
the employer normally covers the majority of labour costs.
Several countries, such as Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania,
Norway, Sweden and Poland report such measures. For
example, a new policy programme in Sweden is ‘new start
jobs’. This programme involves a subsidy corresponding
to the employer’s social security contribution for those
employers who take on people who have been out of work
for more than a year. The unemployed, people who have
participated in a labour market policy programme or who
have received full-time sickness benefits or sickness and
activity compensation for more than a year are eligible
for these jobs. The subsidy is available for the same
length of time that the individual has been without a
job, up to a maximum of five years. Slovakia provides
contributions to employers for employing a disadvantaged
jobseeker. Most of these jobseekers have been long-term
unemployed. The share of women increased in 2005 up
to almost 60%. Despite the fact that employment incentives
seem to be quite common, the reported level of gender
mainstreaming is disappointing (or is absent). A positive
exception is Greece, where Act 3227/2004 provided
for subsidies to employers equal to their social security
contributions if they hire women with at least two children.
Subsidies are granted for one year for each child. In Austria,
within the Employment Support Act, an amount of €284
million is made available for active labour market policies
in the years 2006 and 2007. About 60,000 people are to be
supported and 90% of the funds are to be used for young
people and women. Elements of the programme include
short-term wage subsidies for (female) re-entrants to the
labour market. The 2006 implementation report showed,
however, that a relatively large share of the subsidy was
spent on (a rather small group of) men.


Target groups: disabled


Active labour market measures may also focus on the in-
tegration of specific groups into the labour market. One
important group is the disabled. A gender mainstreaming




44


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


approach to policies for the disabled would be sensitive to
the layers of disadvantage that can result from the com-
bination of gender and disability, and recognise the spe-
cific difficulties that disabled women may face. A few na-
tional reports, such as those of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland
and the United Kingdom, contain information on active
labour market policies for the disabled. For example, to
include the disabled and people from other social exclu-
sion risk groups in the labour market in Latvia, there are
proposals to create subsidised workplaces and to improve
the infrastructure of social care and social rehabilitation
institutions. In Poland amendments to the Act on Profes-
sional and Social Rehabilitation and the Employment of
Disabled Persons are aimed at making the existing sys-
tem more efficient. The act lifted the partial exemption of
non-payment of certain contributions – thus lowering the
previous subsidy to employers. But the act also created
the possibility of a refund of costs associated with adapt-
ing the workplace to the needs of a disabled worker (up to
15 times average pay); introduced 60% refund of salary
costs for a period of one year for those employed disa-
bled who were registered in public employment services;
replaced a one-time loan to a disabled person with a grant
for taking up self- employment. The act aimed to move
away from the emphasis on financial incentives associated
with hiring disabled people towards the view that they
are desirable, loyal and productive employees. Though in
several countries, such as the Netherlands and the
United Kingdom, women run a higher risk of becoming
disabled, there are no examples of gender mainstreaming
in this field.


Target groups: lone-parents


Another specific target group of active labour market poli-
cies is lone parents. Among the countries that have devel-
oped policies for this group are Belgium, Germany, Greece,
France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and the United
Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, where over 90% of lone
parents are mothers and lone parent households account
for around one quarter of all working-age families, the New
deal for lone parents (NDLP) has been developed. The
NDLP was introduced in 1998 and has a 70% employment
rate target for lone-parents by 2010, signalling an explicit
shift in policy approach towards one where lone parents
are actively encouraged to support their families via em-
ployment. The target group of the NDLP has been extend-
ed since 1998, and the element of compulsory participation
has increased. The role of personal advisers, who provide
guidance in interviews, is described as the ‘key feature’
of the NDLP. From April 2007 all lone parents who have
been on benefit for at least a year and whose youngest
child is under 14 are required to attend six-monthly work-
focused interviews. Previously this requirement to attend
such interviews had only applied to lone parents where


the youngest child is over 14. The government provides
some additional support, such as tax facilities and recon-
ciliation measures. This approach to activation measures
is considered as a positive step in that it has meant that
a programme has been tailored to the particular needs
of lone parents, and the evaluation studies show that it
has contributed to raising the employment rate of lone
parents. However, from a broader gender mainstreaming
perspective it should be noted that alternative policy op-
tions – such as increased support to lone mothers who
want to stay at home while their children are young or
measures to make part-time employment more financially
feasible for lone mothers – have been disregarded. Fur-
thermore, issues still remain with regard to the job quality
and sustainability of employment for lone mothers.


In Ireland, the Community Employment Scheme (CE) is by
far the most important active labour market programme.
The CE scheme is designed to help people who are
long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people
to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary
placements in jobs based within local communities.
CE schemes have played a critical role in the provision
of community and care services (e.g. care, for the
elderly home helps, meals on wheels, childcare) without
which there would be an increased unsupported care
burden on households and communities, primarily carried
by women. This scheme has the important gender-positive
approach of allowing eligibility for lone parents and the
spouses of the long-term unemployed. As a result the
majority of participants on the scheme have been women.
Currently, there are over 20,000 participants on the scheme,
about 57% of whom are women and nearly half of these
are lone parents. Because it is locally based, provides
childcare, allows for retention of secondary benefits and is
part-time, it has proved to be an attractive option for lone
parents.


Target groups: people returning to work after a
long term of care leave


A third target group of active labour market policies might
be people returning to work after a long term of care leave.
This seems especially relevant in countries that provide an
extensive period of parental leave. The attention paid to
this group is, however, rather limited. In Latvia, women, in
particular those who left the labour market to care for their
children, are a target group in the employment measures
of the National Lisbon Programme of Latvia for 2010.
The most important measure is (re)training. In Estonia
there are some projects on renewal of skills/employment
opportunities for women distanced from the labour market.
Since 2004, Hungarian employment policy has prioritised
the (re)integration of women in the labour market. One of
the target groups in this ‘Human Resource Development




45


3. Active labour market policies


Operational Programme’ (HRD OP), which was financed
by the European Social Fund, is women who want to return
to work after childcare leave. In Germany, one of the main
focuses of the gender mainstreaming strategy in active
labour market policy is to provide information for people
receiving no financial support, especially the groups which
wish to return to work after a period of family care. However,
according to the German national expert, the situation of
female returners after longer periods of full-time care is
problematic as their right to participate in labour market
programmes is weaker than ever.


Direct job creation


Another category of active labour market measures is
direct job creation. This refers to the creation of additional
jobs, usually of benefit to the community or of a socially
useful nature, in order to find employment for the long-term
unemployed or people otherwise difficult to place. The majority
of the labour cost is normally covered by public finance (EC
2006: 121). A few countries report policy measures aimed
at the creation of jobs. However, these policies are not
gender mainstreamed. In France, for example, the ‘plan
for services to individuals’ intends to create 500,000
neighbourhood jobs between 2006 and 2009. Though
it is expected that the jobs created will concern women
in particular, the gender implications have never been
an issue. Moreover, the jobs are part-time and there are
concerns regarding the likely job quality (e.g. in terms of
working hours and pay). Belgium has developed a system
of service vouchers, introduced in January 2004, as an
incentive towards more active job search. The aims of the
scheme are to fight undeclared work, finance the social
security system, and respond to the demand for reasonably
priced household services. In 2006, within the new system
of service vouchers, 23,755 employees, mostly women and
the low-skilled, provided services for a total number of 11,66
million hours to 88,400 users. It thus seems that the initial
goal to create 25,000 new jobs by 2007 will be achieved
(although workers who are allowed to operate under
this new system need not necessarily be unemployed).
The service voucher system touches the core of all
time-allocation problems. Its main merit is that it extends
the possibility of externalising time-consuming household
tasks to less well-off families because of the affordability of
the vouchers. As a result, it alleviates the multiple burden
of women not only in higher income categories but also in
low-income households.


Start-up incentives


Start-up incentives include measures that promote entrepre-
neurship by encouraging the unemployed and target groups
to start their own business or to become self-employed (EC


2006: 121). Several countries provide positive examples. In
Hungary, women’s labour market reintegration has been a
priority since the beginning of 2004. Several projects focus
on female self-employment (training, networking, and other
related services for female business starters). There are
three target groups for the programmes: women who are un-
employed, inactive and those employed who run the risk of
dismissal. Particular attention and priority is given to women
who want to return from childcare leave or from long-care
leave of other family members, and also to women over 40
years old. France is developing an action plan for promot-
ing start-up firms by women and access to micro-credit, es-
pecially for women, will be made easier. In Greece, in the
most recent schemes for the promotion of micro-entrepre-
neurship among the unemployed, mothers with young chil-
dren or women caring for people with disabilities can declare
their home as the site of their firm and include the costs of
crèches or nursery among the expenses of the latter. Spain
offers social security contributions reductions for enterprises
created by women and a programme of micro credits for fe-
male entrepreneurs. The Latvian report mentions a study on
women in business activities. Based on this study, problems
in development of female business activity were detected
and defined, possible solutions to these problems were indi-
cated, and the introduction of the ‘mentoring programme to
encourage female entrepreneurship’ was supported. Other
national experts that report support for female entrepreneurs
are Slovenia and Iceland.


Conclusions


The examples provided above may be regarded as
best practices. Box 5 summarises the general state of
affairs regarding gender mainstreaming/gender policies
with respect to active labour market policies in the EU
countries. The box makes clear that gender mainstreaming
of active labour market policies remains uneven and
rather narrow in focus. This is in line with earlier conclusions
of Rubery et al. (2006) regarding gender mainstreaming
in active labour market policies. This conclusion may
not be problematic if gender inequality is rather modest.
For example, in Finland, labour force participation
has been almost equal between men and women for a long
time and gender gaps in employment and unemployment
have been among the narrowest in the European Union.
This is, however, a rather exceptional case as most national
experts draw attention to existing gender inequalities.




46


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Box 5: Gender mainstreaming of active labour market policies in 30 European countries


BE There are no gender mainstreaming processes or gender target settings. The most important exercise of gen-
der mainstreaming as regards active labour market policy was probably the Job+ project in which grids were
developed for the ex ante and ex post evaluation of employment policies from a gender equality point of view.
A detailed analysis of available data to carry out such evaluations was realised.


BG The employment policy seems well targeted in view of gender inequality. However, it is desirable that the
active policy of the labour market should be more effectively oriented towards the labour reintegration of
specifi c female groups and especially towards those in the rural regions.


CZ The Czech Republic’s employment strategy completely neglects the gender mainstreaming/gender equality
perspective. Policies, documents and institutions in support of gender equality are not integrated into employment
policy.


DK Active labour market policies apply to all unemployed people, irrespective of whether they are receiving
unemployment benefi ts, social assistance, start help or sickness benefi ts, and focus on individualised meas-
ures. As such, women should benefi t from the policies on a more or less equal footing as men. The ‘structural
reform’ has created a new framework for a more effi cient and transparent labour market, where employment
services and municipalities are joined together in new job centres. As the 91 new local job centres will all
have an anchor person for equality and a connection to the new centre of equality consultants, this may mean
a more effi cient gender mainstreaming.


DE Major labour market reforms have been implemented over the last three years, such as the ‘Hartz’ reforms.
The new basic income scheme (ALG II) again establishes the household and not the individual as the benefi t
receiver, resulting in married and cohabiting women not having access to independent benefi ts. On the other
hand, the inclusion of lone mothers in labour market programmes is a step forward. The situation of female
returners after longer periods of full-time caring remain problematic as their right to participate in labour
market programmes is weaker than ever. The government was forced to evaluate the gender impact of
the labour market reforms. The report is expected in 2008, and meanwhile research suggests that the reforms
did not improve women’s position in the labour market and in labour market policy programmes.


EE There is limited evidence of gender mainstreaming in active labour market policies.


IE Policy in this area has not been developed with any explicit gender perspective or reference to gender equal-
ity and mainstreaming. However, it can be seen to incorporate a sensitivity to specifi c situations of low income
and labour market disadvantage which brings important benefi ts to a signifi cant number of women.
Recent developments have broadened eligibility to active labour market programmes to lone parents and
spouses of the long-term unemployed. This has provided an important access route for many women.


EL There are several examples of gender mainstreaming in active labour market policies. These include female
quotas for the benefi ciaries of all employability measures that are open to both the unemployed and the
inactive, higher subsidies for women than for men belonging to socially vulnerable groups, special job
creation schemes for mothers with children, higher subsidies to employers hiring lone parents and returners,
inclusion of all women or special female groups among the target groups of integrated programmes for
regional development and wide-ranging national programmes for the social inclusion of disadvantaged groups.


ES General employment targets are not accompanied by concrete measures other than the objective for women
to be 60% of the benefi ciaries in all action measures. With regard to mobilisation of the inactive, several
measures are taken, such as social security contributions reductions for contracting women on indefi nite
contracts, various training programmes, action plans in enterprises and a specifi c programme for employment
of victims of gender violence.


FR Gender mainstreaming of active labour market policies has not been achieved. At no point before measures
were adopted was the issue of their gender implications raised, even when it was quite clear that measures
target women. There are only a few measures for lone parent families (mainly lone mothers) and unemployed
women regarding childcare places and priority for employment. As for other economically inactive people,
there have not been specifi c measures for women, for example concerning the problem of mothers of young
children who have had a career break.


IT Gender analysis in the area of employment has received increasing attention, both within local administra-
tions and public institutions. This has been favoured by the setting up of local committees on equal
opportunities in all public institutions. Though these committees do not have enforcement power, their work
has produced some positive drawbacks in the government of local labour markets (at the regional, provincial
and communal levels), with the development of some local policies specifi cally focused on women.


CY There is minimal evidence of gender mainstreaming in policies; in fact, there are only specifi c and sporadic
references to women as a separate category.




47


3. Active labour market policies


LV Gender mainstreaming in active labour market policy measures is basically formulated as the training and
retraining of women after childcare leave and awareness raising of civil servants about gender equality.


LT In general, the state of affairs with regard to gender mainstreaming can be valued positively, especially
considering future prospects. In the ‘Programme of actions for the development of human resources for
the period 2008-2013’ a signifi cant budget is foreseen for the implementation of active labour market policy
measures.


LU Men are relatively more represented in work placement measures than women. As far as training courses
offered, the ‘Employment Administration’ (ADEM) respects the gender balance. However, most of the training
proposed concerns low-skilled women and female-dominated occupations and industries. This might
reinforce occupational and industrial segregation among women.


HU There are a few projects for gender equality. An example is the ‘Human Resource Development Operative
Programme’ (HRD OP) fi nanced by the European Social Fund which prioritised women’s labour market (re)
integration. Apart from these projects there is no evidence that initiatives are gender mainstreamed.


MT Gender mainstreaming is ongoing. However, additional analysis is necessary in order to point out where
further gender mainstreaming is necessary.


NL There is very limited evidence of gender mainstreaming in the fi eld of active labour market policies. Several
measures may have a gender impact. There are, however, no gender impact assessments available. In
addition, though there is a strong emphasis in the labour market policies on participation, there is very little
attention to the number of working hours.


AT Despite successfully implementing gender mainstreaming in the Public Employment Service and the fact that,
for many years, the share of subsidised women has been higher than that of men in the area of active labour
market policy, a gender mainstreaming and/or gender equality approach is largely missing.


PL Regarding gender there seems to be a degree of learning evident in successive policy documents. A recent
policy document prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development is the fi rst to explicitly refer to gender
mainstreaming, which is to be implemented horizontally across all tasks and actions and at each stage of the
programme.


PT In the present state of affairs, gender mainstreaming is done exclusively at the level of the monitoring of the
evolution of some indicators for the purpose of diagnosis. Gender gaps are measured and their eradication is
fi xed as an aim of employment policies, but it is not clear how this is supposed to be done. And, as Portugal
has already reached women’s employment rates established by the Lisbon Strategy, there is no pressure to
enact policies especially directed towards increasing female employment.


RO There is little evidence of gender mainstreaming of active labour market policies.


SI The explicit mentioning of gender equality has been increasingly present in employment policy documents
since the 1990s. However, while important gender-related problems and inequalities at the labour market
were discussed and policies and measures were envisaged in order to deal with them (especially in the
Resolution on the National Programme for Equal Opportunities of Men and Women until 2013), there is no
systematic gender mainstreaming.


SK The active labour market policy measures are formulated in gender-neutral terms. Many fi ndings show the
need to pay more attention to women and to give them more support. However, the concept of gender main-
streaming is not developed in active labour market policy.


FI Active labour market policies are usually understood to be gender neutral in Finland. This is mainly because
labour force participation has for such a long time been almost equal between men and women. Indeed, the
last ten years have witnessed women becoming more active in participating in employment measures like re-
training or going to jobs with employment subsidies. That is why the long-term unemployment is lower among
women than among men.


SE In the latest labour market policy bill, there are direct references to gender mainstreaming and gender
mainstreaming has its own subheadings, indicating that a gender mainstreaming infrastructure is in
place in the government offi ces. It is, however, diffi cult to assess the effectiveness of this infrastructure in
the National Labour Market Board, the Labour Market Administration and the public employment service.


UK A suite of targeted ‘new deal’ activation policies and in-work tax credits have been introduced with the
objective of moving people off benefi ts and into employment. Gender issues have been addressed explicitly
by the government in relation to some aspects of active labour market policy for some target groups (e.g. lone
parents); in other areas the gender mainstreaming has been limited or absent (e.g. non-employed women
with an employed partner).




48


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Box 5 (Cont.): Gender mainstreaming of active labour market policies


in 30 European countries


IS The Directorate of Labour integrates the gender perspective into its activities by publishing information on
unemployment and participation in different education and training schemes according to sex. Moreover, it
administrates special measures to enhance women’s entrepreneurship and job creation on the one hand
and a gender mainstreaming project on the other. Active employment measures are now open to everyone in
search of work, which means that women outside the labour market may also participate.


LI An active labour market policy is almost non-existent due to very low unemployment rates. In addition, though
the female labour market participation is rather low, raising it has never been one of the government’s political
objectives. In previous years some political attention was given to the situation of women wanting to re-enter
the labour market after a career break. However measures focus primarily on isolated cases.


NO In general, the focus on gender in the active labour market programmes is moderate. Women’s participation
in labour market measures is at the same level as men’s, and women profi t from such measures to the same
extent as men. While women in many contexts are not defi ned as a target group with specifi c needs, there
are, however, groups of women that need more specifi c attention.


Source: National reports.




49


Gender equality cannot be achieved without both equality
in pay and in opportunities but, in practice, prospects for
closing the gender pay gap are also closely intertwined
with issues of segregation and continuity of careers.
Since 1999 reducing the gender pay gap has been part
of the European Employment Strategy and policy efforts
have intensified over the years. In 2003, Member States
were called on to formulate targets in this respect in
order ‘to achieve by 2010 a substantial reduction in the
gender pay gap in each Member State through a multi-
faceted approach addressing the underlying factors of
the gender pay gap including sectoral and occupational
segregation, education and training, job classifications and
pay systems, awareness raising and transparency’ (OJEC
2003 L197/20). Eliminating the gender pay gap is also an
important objective of the Roadmap for Equality between
Women and Men, 2006-2010 (EC 2006). The persistence
of the gender pay gap, according to the Roadmap, ‘results
from direct discrimination against women and structural
inequalities, such as segregation in sectors, occupations,
and work patterns, access to education and training, biased
evaluation and pay systems and stereotypes’ (EC 2006: 3).
Indeed, an uninterrupted career is still an important factor
in improving the position of women in the labour market
in general and in closing the gender pay gap in particular.
This underlines the importance of a broad range of policies,
varying from equal pay legislation to career policies.


The gender pay gap refers to the differences between the
wages earned by women and by men. In order to take
into account differences in working hours and the impact
of the income tax system most estimates are based on
differences in gross hourly wages. The gender pay gap
is then calculated as the ratio of women’s average gross
hourly wage to men’s average gross hourly wage, or as the
difference between men’s and women’s gross hourly wage
as a percentage of men’s average gross hourly wage. Yet
estimates of the gender pay gap differ widely, depending
on the data available, the specific sample and the method
used. As a consequence, there is wide variation in results
over time, between countries and even among studies for
a particular country. On the basis of data of the Structure
of Earnings Survey 2002 (SES), which is considered as the


most reliable source with respect to harmonised pay data,
it appears that at the level of the EU 25, the gender pay gap
is almost 25% (private sector only; data for Malta missing).
The largest gap is found in the United Kingdom (30%), the
smallest in Slovenia (11%). Comparing the development
of the gender pay gap over time is a complicated affair,
primarily because of data problems. Yet, the gender pay
gap at the level of the EU 25 seems to be fairly stable over
the last decade. The variation is, however, large, with some
countries showing a decrease and others an increase (see
also Plantenga & Remery 2006).


Given the complexity of the causes of the gender pay gap
and in line with the suggested multi-faceted approach,
the gender mainstreaming of pay policies would imply
the need for a variety of measures. Firstly, countries may
implement an equal pay policy aiming at tackling direct
or indirect gender wage discrimination. Examples include
(additional) legislation, availability and dissemination of
information and initiatives with respect to job evaluation.
Relevant in this respect is also the development of an
appropriate infrastructure. Secondly, equal opportunities
policy may contribute to a reduction in the gender pay gap.
Given that an uninterrupted career is still a significant factor
in explaining the overall gender pay gap, it is extremely
important to enable women to have more continuous
employment patterns. Relevant measures in this respect
are childcare and leave facilities, and measures aiming
at desegregation of the labour market, horizontally as
well as vertically. As policy with regard to reconciliation
is covered by Chapter 5, this chapter will concentrate on
policies focusing on desegregating employment patterns
A third line refers to gender mainstreaming of ‘general’
wage policies aimed at reducing wage inequality and
improving the remuneration of low-paid and/or female-
dominated jobs. A complicating factor regarding equal
pay issues is that in most countries wage setting is
seen as the primary responsibility of social partners.
Governments may therefore be rather reluctant to
interfere. This chapter will therefore also address good
practices at the level of social partners. See Box 6 for a
checklist on gender mainstreaming of pay and career
policies.


4. Pay and career policies




50


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Equal pay legislation


The legal framework of the EU with regard to equal pay is
quite extensive. The legal basis and implementation of the
principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value is
laid down in article 141 of the Treaty establishing the European
Community and in the Equal Pay Directive (Directive 75/117/
EEC). National legislation and regulations must comply with
these provisions. To be more effective, however, equal pay
policy may demand additional legislation. A few countries
provide examples in this respect. In Luxembourg, since
June 2004, a law was in force that obligates social partners
to bargain on equal pay. Under this law collective bargaining
has to include a provision concerning the implementation
of the principle of equal pay between men and women.
The results of the collective negotiations have to be written
down. Similar legislation exists in France, where gender
pay bargaining in companies and sectors is obligatory.
Moreover, this legislation will be revised in 2010 and in
case of lack of evidence of bargaining, the introduction of
penalties will be considered (financial contribution based on
the total wage bill).


Additional examples are provided by Sweden and Finland.
In Sweden, the Equal Opportunities Act (EOA) states
that employers who employ ten people or more are
required annually to survey and analyse pay practices
and differentials and prepare a plan of action for equal pay.
The ‘Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’ (EOO) should
ensure the proper functioning of the EOA and has the
power to impose an administrative fine on employers who
fail to submit the information requested. The EOO may also
submit requests to the ‘Equal Opportunities Board’ for the
imposition of a penalty on employers who do not observe
the rules on ‘active measures’. A similar example comes
from Finland where the Equality Act between Women and
Men requires employers with more than 30 employees
to implement an Equality Plan. The law also includes a
provision in which the employer is obliged to report on
his or her procedures when discrimination is suspected.
In addition, this act gives the employee representative at
the workplace an independent right of access to information
on employees’ wages and contractual conditions.
An inquiry can be carried out if there is reason to suspect
wage discrimination on the basis of sex.


Box 6: Gender mainstreaming of pay and career policies


STEP 1. GETTING ORGANISED
Are there any guidelines or targets set with regard to equal pay and career policies?
Are all relevant stakeholders aware of the gender equality issues?
Is there a clear structure of responsibilities?
Are training facilities available and/or is it possible to make use of external expertise?


STEP 2. LEARNING ABOUT GENDER DIFFERENCES
Are all relevant statistics differentiated by gender?
What is the distribution of male and female employees over the wage structure?
Are women overrepresented among the low paid?
What are the relevant trends in this respect?


STEP 3. ASSESSING THE POLICY IMPACT
Is the equal pay legislation effective at lowering the gender pay gap?
Is there (additional) legislation that obliges social partners to bargain over equal pay?
Are companies required to survey and analyse pay practices on a regular basis?
Are job evaluation measures used on a regular basis?
Do women returners have access to training?
Do policies promote (horizontal and vertical) desegregation of occupations and workplaces?
Are wage policies aimed at reducing wage inequality and improving the remuneration of low-paid and/or female-
dominated jobs?


STEP 4. REDESIGNING POLICY
Given the results of steps 1, 2 and 3, identify ways in which the policy could be redesigned to promote gender
equality. Take into account that gender mainstreaming calls for a more joined-up approach, which may involve
more than one policy area or department.




51


4. Pay and career policies


A quite innovative policy in this respect is provided by the
United Kingdom. Here, the incoming public sector duty
on gender equality will, from April 2007, oblige public
authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate
discrimination and harassment, and promote equality
of opportunity between men and women. It represents a
significant move towards mainstreaming gender equality
issues into employment practice and service delivery
in the public sector, and will require public authorities to
produce a gender equality scheme. In drawing up their
gender equality schemes, public authorities will be under
an obligation to consider the need to have objectives that
address the causes of the gender pay gap and how to
address them. Public authorities will be obliged to carry out
this consideration in consultation with employees and trade
unions, and on the basis of evidence and data.


Infrastructure


The establishment of gender specific institutions may
support the implementation of equal pay legislation. A
few countries mention equal pay working groups. In the
Netherlands, for example, the ‘Equal Pay Working Group’
has been active between January 2006 and March 2007.
This working group was responsible for informing all
relevant parties about equal pay legislation. Moreover,
it attempted to stimulate compliance with this legislation.
In addition to this, the working group examined the
causes of unequal payment and tried to find solutions
to reduce the gender pay gap. In its final document the
working group has made recommendations with respect
to compliance with legislation, the collective agreement as
an instrument to stimulate equal pay, training with respect
to wage negotiations and the role of works councils. In
Finland, several task force groups and forums have been
established to reduce the gender pay gap. For example,
the Minister of Social Affairs and Health appointed a high-
level monitoring group for the period from 1 April 2006 to 31
March 2007. This tripartite monitoring group was assigned
to monitor the implementation of the Equal Pay Programme
and the related action programme. When it is obvious that
the achievement of the objectives of the programme is not
proceeding as planned, the monitoring group undertakes
measures, as necessary, to achieve the agreed objectives.
In Norway in 2006 the government appointed a ‘Commission
on Equal Pay’. In the mandate for the Commission’s work
it is emphasised that the government’s platform is based
on an active labour market policy, in which gender equality
and equality in pay, career and skills development are
crucial elements. The gender pay gap is identified as a
main gender equality problem. The mandate states among
other things that the Commission shall consider measures
that can contribute to reducing gender wage differences.
The consequences for public budgets, the operation of the
labour market and the labour supply are to be considered.


The Norwegian national expert considers the appointment
of the Commission to be an important political signal,
placing the gender pay gap on the political agenda and
revitalising the debate on equal pay.


Availability and dissemination of information


The availability of information is an important starting point
when tackling the gender pay gap. Moreover, dissemination
of information is an important tool to raise awareness of
the extent and seriousness of the problem. The national
reports provide a variety of measures in this respect.
Innovative examples include legislation to oblige employers
to provide data on wages. In Denmark, after a long period
of discussion, the ‘Law of Equal Pay for Men and Women’
was altered in the summer of 2006 and now includes the
obligation to provide enterprise statistics, broken down by
gender. This is restricted to enterprises with a minimum
of 35 employees, and groups where a minimum of 10
women and 10 men hold the same job. In Italy, public
and private firms employing more than 100 employees
have an obligation to provide statistical information on the
employment conditions of their employees broken down by
gender every two years (1991 Law on Positive Actions; art.
9, Act 125/1991). The companies have to give the report
to the local equality advisers and to the trade unions at the
company level. These reports could be used by equality
advisers and/or trade unions to tackle horizontal and vertical
segregation, as well as the gender pay gap at the company
level. In Spring 2006, the Ministry of Labour announced
that new software for the submission of these reports was
made available (at an experimental level). According to the
Italian national expert this can be considered a significant
development for the implementation of the obligation. In
Portugal since 2004, all employers, with the exception of
central, regional and local administrations, public institutes
and other collective public entities, as well as employers
of domestic service workers, are obliged during the month
of November to display in a visible place (or for online
consultation) for a period of at least 30 days, the list of their
staff indicating each employee’s earnings (Law no. 35/2004,
of 29 July, Articles 452 to 457 and 490). This information
must be made available to the public authorities, as well as,
on demand, to trade unions and employers associations.


Job evaluation


According to EU legislation, men and women should be
paid equally for equal work or work of equal value. In order
to determine the value of a job, job evaluation systems are
often used, which, however, may be (in)directly discriminat-
ing against women. It is therefore important that a critical
assessment of system-specific characteristics and criteria
is made. In several countries policy initiatives are taken




52


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


aimed at the development and application of gender-neutral
systems of job evaluation (comparable worth strategy). In
Belgium, for example, the EVA project has been launched.
‘EVA’ stands for analytical EVAluation and its goal is to
bring the social partners and the industries a step closer
to a gender-neutral system. Within this project three objec-
tives are pursued. A first objective is revision of the existing
training programme, organisation of new training courses
and sensitisation of the social partners. Secondly, the gen-
der effect of the development and the introduction of ana-
lytical methods on wages is analysed. The third objective is
the design of a universal analytical gender-neutral job clas-
sification method to analyse all job types. In Luxembourg,
the government and the social partners have committed
themselves to analysing systems of job classification with
respect to discrimination. The Ministry for Equal Opportuni-
ties with the Chamber of Commerce and private employ-
ees provide training courses on gender-neutral evaluations
of job classifications for firm managers.


Yet another example is provided by Austria. In 2000, the
Austrian Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour
commissioned a research project on non-discriminatory
work evaluation and work organisation. The research
project was completed in 2002 and published by the Minis-
try for Health and Women in 2003. Building on the experi-
ence and results of this research project, in 2004 a guide-
line for the application of non-discriminatory analytical work
evaluation scheme was drawn up. The guideline offers a
summary of information on the most important terms and
legal bases, conditions, instruments and examples for the
application of non-discriminatory analytical work evalua-
tion. According to the preface by the Minister for Health and
Women, the guideline is intended to provide information
both for employees and employers, and to encourage them
to implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal
value. In Iceland, job evaluation schemes have a long his-
tory in the municipality sector. In recent years, the munici-
palities have made an effort to implement job evaluation
schemes that should enable them to implement equal pay
for work of comparable worth. The City of Reykjavík togeth-
er with the Association of Icelandic Municipalities has been
at the forefront in implementing a job evaluation system as
a means to achieve equal pay.


Segregation


Horizontal as well as vertical segregation is an important
explanation of the gender pay gap. Several countries have
formulated equal opportunities policies aiming at reducing
this segregation. Policies to reduce horizontal segregation
generally focus on young girls in order to encourage them
to consider a wider range of occupational options, and to
opt for science and technology instead of caring, cleaning
and catering. The Greek national expert mentions a pro-


gramme that aims at promoting gender equality in second-
ary education and post-secondary initial training. Among
others, actions include training teachers in detecting gen-
der inequalities in school curricula and classes, using vo-
cational guidance and counselling services of schools to
combat gender stereotypes in occupational choices, en-
couragement of girls to participate in initial training courses
in specialties where women are under-represented, and
support for girls in their transition from school to work. The
Norwegian national expert mentions the project ‘girls and
technology in the southern part of Norway’ as an exam-
ple of a policy initiative to reduce horizontal segregation.
This is a co-operation between NHO, the main Norwegian
employer federation, and two counties. The objective is to
increase girls’ interest in technology in order to broaden the
supply of skilled labour in a longer-term perspective. This
project is considered a success as the number of girls that
choose technological fields of education increased by 30%
in one year.


For women over the age of 25, the Austrian government
has developed a ‘skilling offensive’ with the emphasis
on craft-technical occupations and new technologies,
consciousness-building and support in the choice of oc-
cupation and extension of the occupational spectrum
for women. In Slovenia, one of the four qualitative aims
for equal opportunities of men and women is a decrease
of vertical and horizontal segregation and gender pay gap.
In Lithuania, policy measures are foreseen to promote
lifelong learning and to decrease gender segregation in
school curriculum. A positive example is also provided in
the report on the United Kingdom. In 2003 the government
announced new initiatives to encourage women into sci-
ence. The total budget allocated is £1.5 billion, of which
more than half will go on a science resource centre to work
with employers to improve recruitment and retention. It will
do this by coordinating existing activity, prmoting good
practice, identifying and rewarding good employers, raising
the profile of women in science and building a database of
expert women.


Policies to reduce vertical segregation generally aim to
increase the number of women in high-level and/or man-
agement jobs. A number of policy measures have been
implemented in Greece since the beginning of the 2000s
aimed at equality in career opportunities. Most of them
are still in operation and funded by the European Struc-
tural Funds. One example is the 30% quota for women’s
representation on promotion panels in the public sec-
tor. Another example is the scheme of ‘positive actions
in favour of women in large firms and SMEs’, that aims
at supporting the career advancement of women in firms
and the upgrading of their skills. Eligible actions include
information and sensitisation of female workers regard-
ing the goals of the programme, counselling and training,
improvement of educational attainment, teleworking and




53


4. Pay and career policies


the creation of a care infrastructure. The Slovenian na-
tional expert refers to a project, started in 2005 and funded
within the EU initiative Equal, which is directed at improve-
ment of career building and vertical mobility of women. In
Spain, the Optima Programme favours women’s access
to decision-making positions. In 2003 a total of 61 enter-
prises participated in this programme and obtained the
Optima certificate.


In Norway ‘women and management’ has been a major
issue in the public debate in recent years, and there
have been several policy measures to reduce the gender
imbalance. The most prominent public policy measure is
the Public Limited Companies Act, enforced on 1 January
2006. This act imposes a gender balance (approximately
40/60%) in the boards of all privately owned public limited
companies (ASA), amounting to about 500 companies.
Establishments that have not obtained a gender balance
by 2008 will be sanctioned. Similar laws were already in
force for wholly state-owned companies. Other initiatives
aiming at recruiting more women managers include the
development of a database with qualified women, which
now includes about 6,000 women and the project ‘Female
Future’, a project started by NHO, the main Norwegian
employer federation, in cooperation with public sector
actors, Innovation Norway and some counties. Companies
are members of the project and they select talented women
from their staff who get particular training. Five hundred
women will be involved between 2006 and 2008. Moreover,
NHO has established its own database of potential female
board members.


Wage policies


Finally wage policies should be mentioned as an important
policy lever to address the issue of equal pay. Wage
policies in this respect may vary from the introduction of
a mandatory minimum wage, thereby setting a floor to the
wage structure, the centralisation of the system of wage
bargaining, thereby decreasing inter-industry and inter-
firm wage differentials, and the revaluing of low paid and/
or female-dominated jobs, for example as part of an anti-
poverty or equality strategy. The prospect for a successful
implementation of such a wage strategy does not seem
to be very promising, however, given the current emphasis
on decentralised or even individualised systems of wage
setting. Yet some examples of beneficial wage policies are
available. In Ireland, the National Minimum Wage (NMW)
was introduced on 1 April 2000 at a level of £4.40 (equivalent
to €5.58), rising to €8.30 per hour in February 2007. The
NMW has a role to play in narrowing wage differentials
because women tend to occupy a greater proportion of
low-paid jobs. In Lithuania, the minimum hourly payments
and minimum monthly wages have been increased by
11%. According to the national expert this is an important


development with regard to closing the gender pay gap. In
the United Kingdom, the statutory National Minimum Wage
was introduced in 1999 and subsequently up-rated. Though
gender mainstreaming was not a major consideration in
this policy, given that women are over-represented among
the low-paid it has played a role in closing the pay gap by
improving their relative wage position.


Lithuania provides an example of improving the remuneration
of female-dominated jobs. In 2006, the government
increased the wages in some female-dominated public
sectors of economy. The average earnings of employees
in all categories in health care institutions were raised by
nearly one third (31.6%) in 2006 and will be raised by an
additional 20% in 2007. In education the wages were raised
by 5-25%, depending on different categories; an increase of
average wages for lecturers/professors in higher education
of 20% is planned for July 2007. Since October 2006 the
wages for social workers and employees in the institutions
of Culture and Arts have been raised by 20%.


Involvement of social partners


In most countries social partners are important actors
regarding wage setting. As such, their involvement with
respect to the gender pay gap may be essential. Several
national reports provide best practices. In France on
1 March 2004, the national inter-sector agreement was
signed. One part of the agreement is on equal pay
and contains three articles. One article refers to
the desire of the parties for the principle of equal pay
between men and women for work of the same value
to be effectively implemented. A second article estimates
the residual gender pay gap as being 5%, which cannot be
explained and therefore appears to be discriminatory. The
signatories of the agreement expect the implementation
of measures to lead to a significant reduction of this
gap in the medium term. The third article states that
when a gender pay gap in average wages is objectively
observed, occupational sectors and companies should
make its reduction a priority. In Slovenia, the president of
the biggest trade-union confederation, the Association of
Free Trade Unions of Slovenia, has called upon member
trade unions to introduce the gender pay gap problem
into the collective bargaining agenda. A positive example
is also provided by Slovakia. The Slovak Republic
Confederation of Trade Unions prepared and implemented
the project Equal opportunities policies for men and women
in Trade Unions years 2002-2004. The main aim of the
project was to promote the agenda for equality and
opportunity in the labour market. One part of the project
was focused on strengthening the principle of equal pay
at all levels of collective bargaining. According to the
national expert, however, the impact of the project was
rather limited.




54


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Conclusions


Despite long standing legislation on equal pay, wom-
en in Europe still earn less than men. The persist-
ence of the gender pay gap emphasises the need for
multi-faceted policies targeted both on increasing the
female participation rate as well as on institutional fac-
torssuch as the overall level of inequality. The ulti-
mate policy mix may depend on national particularities


and the prevailing analysis of the origins of the gender pay
gap. Although some best practices are mentioned, most
experts indicate that the gender pay gap has a rather low
profile both in the public debate and in the policy agenda
(see Box 7). One of the main problems seems to be that
there is no real owner of the problem, as nobody feels
responsible for the gender pay gap. Organising politi-
cal support for closing the gap seems to be an important
challenge for the near future.


Box 7: Gender mainstreaming of pay and career policies in 30 European countries


BE The gender wage gap/gender career gap is an issue that has recently been placed high on the agenda by
policy-makers responsible for equal opportunities. However, since the basic legal framework to guarantee
equal pay to women and men was put in place, only haphazard legislative attention has been given to gender
equality in pay. There is no mainstreaming approach of potentially adverse effects of new legislation.


BG The problem for the country is the low level of pay and that is why the focus of policy is directed towards
improving the quality of employment.


CZ Wage policy and tackling the gender pay gap are not on the policy agenda and never have been during the tran-
sition or in the past couple of years.


DK The most important policy document of recent years, the Welfare Agreement, does not discuss pay or equal
pay as part of the future welfare policy, and the Ministry of Equality does not mention equal pay as one of the
three main goals in 2007.


DE The government plays a limited role in wage setting policy and in career policy outside the public sector. As
such, the government does not seem to implement its own legal obligation with respect to equal pay and clos-
ing the gender wage gap.


EE In the action plan of the Ministry of Social Affairs a target is set to reduce the gender pay gap, yet concrete
programmes are not pursued.


IE No new policies have been introduced to tackle gender pay gaps. However, policies towards increasing the
minimum wage and indexing welfare payments are likely to benefi t women, particularly those on low pay and
in low-income households.


EL There has never been any attempt to gender mainstream wage policy. However, a number of measures
deployed in the fi eld of career policy are expected to have an indirect positive impact on tackling the gap
through their direct effect on desegregation of employment by gender.


ES The relatively low participation of women in negotiations for collective agreements, the complexity of new
concepts like the equal pay principle for work of equal value, and the lack of training in equal opportunities
prevents further development of the gender mainstreaming strategy to close the wage gap.


FR French law incorporates unequal pay in a gender mainstreaming approach. It provides for gender main-
streaming in pay bargaining and no pay agreement should escape this principle. The law offers the possibility
of penalties, but so far these have not been used.


IT The gender pay gap is not on the agenda of policy-makers, nor it is considered as a critical issue in collective
bargaining. The crucial problem is not so much the gender pay gap, but the gender employment gap.


CY There is no specifi c policy targeted at closing the gender wage gap. Raising the minimum wage to half of the
median national wage seems a positive step, since most minimum wage jobs are held by women. However,
this effect is not yet seen.


LV The Ministry of Welfare has recognised the gender pay gap. Nevertheless, neither action plans nor studies
are available specifi cally on the gender pay gap.


LT The gender pay gap and segregation of labour market are recognised as urgent problems. Recently some
positive actions were taken in order to improve the situation; for example in 2006 the government increased
wages in some mostly feminised public sectors of economy such as health care and education.




55


4. Pay and career policies


LU The gender pay/employment gap is an issue that has recently been placed high on the national policy
agenda. Initiatives to tackle the gender pay gap concern the positive action programme and training
targeted at female returners. In addition, since the law of 30 June 2004, collective bargaining has to include
a provision concerning the implementation of the principle of equal pay between men and women.


HU Pay and career policy plays only a limited role in employment policy.


MT Reducing the gender pay gap is not a priority.


NL The new government seems to be applying a slightly more ‘offensive’ strategy with regard to the gender pay
gap. However, it is unclear whether new policy efforts will be developed. There are no indications of gender
mainstreaming in pay-related policy areas such as social security and the labour market..


AT Little has been done over recent years to substantially reduce the gender pay gap. The few initiatives the
government has taken mainly dealt with funding research projects, awareness raising and/or the provision of
information/tools for narrowing the gender pay gap. There are several gender-mainstreaming initiatives at the
level of collective agreements.


PL The gender pay gap is not high on the political, social or economic agenda. Concrete programmes are not
pursued.


PT Since 2002 the gender pay gap has almost disappeared from the political agenda. The orientation of the
present government seems to be to leave the search for gender pay gap solutions to the social dialogue fi eld.


RO Gender issues are not on the political agenda.


SI Recently the gender pay gap entered the public debate. The topic appears in public policy documents (such
as NAP/NRPs on employment) and social partners (mainly trade unions) started to put it on their agendas.


SK The gender pay gap is not suffi ciently refl ected in the relevant policy documents. Also the social partners still
pay little attention to equal pay.


FI The gender pay gap has been in public discussion quite often. Several task force groups and forums have
been established in order to reduce the gap. The gap got much publicity in connection with the revision of the
Law on Gender Equality during 2003-2005.


SE The issue of equal pay is regulated in the Equal Opportunities Act and the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman
will ensure the proper functioning of this act. Compliance with the law has improved as regards identifi ca-
tion and analysis of gender-based pay differentials by individual employers and the adoption of appropriate
measures.


UK The government has introduced many recent measures to promote gender equality in pay and career
opportunities, such as the ‘gender duty’ in the 2006 Equality Act. However, the overall policy approach
focuses upon supply-side issues, and particularly that of mobilising the low skilled and inactive into
employment. Efforts to change employers’ practices are smaller scale and mostly voluntary


IS The current government has had a clear commitment to pay equality among men and women. However,
measures aimed at tackling the gender pay gap have, so far, been limited in scope and constrained to the
municipality level.


LI The gender pay gap is not an issue for political debate. There is no empirical information on income avail-
able. Under the aegis of gender mainstreaming it has become a little easier to argue for the necessity of data
collection and – at least for the public sector – the fi rst steps in collecting such data and fi nally assessing the
gender pay gap are now being taken.


NO Equality in women and men’s wages is one of the longest standing issues on the gender equality agenda.
In 2006 the government appointed a ‘Commission on Equal Pay’. The appointment of the commission is an
important political signal, placing the gender pay gap on the political agenda and revitalising the debate on
equal pay. The commission’s proposals for future strategies will include measures outside the wage settle-
ment processes.


Source: National reports.






57


In the Roadmap for equality between women and men, the
reconciliation of work, private and family life is presented
as one of the six priority areas of action for gender equality.
According to the Roadmap ‘services and structures are
adapting too slowly to a situation where both women and
men work. Few men take parental leave or work part-time
(7.4% compared to 32.6% for women); women remain
the main carers of children and other dependants. Men
should be encouraged to take up family responsibilities, in
particular through incentives to take parental and paternity
leaves and to share leave entitlements with women’ (CEC
2006: 5). In the Roadmap it is emphasised that reconciliation
policy not only serves to improve gender equality; it is
also a necessary condition for the achievement of the EU
objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion. In
fact, the need to create a flexible economy, using the full
potential of the workforce, the changing family forms and
the demographic pressure from an ageing population have
made the reconciliation of work and family one of the major
topics on the European social agenda.


Reconciliation policies can be defined as policies
that directly support the combination of professional
family and private life. As such they may refer to a wide
variety of policies ranging from childcare services,
leave facilities, flexible working arrangements to other
reconciliation policies such as financial allowances for
working partners (Plantenga & Remery 2005, 25). A gender
mainstreaming perspective in the domain of reconciliation
is to a certain extent established in so far as most European
governments recognise the impact of care responsibilities
on women’s employment. Yet countries differ in their policy
responses and in their implicit or explicit focus on gender
equality. Some countries encourage the supply of public
and private services, others improve the opportunities to
work part-time hours. Some still consider reconciliation a
woman’s affair, whereas others recognise the role of men
in care and family responsibilities (mainly encouraging
taking up or improving paternity leave schemes). See Box
8 for a checklist of gender mainstreaming of reconciliation
policies.


5. Reconciliation policies


Box 8: Gender mainstreaming of reconciliation policies


STEP 1. GETTING ORGANISED
Are there any guidelines or targets set with regard to reconciliation policies?
Are all relevant stakeholders aware of the gender equality issues?
Is there a clear structure of responsibilities?
Are training facilities available and/or is it possible to make use of external expertise?


STEP 2. LEARNING ABOUT GENDER DIFFERENCES
Are all relevant statistics differentiated by gender?
Are there leave provisions to cope with care of elderly adults?
What is the take-up of leave facilities by gender?
What is the coverage rate of childcare facilities by age group?
What are the trends in this respect?


STEP 3. ASSESSING THE POLICY IMPACT
What is the impact of leave in terms of labour market behaviour?
Do leave arrangements for parents promote or discourage attachment to the labour market?
Do policies promote equal sharing of care responsibilities?
Is there evidence of commitment to meet childcare coverage targets and to provide affordable,
high quality childcare?
Are opening hours for childcare compatible with full-time employment?
Are there childcare facilities for those engaged in lifelong learning?


STEP 4. REDESIGNING POLICY
Given the results of steps 1, 2 and 3, identify ways in which the policy could be redesigned to promote gender
equality. Take into account that gender mainstreaming calls for a more joined-up approach, which may involve
more than one policy area or department.




58


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Leave facilities


Leave facilities are an important element of reconciliation
policy. Especially when children are young, time-related
provisions such as leave arrangements and career
breaks are extremely important for combining work and
private life. Since 1996, national policy in the field of leave
arrangements has been underpinned by a European
directive which obliges Member States to introduce
legislation on parental leave to enable parents to care
full-time for their child over a period of three months.
In principle this refers to an individual, non-transferable
entitlement. This directive ensures that a certain minimum
standard is guaranteed within the Member States. Over
and above this, however, there is a broad range of
national regulations. The duration of parental leave, for
example, differs substantially, ranging from the period
until the child’s third birthday in some countries to only
three months in others. Also level of payment varies widely,
with some countries providing unpaid leave, while other
countries compensate leave takers more or less for their
loss of earnings. In addition to differences in length and
level of payment, parental leave can be organised along
family or individual lines. If the former is used as the basis,
parents are in a position to decide who will make use of the
parental leave allocated to the family. If both parents have
an individual, non-transferable entitlement to parental leave
then both can claim a period of leave. If one parent does
not take advantage of this entitlement the right expires.
Especially in the ten new Member States, parental leave is
often framed as a family right (see for a detailed overview
of leave entitlements Plantenga & Remery 2005; Fagan &
Hebson 2005).


The wide variety in leave regulations makes the actual
policy choices rather diverse. Some countries report a
lengthening of the leave facilities and an improvement of
the level of payment. Other countries report a shortening of
the leave period, an increase in the flexibility or a change
in entitlements. The actual policy choices are likely to
depend to a large extent on the different starting points,
the current situation of the labour market and the gender
equality challenge. Practically all countries, though, report
an uneven involvement of men. Some countries react
with specific regulations with regard to the father’s take-
up of leave, others remain rather passive, considering
reconciliation to be mainly a female issue.


Extending leave entitlements


In Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands both
maternity and parental leave facilities used to be relatively
short. In addition, parental leave was unpaid. In recent
years, however, these countries have lengthened the leave
entitlements and increased the level of financial support. In


Ireland, maternity leave was extended by four weeks in 2006
and further weeks are promised for 2007 bringing paid leave
to 26 weeks. In addition, maternity leave payments have
been increased from 70% to 80% of reckonable earnings.
Parental leave entitlement has also been increased which,
while it continues to be unpaid, can potentially be combined
with maternity leave to establish a new leave entitlement
of 56 weeks in 2007, 26 of which are paid at 80% of pay
(for those with a sufficient employment record payment).
In addition, the maximum age for an eligible child under
parental leave entitlements has been raised from five to
eight years. In the United Kingdom, statutory maternity
rights were extended in 2002 and improved further under
the Employment Act 2003, which also introduced new rights
for paid paternity leave. Further improvements were made
in 2007 with the implementation of the Work and Families
Act (2006). This implies that from 1 April 2007 all employed
mothers are entitled to a 12-month leave period regardless
of the length of services or number of hours worked. At
the same time the statutory maternity payment has risen
from six months to nine months, with goals to extend this
period to 12 months by the end of the Parliament. Finally, in
the Netherlands, the new government agreed to extend the
length of parental leave from 13 to 26 weeks.


A less straightforward example is provided by Portugal.
Portuguese mothers can now choose between having a
120-day maternity leave at full pay (which was the previous
regulation) or a 150-day maternity leave paid at an 80%
rate. At the workplaces, some of the reactions to these new
regulations have been somewhat ambivalent, because
poor working mothers cannot afford to lose a month’s
salary (which is what the 150-day leave represents), and
feel they are victims of social injustice and at the same time
guilty of being ‘bad mothers’ for choosing to return to work
one month sooner. In turn, employers tend to see those
choosing to stay the fifth month as less devoted workers
and apply pressure for an earlier return to work (especially
if mothers belong to the higher categories of personnel).


The Portuguese example already makes clear that al-
though leave facilities are an important means of rec-
onciling work and family, the outcomes in terms of
gender equality may be rather ambivalent or even
negative, especially if the leave is long and/or the
take-up of leave is highly gender biased. The fact that
leave regulations imply by definition distance from the la-
bour market and instead facilitate (care) time, makes these
regulations sensitive to the risk of reinforcing traditional op-
tions relating to care and work. The result may be problems
for reintegration of women back into the labour market as
well as a reinforcing of the gender division of labour. In Fin-
land, for example, the well-developed system of leave fa-
cilities seems to cause new forms of discrimination against
young women entering the labour market. According to
the Finnish national expert, many share the opinion that




59


5. Reconciliation policies


the increased proportion of fixed-term employment among
young, well educated women is to a certain extent a con-
sequence of employers’ fear of the costs they might incur
from motherhood.


Shortening leave entitlements


The negative and gender-biased impact of long leave
periods may of course be overcome by shortening the
statutory right. An important example in this respect is
provided by Germany. In January 2007, a new income
replacement scheme (Elterngeld) was set up, covering a
period of one year and paying two thirds of the former salary.
This supersedes the former income replacement scheme
(Erziehungsgeld), which provided flat rate benefits for up
to two years after childbirth subject to an earning’s ceiling.
According to the German national expert, the new Elterngeld
represents a change in the paradigm of German family policy
as it recognizes that mothers are ‘employed’ people who
need income replacement during the period of childcare. In
comparison with the former Erziehungsgeld, the period of
entitlement has been reduced from two years to one year as
a reaction to the critique that the withdrawal from the labour
market had been rather long. Elterngeld is paid for two
additional months in cases where the father also takes the
leave, prolonging the entitlement period to a maximum of
14 months. The logic of the new scheme has been criticised,
though, because after one year it is hardly possible to return
to employment because of a lack of childcare facilities for
young children.


Facilitating the combination of leave
entitlements and paid employment


Another remedy for the negative effects of long leaves is to
create more opportunities for leave takers to participate in
the labour market. Examples of this strategy are provided
by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. In the
Czech Republic, since 2004, parents on parental leave
(which covers a period of three years) have been allowed
to engage in paid employment without any limitations on
the amount of earnings, while at the same time receiving
parental allowances. From February 2006 it is also possible
for a parent who is collecting a parental allowance to use
public childcare services for up to four hours a day for a
child older than three years. This may be helpful for mothers
trying to return to the labour market, as in the fourth year of
parental leave they lose the right to return to their original
employment. Also in Hungary (with a parental leave system
of two years, mainly taken up by women) the conditions for
paid employment for parents on leave have been relaxed.
As of January 2007, parents receiving child homecare
allowance are allowed to take up or return to fulltime
employment after the child is one year old. This means that


young parents receiving childcare allowance (gyes) can
keep both their jobs and their entitlement to the childcare
allowance. The final example is provided by Slovakia
(with a parental leave of three years). Whereas previous
legislation strongly reduced the parental benefit of working
parents, since July 2005 new legislation has enabled the
parents with a child under three years old (i.e. the parent on
parental leave) to work without any consequences for the
parental benefit. The only existing condition is that the child
is not visiting the state childcare facility.


Although the combination of parental leave and paid work
offers a solution for long periods of absence, the status of
‘leave’ as a transitional stage between being ‘active’ and
‘non-active’ in the labour market becomes rather blurred.
In fact, if parents may combine leave benefits with gainful
employment, the actual facility resembles a childcare
allowance rather than a facility granting time off the labour
market. In this respect, the policy development in Austria
resembles those in the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Slovakia, although the starting points are different. In Austria,
in 2002, the parental leave benefit for working parents was
replaced by the childcare benefit (Kinderbetreuungsgeld)
for all mothers (or fathers) independent of their employment
status, although limited by an income ceiling of €14,600
per annum. As a result, unlike the previous parental leave
payment, the entitlement to childcare benefit is no longer
related to current or previous work status nor to whether a
parent actually takes care of the child, but only to whether
the claimant’s income is below €14,600 per annum.
According to the Austrian national expert, the effects of the
replacement of the parental leave benefit by the childcare
benefit are significant in two respects. First, the decoupling
of parental leave and the claim to benefit has led to the
fact that more fathers draw childcare benefit (2005: approx.
3.3%) because unemployed, studying or self-employed
fathers may now claim the benefit. Second, the lengthening
of the period over which the benefit may be claimed has
led to, on average, longer labour market absences among
women, resulting in massive re-entry problems.


Another possible effect of the introduction of a childcare
benefit, independent of the actual labour market position,
is that it increases the differences between women. De-
pending on the specifics of the actual policies, each par-
ent may choose its own optimal combination of money,
time and services, creating different trajectories for young
parents. While such a policy may be defended with a ref-
erence towards individual choice, there is a real risk that
the introduction of such individualised schemes creates
a disincentive for labour market participation, especially
for women with a low earning capacity. Several national
experts already report developments in that direction. In
Sweden, for example, there is to be an investigation into
whether municipalities should be allowed to pay a child-
raising allowance until the child is three years old, so long




60


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


as the child does not use publicly financed childcare. It is
expected that women with limited possibilities in the labour
market and with bigger problems combining employment
and care will use the child-raising allowance. This might
imply lower employment rates or lower work hours, par-
ticularly for immigrant and single mothers. The French na-
tional expert is even more explicit in this respect, stating
that current French practices concerning work-life balance
reinforce social inequality amongst women. On the one
hand, for highly qualified women, access to employment
and even a career is increased thanks to childcare provi-
sions. On the other hand, for less qualified women, leave
facilities enable them to withdraw from the labour market
for a longer period of time.


The involvement of fathers


In practically all countries there are major differences in
the take-up between women and men. Even in countries
in which the take-up of leave among fathers is relatively
favourable, the duration of the leave taken by men is most
of the time shorter, as a result of which the labour market
(and care) impact of the take-up is less pronounced. One of
the most positive examples comes from Sweden. Here the
proportion of all parental allowance days used by fathers
increased from 7% in 1990 to 20% in 2005. In Finland, the
proportion of fathers using at least some form of family
leave has increased to almost 70% in 2003. Although this
is a quite impressive percentage, only 4.3% of all parental
leave days are taken by men because of the relative short
duration of men’s parental leave. There has been much
discussion in the recent years about fathers’ participation
in the care of children and use of family leaves. The target
of getting fathers to take more responsibility has even
been written into the Action Plan of the government in
2003. A survey carried out in 2004 showed that Finnish
employees quite unanimously (89%) think that fathers
should participate more in the care of children. At the
same time, the majority’s (57%) experience is that men
are not encouraged sufficiently by work organisations
to use different family leaves. According to opinions the
atmosphere at workplaces is much more in favour of
mothers’ family leaves.


The involvement of men in the care of small children may be
promoted by specific arrangements, such as paternity leave
or specific regulations with regard to a father’s take-up of
parental leave. In Portugal, for example, male employees
have a fully paid parental leave of 15 days. In Spain, the new
Gender Equality Law grants a non-transferable additional
paternity leave of eight days (compared to the previous two
days leave). Paternity rights have also been extended in
Lithuania. Since July 2006, fathers are entitled to one month
paternity leave starting from the birth of a child. During this
period the fathers receive a benefit amounting to 100% of


previously earned wages. A necessary precondition of the
benefit is, however, that the parents are married; cohabiting
couples are not included. Finally in the United Kingdom,
the government plans to give fathers a right to take up to 26
weeks ‘additional paternity leave’ (APL) before the child’s
first birthday, some of which may be paid if the mother
returns to work after six months but before the end of her
maternity leave period. The government plans to introduce
this alongside the extension of maternity pay to 12 months
‘before the end of this Parliament’. The objective is to
enable fathers to take a greater role in bringing up their
children, and allowing mothers who wish to return to work
earlier to do so; thus providing scope for a more equitable
division of paid leave between mothers and fathers.


Other countries have introduced specific regulations with
regard to the father’s take-up of parental leave. Most well
known in this respect are the Norwegian ‘daddy days’; the
‘daddy’ quota was expanded from four to five weeks in 2005
and to six weeks in 2006. Italy also has a father’s friendly
specific provision. In this country, both working parents
have the right to a total of ten months leave, to be divided
with maximum flexibility. Of these ten months, the mother
has the right to a maximum of six months starting from the
end of her obligatory maternity leave. The father also has
six months of optional leave. However, in order to favour
the sharing of family responsibilities and the prompt return
of the mother (who has already had obligatory maternity
leave) to the workplace, if the father decides to take more
than three months optional leave, the couple is entitled to
an extra month, thus having a total of 11 months at their
disposal. Furthermore, both parents can use sickness leave
for their children (unlimited for the first three years, limited to
five days a year for children aged three to eight). A negative
example is provided by Denmark. Here leave entitlements
have been extended since 2002. At the same time, parental
leave was organised as a family right without weeks
being reserved for the father. As expected, the extension
furthered inequality. Women extended their maternity/
parental leave by around 50%, using the greater part of the
shared parental leave. Currently, mothers take on average
39 weeks, fathers less than 3 weeks leave.


A new fiscal policy to stimulate the equal sharing of leave
facilities is proposed by Sweden. The details are not
completely worked out yet, but the ‘gender equality bonus’
implies that the parent who has the lowest earnings –
usually the mother – will receive a tax reduction when she
starts working after the parental leave and the father starts
taking parental leave. To receive the whole tax reduction
the mother has to go back to a full-time position. If she goes
back and works half days, the tax reduction will be half
the amount. The gender equality bonus might strengthen
the fathers’ caring of their children, but this policy might
also tend to maintain women’s part-time work, since the
gender equality bonus allows for part-time work but then




61


5. Reconciliation policies


with a smaller tax deduction. If the gender equality bonus
is combined with the voluntary municipal child-raising
allowance, these policies might halt or even reverse the
trend of the mother’s declining part-time work.


Other countries like Iceland and the Netherlands rely on
the fact that parental level rights are individualised and
non-transferable and/or on the fact that parental leave is
paid. Although strict comparisons are not possible, it seems
likely that the father’s use of parental leave is particularly low
if the parental leave is organised along family lines and not
well-paid. The Greek national expert, for example, comments
on the fact that in Greece the paid leave is a transferable
right of the mother to which the father is entitled only if the
mother does not make use of it: ‘This means that gender
mainstreaming is not applied in the case of childcare leave,
since the underlying logic of leave is to enable mothers (and
not parents) to cope with care duties’. In Belgium, the social-
ist party has proposed to increase the duration of parental
leave from three to six months. In addition, parental leave
would no longer be granted as an individual right. Instead,
it would be possible for parents to freely choose how to di-
vide the total period of 12 months. According to the Belgian
national expert, the results of such a policy change would
be clearly negative as the take-up of parental leave would
almost surely get even more feminised. In short, if govern-
ments are serious about getting fathers to use care-related
leave, than the key requirements are that the leave is paid
and non-transferable.


Innovative developments


Some countries have developed or are developing new,
innovative working-time arrangements that (may) support
the reconciliation of work and private life. A well-known
example in this respect is the career-break scheme in
Belgium, which was introduced in 1985. After some
alterations, the current career break system in the private
sector gives employees the following possibilities:


a complete suspension or a half-time reduction with •
a duration of one year over the whole career. An
extension is possible by a collective labour agreement
(at sector- or company-level) but with a maximum of
five years. This is valid for all employees irrespective
of their age;


a 1/5th working-time career reduction with a duration •
of five years over the whole career. This is valid for all
full-time employees irrespective of their age;


a half-time or 1/5th reduction without maximum duration •
(available up to retirement age) for employees aged
50 and over who have been employed for 20 years
or more.


In the public sector there are similar rights in most services,
with the same provisions but with a longer duration than the
private sector: six years of complete suspension and six
years of work-time reduction. Contrary to the private sector
there is no threshold with respect to the amount of people
taking a career break at the same time. The statutes can
however provide certain limitations to avoid organisational
problems. In the Netherlands the life-course scheme came
into effect in January 2006. According to this scheme,
individual employees should get more opportunities to
combine work with other activities. Employees may save
up to 12% of their gross annual income tax-free for a
‘life-course product’. The maximum amount to be saved
corresponds with 2.1 years of leave with 70% of the last
gross salary. Employees may use it to finance a period of
(unpaid) leave during their career. However, employees
have no legal right to a period of leave; employers have
to approve the request for leave, with the exception of
leave regulated by the Work and Care Act. As the scheme
has only recently been introduced, a full assessment is
still difficult. Nevertheless a gender impact assessment
indicated that the scheme may increase gender differences
as it seems likely that women will use their savings in
order to finance a period of parental leave, while men will
use their savings for re-training and/or early retirement
(Keuzekamp 2004).


Services


In addition to leave facilities, personal services are ex-
tremely important in the life of working parents. This applies
in particular to childcare services, as care responsibilities
constitute a major obstacle to full employment. The impor-
tance of measures in this area has long been recognised
by the European Council and Union. In March 1992 the Eu-
ropean Council passed a recommendation on childcare to
the effect that Member States ‘should take and/or progres-
sively encourage initiatives to enable women and men to
reconcile their occupational family and upbringing respon-
sibilities arising from the care of children’ (92/241/EEC).
Ten years later, at the 2002 Barcelona Summit, the aims
were formulated more explicitly and targets were set with
regard to childcare. Confirming the goal of full employment,
the European Council agreed that Member States should
remove disincentives to female labour force participation
and, taking into account the demand for childcare facilities
and in line with national patterns of provision, strive to pro-
vide childcare by 2010 to at least 90% of children between
three years old and the mandatory school age and at least
33% of children under three years of age. Although compa-
rability is severely hampered by a lack of harmonised sta-
tistics, national evidence suggests that in most countries
the Barcelona childcare targets are far from being reached.
At the same time we have to acknowledge that there are
large differences between countries.




62


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


The availability of childcare services


In a few countries childcare is framed as a social right.
This applies for Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland.
In December 2004 the Danish Parliament passed
an amendment to the act on guarantees of childcare
(Familieministeriet 2004). From July 2005, all municipalities
have to offer a guarantee of childcare from the age of six
months until the school age of six years. If the municipality
fails to supply day care facilities for a child the parents are
entitled to economic compensation corresponding to private
care, with a maximum of the costs of day care facilities for
children in the age group. In Iceland, it is the child who has
the right to a place in public childcare and not the parents.
Since the first law on childcare services came into force
in 1974, an emphasis has been put on developing the
educational and pedagogical role of the childcare services.
During these years, both the names of the childcare facilities
and the professional title of the trained staff has been
changed to underline even further that childcare is a part of
the school system. The facilities are now called pre-primary
schools (leikskólar) and the title of trained staff is pre-
primary schoolteacher (leikskólakennari). Today, children
can enter pre-primary schools from the age of zero to
five years or until they start primary school at the age of six.


In Norway, unlike the other Scandinavian countries,
childcare services are not a social right. Yet, since the
late 1980’s, full coverage has been the common political
goal for care services. Declining prices have increased the
demand for childcare, thus further escalating the pressure
on providing full coverage. The price reform has also
increased the demand for full-time places. One reason for
this is the high quality of childcare institutions, which are
strictly regulated with regard to pedagogical competence,
staff/child ratios and physical space. Also in Slovenia, a
full coverage of childcare services has been supported by
a suitable legislative and institutional framework. Unlike
many other countries in Eastern and Central Europe that
underwent economic and political transition at the end of
the last century, in Slovenia the importance and availability
of public care services did not diminish after the transition.
Most women choose to stay at home for one year (taking up
the whole length of their maternity/parental leave) and then
to return to full-time work. Yet another example is France.
For a long time the childcare system has offered almost
total coverage of children from the age of two to three for
working parents, as well as quite long opening hours, which
are almost compatible with full-time employment.


At the other end of the spectrum, quite a number of
countries report a persistent low level of childcare facilities.
In Ireland, the lack of comprehensive public policies
towards childcare has been identified at both national and
at EU level as a major barrier towards further increases
in women’s employment. In Italy, the national government


acknowledges that childcare is a critical issue, and that
services should expand in order to support the increase in
female employment. Between 2000 and 2004 there was an
improvement in the coverage rate for small children from
7.4% to 10%, but this is not enough. In Lithuania, one of
the most urgent problems with regard to gender equality
has been the insufficient provision of childcare services –
the demand for the places in nurseries and kindergartens
is not satisfied, especially in rural areas. Austria also faces
a persistent lack of measures promoting a ‘simultaneous’
reconciliation, such as childcare facilities. In Poland, the
development of affordable and good quality pre-school
facilities is seen as one of many ways of improving the
situation of mothers of young children; however neither
quantitative targets nor current levels are provided. In
Portugal, full-time, year-round pre-school childcare is still in
limited supply and expensive. Other examples of countries
with low provisions or childcare services are Malta, Cyprus,
Greece, Spain and Latvia.


Regional disparities are also an important issue when it
comes to the availability and accessibility of childcare fa-
cilities. In West Germany for example, the number of child-
care facilities for the one to three year olds is very low,
and a large share of mothers will not be able to return to
employment after one year of parental leave and therefore
stay home without any financial benefits. However, in 2003,
the federal government’s Agenda 2010 has scheduled an
increase in the number of childcare places for children un-
der three years. The target was to provide facilities for 20%
of small children in every federal state. Yet, as local authori-
ties are responsible for the actual supply, there are large
regional differences between the Länder and the munici-
palities in terms of available places. A recent report of the
federal government concludes that the actual availability is
increasing: 7.7% of children under three years had found
a place in 2005 against 3.9% in 2003. In East Germany
the situation is much better. The GDR followed a policy of
the ‘working mother’ which aimed to integrate women into
employment. It developed childcare services, including all
children over the age of one and on a full-time base. The
East German facilities are still covering a great part of the
demand with places for 37% of the children in 2005.


Declines in the level of services


Slovakia is a typical example of a country in which the
provision of childcare services has declined after the
transition. The process of decentralisation of the state
administration, which started at the beginning of the 1990s,
shifted the responsibility for childcare facilities to the level of
the municipalities. According to the new state administration,
the municipal authorities are obliged to set up and manage
the kindergartens, but do not have responsibility for managing
crèches for the youngest children. The interest in this type




63


5. Reconciliation policies


of service has been declining over recent years because of
the high personal and institutional costs, and the relatively
high financial costs to the parents. It has led to a reduction
in the number of childcare facilities. Also in Hungary a lot of
nurseries were closed after 1990, because the state and/
or the local authorities no longer supported them. Currently
there is a shortage of childcare places, particularly in the
villages and rural areas, but also in the suburbs, where many
young parents have moved recently.


Increases in the level of services


A few countries report a real expansion of childcare serv-
ices. In the United Kingdom, since the launch of the Na-
tional Childcare Strategy in 1998, there has been an
expansion of a variety of forms of government-funded
pre-school and out-of-school childcare provision, ac-
companied by more developed auditing mechanisms
to monitor and raise the quality of provision, and
new forms of financial support for parents to assist
with childcare costs. The National Childcare Strategy
also established some targeted government-funded
‘Sure Start’ programmes to expand childcare provision
in low-income and economically deprived areas. The
strategy was accompanied by the 2000 launch of a high
profile government work-life balance campaign directed
at persuading employers to develop reconciliation poli-
cies based on ‘business case’ arguments. In December
2004, the government published a new ten year plan for
childcare with an associated budget line which extends
the 1997 Strategy on provision, including substantial
changes in the financial support directed at parents to as-
sist with childcare costs (HM Treasury 2004) and a new
‘Childcare Bill’ placed before Parliament. Another exam-
ple is provided by the Netherlands. After years of stimula-
tory measures, the new Childcare Act came into force on
1 January 2005. In the new system, the financing of child-
care is demand-driven with the aim to increase parental
choice. After some changes in the financial support for par-
ents, the act should guarantee affordable childcare for all
parents. Finally, Greece reports a significant expansion of
childcare services, though starting from a very low level.


Quality and fl exibility


The overall availability of childcare provides little infor-
mation on the quality of the services, both with regard to
opening hours as well as child/staff ratio and the for-
mal qualifications of the employees. In Belgium, for ex-
ample, working parents encounter problems with the
opening hours of facilities. For infants, most day care
arrangements are open for nine hours a day but for
pre-schools aged children, the nursery schools are open for
just seven hours a day, too short for full-time working.


In the United Kingdom, the situation is even worse as
state-provided nursery schools are normally mornings only.
The German national expert points to the fact that the skill-
level of employees in crèches and kindergartens is relatively
low. Most employees (96% are females) have only a three-
year vocational school-based training as a governess (Er-
zieherin). The low skill level is accompanied with a low sal-
ary both in publicly run institutions and in institutions run by
charity organisations, churches and other non-profit organi-
sations or firms. In Estonia, the childcare system is currently
under review. Proposed new measures include the devel-
opment of professional child-minding standards, vocational
courses and training in child-minding, as well as the creation
of databases listing childcare facilities, registered child mind-
ers and available training modules. The importance of high
quality services is also referred to in the Roadmap for equal-
ity between men and women (EC 2006).


Employer involvement


The reconciliation of work and private life may be
furthered by an active involvement of employers. In
Finland, companies with more than 30 employers have
to provide equality plans, which contain measures on the
discouragement of overtime work and fixed term contracts,
the encouragement of men to take family leaves and the
support of employee-oriented flexibility in working hours.
In Italy, over the last few years, increasing efforts have
been undertaken to encourage companies to apply for
funds supporting reconciliation projects at the workplace.
But these resources are largely under-utilised. According
to the Italian national expert, the unwillingness to put work-
family issues high on the political agenda is related to the
prevailing organisational culture that is unable to conceive
of working mothers as a resource, instead of a cost. This
implies the inability to innovate work organisation to retain
female workers after motherhood.


Quite a number of countries report initiatives in the field
of ‘labelling’. In Portugal, the prize ‘Equality is Quality’
was created in 2000. It is awarded to companies present-
ing good practices, particularly with regard to the inte-
gration of equality into management and the culture of
the organisation, and to the reconciliation of work and
family life. In Hungary, the competition for the ‘Award
of Family-Friendly Workplace’ was launched in 2001,
while Liechtenstein created a biennial Equal Opportunity
Prize for woman-friendly and family-friendly businesses.
France introduced the Equality Label at the end of 2004.
It is a reward for exemplary practices in companies, ad-
ministrations and associations; assessment is based
on 18 criteria, including sensitivity to gender balance
and the equality of all employees, access to vocation-
al training, general employment conditions and work-
life balance measures. In Latvia, the Ministry of Family




64


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Affairs has started an initiative of ‘Family friendly enter-
prise’ in 2005, while Malta plans to launch an award for
employers offering work-life reconciliation policies at the
workplace in 2008.


Conclusions


Box 9 summarises the actual state of affairs with re-
gard to reconciliation policies and the level of gender
mainstreaming. Although reconciliation is high on the
policy agenda in quite a number of European coun-
tries, actual policies remain rather limited. The majority
of countries are far from reaching the Barcelona target
for children aged below three. In addition, there seems


to be no uniform trend with regard to childcare facilities.
Some countries, like the United Kingdom and the Neth-
erlands, are clearly moving towards a higher coverage.
Others are more or less at a standstill whereas in some
of the former eastern European countries there is a clear
downward trend. Also policies with regard to parental
leave seem rather diverse. Depending on the differ-
ent starting points, some countries report a lengthen-
ing of the leave facilities, other a shortening, an increase
in the flexibility or a change in entitlements. Practically
all countries, though, report an uneven involvement
of men. Some countries react with specific regulations
with regard to a father’s take-up of leave, others remain
rather passive, considering the reconciliation mainly
a woman’s issue.


Box 9: Gender mainstreaming of reconciliation policies in 30 European countries


BE Belgium has a rather well developed system of reconciliation policies, both with regard to childcare services
and leave entitlements. The level of gender mainstreaming is rather limited though, as a result of which actual
policies may not always further gender equality.


BG The conditions for combining work and private life changed considerably during transition. Partly as a result of
the changes, the debate about reconciliation has in recent years entered the Bulgarian policy discourse.


CZ Reconciliation policies are mainly discussed within the context of the female employment rate; there is a con-
siderable lack of institutional support for fathers.


DK The reconciliation policy in Denmark gives equal rights – but apparently not equal possibilities: women take
the major part of parental leave, women work part-time to care for children or other dependants and in family-
friendly workplaces are able to reconcile work and family.


DE Reconciliation of work and family is high on the policy agenda; there are targets set to increase the number
of childcare places and the parental leave scheme has been reorganised. However, the resistance to a more
modern concept of working mothers has been rather strong and is not yet accompanied by a convincing con-
cept of equal opportunities for women and men in society.


EE Childcare facilities remain in short supply. In addition, reconciliation is mainly seen as a women’s problem.


IE A number of signifi cant new policies have recently been introduced, including extended leave entitlements
and additional fi nancial support to parents of young children. Yet Ireland lacks a developed system of recon-
ciliation policies, which has been identifi ed at both national and EU level as a major barrier towards further
increases in women’s employment.


EL Reconciliation policies focus on the creation of a publicly funded infrastructure for the care of children, the
elderly and the disabled, and the extension of the schedules of public nurseries, kindergartens and schools.


ES Reconciliation policy is high on the policy agenda. Led by the public administration (Plan Concilia), their
example is also followed by big enterprises. There is also a shift from reconciliation measures just for women
(in practice) to a greater co-responsibility of men in caring tasks.


FR French policy has a strong focus on gender equality and promoting work-life balance. Yet current practices
seem to increase differences between women, with high-qualifi ed women making use of childcare facilities
and less qualifi ed women making use of leave facilities.


IT In Italy, the reconciliation of work and family life is primarily seen as a woman’s issue. The most important
policy tool is maternity and parental leave. Take-up rates by fathers are very low, notwithstanding the fact that
the law on parental leave has been designed to achieve a fairer distribution of family responsibilities between
fathers and mothers.


CY Additional measures in the fi eld of reconciliation are mentioned but remain rather vague and general.


LV The reconciliation of work and family life has entered the policy debate in Latvia. Reconciliation is, however,
mainly presented as a woman’s problem.




65


5. Reconciliation policies


LT Reconciliation is identifi ed as an issue for both women and men and newly implemented policy measures
(increased payment of parental leave, introduction of paternity leave) have a positive effect on gender equality.
Suffi cient childcare facilities are, however, still lacking.


LU Although the number of childcare institutions has increased, childcare facilities remain in short supply. Leave
and fi nancial provisions are quite generous in Luxembourg, helping parents (mainly women) to remain in
employment.


HU Reconciliation policy is high on the policy agenda. Offi cial documents focus particularly on the young mothers
returning from parental leave. Men (young fathers) have almost been completely excluded from
the reconciliation policy, which seems to reinforce the gendered division of labour.


MT Additional measures in the fi eld of reconciliation are mentioned but remain rather vague and general.


NL Reconciliation is high on the policy agenda. Childcare facilities have become more affordable and new leave
facilities have been created. Yet gender mainstreaming remains underdeveloped; the possible negative effects
of the life course scheme on gender equality are not taken into account.


AT Despite some small improvements regarding childcare facilities, the reconciliation problem remains a
woman’s problem: while mothers try to reconcile paid and unpaid work on an individual basis by means of
working time reductions and career breaks, fathers’ career biographies or earnings are hardly affected by care
responsibilities.


PL The reconciliation of work and family life has entered the policy debate in Poland. Reconciliation is, however,
presented as a woman’s problem, emphasising their responsibility for domestic work and not recognising or
encouraging men’s roles in the sharing of care and housework.


PT The reconciliation of work and family life has entered the policy debate in Portugal. Yet childcare services are still
in short supply. In addition, there is a clear lack of policies to increase the fathers’ sharing of domestic and care
chores.


RO The conditions for combining work and private life changed considerably during transition. The most important
measures with regard to reconciliation refer to direct subsidies and leave schemes.


SI Reconciliation of work and family/private life has been supported for decades by generous statutory
regulations concerning paid parental leaves and provision of publicly subsidised childcare services.
However, parenthood is still often seen as the mother’s responsibility, which causes gender specifi c
consequences of parenthood on employment.


SK The reconciliation of work and family life has entered the policy debate in Slovakia. Proposed measures focus
on less traditional and fl exible forms of work organisation, like teleworking.


FI Reconciliation of work and private life entered Finnish public discourse especially in the 1990s. The focal point
has been time budgeting, especially parents’ increasing diffi culties in apportioning their time between paid
work and the family.


SE Reconciliation of work and private life is important, especially with regard to gender equality. Publicly fi nanced
childcare is more or less universal and leave facilities are well developed. The new government is going to
introduce a gender equality bonus in order to encourage fathers to take up parental leave.


UK Reconciliation of work and private life is high on the policy agenda. However, most of the developments are
still premised on a normative model of part-time employment by partnered mothers and full-time employment
for lone mothers. Measures targeted at changing the behaviour of men or tackling the long-hour culture of
many full-time jobs are much more limited.


IS Iceland has an extensive public childcare system and a well-developed system of leave. Yet the male bread-
winner model still dominates when couples make a decision concerning the division of paid and unpaid work.


LI In Liechtenstein, the debate about reconciling work and private life has just started, mainly because of falling
fertility rates. Reconciliation is, however, seen as a woman’s problem.


NO The reconciliation of employment and family life has been an important issue in Norwegian family policy,
involving a range of different policy measures. However, reconciliation issues are becoming increasingly
relevant for other stages of life, in particular for older workers.


Source: National reports






67


Since the start of the Lisbon Strategy, there is a growing
concern about the impact of globalisation, technological
change and demographic ageing on the European
economy. Critics claim that the current institutional design
offers insufficient answers to new trends and circumstances,
and that the information revolution and the ensuing need
for mobility and flexibility calls for a new organisation of
work and employment. At the same time there is a certain
consensus on the importance of the European social model,
and that core elements of this model should be maintained
and used as a productive factor. The issue therefore is how
to achieve sustainable growth with more and better jobs.
In this debate about modernising the European labour
markets, the concept of flexicurity has become an important
frame of reference.


The debate on flexicurity gained momentum after
the publication in 2003 of the report by the European
Employment Task Force, chaired by Wim Kok, on creating
more employment in Europe (CEC 2003). The report
states that in order to boost employment and productivity,
Europe needs to increase the adaptability of workers and
enterprises. A more responsive organisation of work is
especially necessary in order to prevent the emergence
of a two-tier labour market where ‘insiders’ benefit from a
high level of employment protection, while an increasing
number of ‘outsiders’ are recruited under alternative forms
of contracts with lower protection. Accordingly the task force
urges Member States to ‘assess and where necessary alter
the level of flexibility in standard contracts in areas such
as periods of notice, costs and procedures for individual
or collective dismissal or the definition of unfair dismissal’
(CEC 2003: 28). Yet, in pursuing such reforms, Member
States should provide workers with the appropriate levels
of security. Since flexicurity affects both employers and
employees, involvement of social partners is desirable.


It is important to note that flexicurity does not involve
entirely new policy measures; rather its novelty lies
in the combination of simultaneously introduced
measures in the field of both flexibility and security.
An often used definition describes flexicurity as fol-
lows: ‘A policy strategy that attempts, synchronically
and in a deliberate way, to enhance the flexibility of la-
bour markets, the work organisation and labour relations
on the one hand, and to enhance security – employment
security and social security – notably for weaker groups
in and outside the labour market on the other hand’
(Wilthagen and Tros 2004: 169). This definition makes
clear that a fully integrated approach to flexicurity goes
beyond narrowly defined policies on labour market flex-
ibility and employees’ security. Also included are active
labour market policies, with active job search, job avail-
ability, and life-long learning as important ingredients.


The central focus is on finding a balance of policies with
the aim of increasing the adaptability of workers and
the workplace. As such, the flexicurity approach implies
a shift from a job security paradigm (having the same
job all your life) to an employment security paradigm (hav-
ing employment possibilities and abilities all your life)
(EMCO 2006).


The relationship between flexicurity and gender equal-
ity is not self-evident. On the one hand, proponents may
claim that flexicurity offers an answer to gender inequal-
ity because it helps to reduce the segmentation risks of
a more mobile and flexible labour market. The very chal-
lenge of the concept of flexicurity, they would argue,
is that it provides an answer to the threat of inequality,
by creating a regulatory framework in which flexibility
is embedded in a more inclusive labour market. On the oth-
er hand, critics may claim that the actual flexicurity meas-
ures carry the risk of deepening gender equalities because
of the active encouragement of flexible jobs. In their view
flexicurity measures must imply a decrease in workers,
rights and an increase in precarious employment. In partic-
ular, the position taken with regard to part-time work seems
critical in this respect. For some, more flexible, non full-time
working hours seem to open opportunities for women and
to further gender equality. For others, the increase of part-
time work signifies the marginal position of women and un-
dermines their economic security across the life course.


Given the obvious relations between flexicurity and gender
and the different positions taken within the current debate,
a gender mainstreaming of flexicurity policies is of utmost
importance. In this respect, gender mainstreaming implies
the need to recognise the tension between the goal of pro-
moting flexibility and the goal of employment security, and
the pivotal role of gender in determining the outcomes on
the labour market. Moreover, a gender mainstreaming ap-
proach to policies in the area of flexicurity (Rubery et al.
2006, 214):


would recognise the role of gender in reinforcing •
inequalities associated with flexible working and in
shaping flexible working patterns;


address the reconciliation needs of employees with care •
commitments while recognising the risks of extending
working hours or unsocial hours scheduling;


support pathways out of non-standard work and •
working times to avoid the risks of long-term traps
and segmentation of women into disadvantaged
employment forms.


See Box 10 for a checklist on gender mainstreaming of
flexicurity policies.


6. ‘Flexicurity’ policies




68


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


Developments at the level of the European
Union


Flexicurity is part of the European Employment Strategy
where the current guideline 21 calls for Member States ‘
to promote flexibility combined with employment security’.
The areas covered by the guideline vary over a wide
range of issues, such as adaptation of employment
legislation, better anticipation and positive management
of change, and the promotion of innovative and adaptable
forms of work organisation. The gender dimension is not
explicitly referred to; rather the emphasis is on support
for transitions in occupational status, including job-job
mobility, geographical mobility and mobility between wage-
employment and self-employment.


In addition, a ‘Green Paper on modernising labour law has
been published in November 2006 (Green Paper 2006).
The purpose of the Green Paper is to launch a public
debate in the EU on how labour law can evolve to support
the Lisbon Strategy objective of achieving sustainable
growth with more and better jobs. Moreover, the Green
Paper looks at ‘the role labour law might play in advancing


a flexicurity agenda in support of a labour market which
is fairer, more responsive and more inclusive and which
contributes to making Europe more competitive’ (p. 4).
The issues raised vary from regulations affecting small
and medium enterprises and the optimal balance between
employment protection and social security legislation,
to the need for a ‘floor of rights’ dealing with the working
conditions of all workers regardless of the form of their
work contract and the organisation of working time. The
open consultation conducted for the Green Paper has been
followed by a Commission Communication on flexicurity,
adopted in June 2007, which may help reform efforts at the
level of the Member States (EC 2007).


Developments at the level of the European
Member States


The actual state of affairs with regard to flexicurity differs
widely among the EU Member States. In most studies,
Denmark and the Netherlands are seen as paradigmatic
cases, with countries in South, Central and Eastern Eu-
rope lagging behind. The Danish model of flexicurity is


Box 10: Gender mainstreaming of fl exicurity policies


STEP 1. GETTING ORGANISED
Are there any guidelines or targets set with regard to fl exicurity policies?
Are all relevant stakeholders aware of the gender equality issues?
Is there a clear structure of responsibilities?
Are training facilities available and/or is it possible to make use of external expertise?


STEP 2. LEARNING ABOUT GENDER DIFFERENCES
Are all relevant statistics differentiated by gender?
What is the gender division of typical and a-typical contracts?
What is the gender division of full-time and part-time working hours?
What are the trends in this respect?


STEP 3. ASSESSING THE POLICY IMPACT
Are fl exible time arrangements compatible with women’s needs?
Is the development of fl exible working time compatible or incompatible with domestic care responsibilities?
Are the programmes/policies aimed at men as well as women?
Do those on fl exible contracts have access to training?
Are there measures to reduce the risk of segregation associated with fl exible and part-time working
(for example, rights to return to full-time work)?
Are adaptability policies compatible with the closure of gender gaps including gender pay gaps?


STEP 4. REDESIGNING POLICY
Given the results of steps 1, 2 and 3, identify ways in which the policy could be redesigned to promote gender
equality. Take into account that gender mainstreaming calls for a more joined-up approach, which may involve
more than one policy area or department




69


6. ‘Flexicurity’ policies


often described as a golden triangle, where a relative
low level of employment protection, a comprehensive
unemployment benefit for a short period of time and
an active labour market policy form the three corners
(OECD 2006). Together, these ingredients create
a high level of adaptability of Danish employees and
enterprises. According to the NRP, a total of approximately
800,000 Danish employees (corresponding to ap-
proximately 30% of the labour force) changes jobs
each year. This is significantly above the general
EU level. The Danish national expert notes, however,
that it is misleading to calculate the job changes as a
percentage of the labour force, as a much smaller pro-
portion may bear the burden of constant job mobility.
There are not yet comprehensive studies of the distri-
bution of ‘job-flexible persons’ by gender, age and edu-
cation. However, the Minister of Employment has com-
missioned a study of this distribution, and preliminary
results show that at least educational attainment seems
to have significant impact on numerical flexibility
(Bredgaard, Larsen & Madsen 2007).


The Dutch approach relies on a careful balancing
of rights and obligations for different contractual forms
(CEC 2003). An important piece of legislation in this re-
spect is the Act on Flexibility and Security, which came
into effect on 1 January 1999. The point of departure is
that the labour market must become more flexible, while
at the same time an adequate level of protection of em-
ployees must be maintained. The act regulates the position
of flex-workers, like workers on call, stand-by employees,
temporary workers,etc. Important stipulations refer to mini-
mum wages for on-call workers; an employee is entitled to
the wages of three hours per ‘call’, even though (s)he has
worked less than three hours; this applies to employees
who work less than 15 hours per week and whose working
times and/or working hours are not fixed. The idea is that
this will impose an incentive for employers to organise the
work in an acceptable manner. Another stipulation consid-
ers the sequence of consecutive fixed-term contracts. On
the one hand, the act makes it easier to renew temporary
contracts, but at the same time it limits the possibilities of
renewal. A temporary contract may, for example, not be
renewed more than twice and the total length of the tem-
porary contract may not exceed a period of 36 months.
An important element in the Dutch approach to flexicurity
is also the reliance on social partners. In that respect the
Dutch governance model has been defined as ‘coordinated
decentralisation’. There is control, direction and facilitation
at a central level, but at the same time increasing room for
a tailor-made solution at the level of the individual company
(Wilthagen and Tros 2004).


Sweden is often quoted for its high level of employee-
friendly level of flexibility. Like in the Netherlands there is
a heavy reliance on the role of social partners and collec-


tive agreements because this makes it possible to adapt
the regulations to the varying conditions of different parts
of the business sector. In addition the NRP states: ‘it also
enables the social partners to take responsibilities through
their own initiatives for the development of a modern and
well functioning working life with agreements that promote
flexibility and security’ (NRP Sweden 2006: 67). An inter-
esting debate, right at the heart of the flexicurity approach,
refers to a new bill, which aims at increasing the possi-
bilities to make agreements concerning fixed- term employ-
ment. Since women to a much higher extent then men are
fixed-term employed, this can be seen as an obstacle to
women’s economic independence and career possibilities.
The government, however, argues that since many women
are outside the labour market today, the chances for them
to enter the labour market increases if the threshold is
lowered; women’s employment positions will therefore be
strengthened. Yet, as the Swedish national expert states, if
the new policies increase employment equally for women
and men, it means that women enter temporary jobs and
men permanent jobs, which means that, relatively, gender
equality decreases.


In a number of other Member States flexicurity is high on
the policy agenda. In Germany, for example, the NRP 2005-
2008 points out that the federal government aims to recon-
cile the need for flexibility of employees and employers with
a sufficient level of security. It continues: ‘A fair balance
between these two dimensions is the most reliable way to
ensure that both employers and employees respond ade-
quately to the need for adjustment and that these changes
are accepted in return for an assurance that livelihoods and
jobs will be maintained’ (NRP Germany 2006: 37). The actu-
al policy measures vary from new part-time regulations, the
creation of mini-jobs, new dismissal regulations and cuts in
unemployment benefits. Although women are affected by
all these policy areas, the level of gender mainstreaming
is limited. Rather, the notion of women being the second
earners in the household is part of the flexibility strategy, as
mini-jobs and other forms of precarious employment, which
do not allow a living wage, rely on the existence of a main
income source, which is either the husband or – in case
of lone parents and single people – the state via basic in-
come. The focus of the flexicurity policy is thus mainly on
increasing flexible forms of employment; security, the sec-
ond part of the concept, is offered only partially.


The concept of flexicurity is also widely discussed in France.
Yet the definition of flexicurity and the relevant policies are
a source of much controversy. Measures that have been
taken relate to the nature of the employment contracts.
The CNE employment contract enables small employers
with less than 20 employees to dismiss employees with no
justification during a period of two years. The CPE (first job
contract), which was organised along the lines of CNE, was
suspended after strong protests by student organisations




70


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


and trade unions. In addition, working-time regulation has
become more flexible, especially with regard to overtime.
Again the level of gender mainstreaming is limited. In fact,
the French national expert assesses the consequences
of these measures as rather negative in terms of gender
equality. The measures seem to be based on a rather
traditional model in which men work longer, while women
will be given – or will even ask for – part-time work. This
is even more worrying as the principle of increasing or
reducing working hours is not an individual’s right, but
depends on the company.


Another example is provided by Slovenia. The Slovenian
labour market is still relatively rigid. The transition period
did not bring about a dramatic increase in insecure and
poor quality jobs and men and women work mainly full-
time. There is a growing emphasis, however, on organising
the labour market in a more flexible way and the number of
people in fixed-term employment is above the EU average.
The Slovenian national expert, while emphasising the need
for more employee-friendly forms of flexibility, points to
the fact that there is no clear plan about how to achieve
a desirable level of flexibility nor is there any discussion
or consideration of potentially negative and gender-
specific consequences of an intensified flexibility of work
and working hours. There is a real risk, therefore, that the
promotion of flexibility could result in the feminisation of
certain flexible forms of work (e.g. part-time employment)
and thus in a deterioration of the position of women in the
labour market.


A more positive example of the shifting policy mix between
flexibility and security comes from Norway. In principle,
the Norwegian labour market has been sufficiently flexible
to support a growing and competitive economy with
unemployment falling to low levels, despite strict regulations
of working hours, temporary work and dismissals. Yet
involuntary part-time work is considered a serious problem
with a clear gender dimension: about 10% of employed
women work shorter hours than they prefer, while the
corresponding figure among men is only 2%. Moreover,
involuntary part-time work is to a large extent a public sector
problem. A significant number of women who want to work
more hours than they do are employed in public sector
care occupations. Given this situation, a recent revision
of the Working Environment Act (2006) states that part-
time workers shall have a preferential right to an extended
post rather than the employer making a new appointment.
This right is subject to the employee being qualified for the
post and the exercise of the preferential right not involving
significant inconvenience for the undertaking. More
contested has been the regulation of temporary contracts.
The government (in office until 2005) introduced some
liberalisations of the regulation of temporary work, but this


was reversed by the succeeding government. Accordingly
the current regulation is rather strict and fixed-term
employment is only permitted under certain circumstances.
As for part-time workers, the revised Working Environment
Act (2006) states that workers on fixed-term contracts are
to be given priority when positions within the firm become
vacant.


In most other countries the concept of flexicurity is still to be
developed, as a result of which policy developments within
this framework have been limited. Some national experts
hope that measures under this heading may improve the
accessibility of the labour market to women as it would
provide more flexible options, especially in the private
sector. Other national experts express their concern that
flexibility measures may be more readily taken than security
measures, as a result of which labour market inequalities
may increase. Their concern seems to be confirmed by
Joint Employment Report 2006/2007: ‘Governments have
tended to focus on easing labour market regulation for new
entrants to facilitate more contractual diversity, without
reforming legislation for existing contracts and ensuring
transitions between types of contracts and opportunities to
progress’ (JER 2007: 5). As a result the overall assessment
of the flexicurity policies is rather negative: ‘policies
recently implemented or designed will not suffice to meet
the flexicurity challenge’ (JER 2007:13).


Conclusions


Box 11 presents an overview of the current state of affairs
with regard to the gender mainstreaming of flexicurity
policies. All national experts express the importance of
a gender mainstreaming approach of flexicurity policies
while at the same time acknowledging the fact that such
an approach is still largely missing in their particular
country. Given the centrality of gender to the issue of
flexibility and security in European labour markets, the
limited evidence of gender mainstreaming is rather
striking. Increasing the responsiveness of European
labour markets by increasing the adaptability of workers
and the workplace will only lead to a more inclusive labour
market if increased flexibility does not imply increased
insecurity for certain vulnerable groups in the labour
market. In each country, the paradigmatic shift from
job security to employment security calls for a specific
mixture of policies, in accordance with the national labour
market situation and adapted to the specific trends and
circumstances. A gender mainstreaming approach would
imply that these measures are designed by taking into
account the gender equality issues which emerge in
relation to flexible contracts, flexible working hours, career
breaks and labour market mobility.




71


6. ‘Flexicurity’ policies


Box 11: Gender mainstreaming of fl exicurity policies in 30 European countries


BE Gender mainstreaming with regard to fl exicurity is limited. The position of part-timers with regard to pension
rights has been approved. Yet the career break system seems to have a negative effect on the labour market
position of women. Recent proposals seem to deepen gender differences in this respect.


BG The concept of fl exicurity is not yet very familiar in Bulgaria, as a result of which policy developments within
this framework are still under consideration. Yet rights of part-time workers have been improved.


CZ In the Czech Republic fl exicurity is an unfamiliar concept. Although there is a common understanding that
policies should take into account the need for both fl exibility and protection, actual policy focuses most on
increasing labour market fl exibility. Gender aspects in relation to fl exible forms of employment are not taken
into account.


DK Denmark is renowned for its fl exicurity approach, which is based on relatively high unemployment benefi ts
and labour market mobility. There is, however, no gender mainstreaming in the Danish fl exicurity model
and no discussion or awareness of the cost of fl exicurity and the possible hidden redistribution between the
female-dominated public sector and the male-dominated private sector.


DE Flexicurity policy has focused mainly on supporting the expansion of non-standard forms of employment.
Women are seen as a major group providing the labour market with a skilled and fl exible labour force, without
questioning the inequalities involved. Given the gender bias, there is limited reference towards security aspects.


EE Estonia has a rather rigid labour market and little policy developments in relation to fl exicurity.


IE Ireland has very little policy development in relation to fl exicurity. The lack of a more developed fl exicurity
policy system provides women with few options in relation to forms of employment.


EL Legislative regulations have improved the security aspects of several fl exible labour arrangements. But even
if security has been ensured for part-time workers through protective legislation and recourse to short part-
time work has been discouraged among employers, gender mainstreaming has been weak. This is because
policy-makers still view part-time work as a women-only affair and a means of promoting female employment.


ES Recent developments include measures to reduce the high number of temporary contracts by reducing social
security contributions of permanent contracts. This may have a positive impact on women though this meas-
ure has proven to be not too effi cient in the past in signifi cantly reducing the temporary rate for women.


FR Flexicurity and occupational social security are both concepts that are developing quickly in France in relation
to the search for a new French social model. Yet the issue of gender is often missing from these discussions,
even though the consequences in equality terms are often rather unfavourable.


IT Recent reforms (Legge Biagi) have made the labour market more fl exible without developing some minimum
form of income security for the lower segment of the labour market. In short, fl exicurity policies are still lacking
in Italy. In addition, gender differences in the pattern and extent of fl exible working are ignored, simply assum-
ing that atypical employment is good for women, as it favours female employment.


CY New legislation covering part-time employment and fl exible work arrangements is believed to help women, as
they are over-represented in part-time jobs. In addition, a new ESF-funded programme to encourage
employers to hire inactive women with fl exible work contracts has just been enacted. It remains unclear,
however, as to how these laws and policies will affect the gender wage gap and job segregation.


LV The concept of fl exicurity has only recently entered the vocabulary of Latvian employment policy, as a result
of which policy developments within this framework have been limited.


LT The Lithuanian labour market is characterised neither by a high fl exibility level, nor by high security rates.
Although the promotion of fl exible organisation of work was identifi ed as one of key policy priorities, Lithuania
still lags behind in this respect.


LU The Luxembourg labour market is not very fl exible with regard to working hours: working hours are long and
the possibility of part-time limited. Luxembourg has very little policy development in relation to fl exicurity.


HU Hungary has a rather rigid labour market and very little policy development in relation to fl exicurity. The lack
of a more developed fl exicurity policy system seems to provide women with few options in relation to forms of
employment.


MT The concept of fl exicurity is not yet very familiar in Malta, as a result of which policy developments within this
framework have been limited.


NL Increasing labour market fl exibility, while at the same time providing reasonable levels of security for
employees is high on the policy agenda. Yet, even though women have fl exible contracts more often than
men, the extent of gender mainstreaming in recent policy measures has been limited.




72


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


AT In general it can be said that in Austria the debate regarding better social-security protection for fl exible
workers has only begun since more men have come to be employed in atypical forms of work. The extent of
gender mainstreaming is limited though.


PL The notion of fl exicurity is slowly emerging in the policy discourse in Poland, from the focus on fl exibility to
the now increasingly understood security. Yet, policy developments within this particular framework are still
limited.


PT Flexicurity has become a frequent topic in offi cial discourse, but there have not been many actions under-
taken yet. In addition, the gendered nature of fl exible employment forms are not brought into the employment
policy debate.


RO Romania has little policy development in relation to fl exicurity. The lack of a more developed fl exicurity policy
system provides women with few options in relation to forms of employment.


SI Slovenia has a relatively rigid and infl exible labour market. Promotion of fl exible work is high on the policy
agenda, but a gender sensitive approach is not yet included.


SK The concept of fl exicurity is not yet very familiar in Slovakia, as a result of which policy developments within
this framework have been limited.


FI The fl exicurity debate focuses on limiting the relatively high level of fi xed-term employment, and the increase
in low-paid jobs. Tighter regulations with regard to fi xed–term jobs have led to an increase in temporary
agency work, which has become more typical in the private sector.


SE The Swedish labour market is in many ways characterised by fl exicurity. It is possible to have a fl exible start
and end to the working day, possibilities of leave with pay over the life-cycle are well developed as is leave
for care of different sorts. From a gender equality perspective, though, fl exibility is complicated. It may help
women combine employment and care work, but it does not change the gender division of labour.


UK There is no developed fl exicurity policy approach to labour law and social protection in the United Kingdom.
Flexibility is already high and although there have been some pertinent reforms in relation to training, fi xed-
term contracts and part-time working these are not integrated or informed by a fl exicurity framework. In addi-
tion, the gender mainstreaming of these different policy areas is rather narrow.


IS The Icelandic labour market is rather fl exible in terms of employment termination in the private sector, real
wages, hours of work and labour force participation of those aged 16-24 years. As young men are much more
likely than young women to become unemployed, they seem to pay the price for their responsiveness to the
needs of the economy.


LI The concept of fl exicurity is not yet very familiar in Liechtenstein, as a result of which policy developments
within this framework have been limited. Yet a revision of the occupational pension scheme improved the
position of part-time workers since the entry threshold for insurance has been reduced.


NO The Norwegian labour market has been suffi ciently fl exible to support a competitive economy, despite strict
regulations of working hours, temporary work and dismissals. Flexibilisation of working conditions has been
a matter of political controversy, refl ected in the revisions of the Working Environment Act. The rights of part-
time workers and temporary workers have been improved.


Source: National reports




73


The European strategy for growth and employment recog-
nises that gender equality and gender mainstreaming is
essential for progress. The assessment of the current state
of affairs in 30 European countries indicates that there are
large differences in the organisation and implementation of
gender mainstreaming and gender equality. Most countries
have developed initiatives regarding gender mainstream-
ing. They have, for example, formulated the principle of
gender mainstreaming as a general policy principle and/
or have installed inter or intra ministerial committees to
enhance the process of gender mainstreaming. Several
countries also report positive developments regarding the
use of instruments for gender mainstreaming, such as gen-
der impact assessment (GIA) and gender budget analysis
(GBA). However, in most countries the focus of gender
mainstreaming seems rather narrow and patchy. A system-
atic and comprehensive approach is generally lacking and
actual implementation is often problematic. Moreover, at-
tention paid to gender mainstreaming may be sensitive to
political changes, resulting in a lack of consistency.


An important employment policy domain is active labour
market policies. Gender mainstreaming of active labour
market policies has several dimensions. In order to promote
gender equality, equal opportunities principles should be
embedded within the operation of the public employment
service. An effective method in this respect is the
appointment of a specific equal opportunities officer, who
has the necessary expertise. It also seems to be essential
that PES employees are informed on the issue of gender
mainstreaming and receive training in how to incorporate
this into their work. Another important aspect of gender
mainstreaming is that active labour market programmes
are open to all inactive people and not restricted to benefit
claimants, and that men and women have equitable
access to ALMPs. Regarding active measures, a gender
mainstreaming approach would imply that both quantitative
as well as qualitative aspects are taken into account. This
means, for example, that training should not only improve
the employability of the unemployed, but also promote the
entry of female into high quality and/or non-traditional jobs.
In addition, gender mainstreaming would imply that the
needs of specific groups, such as lone parents and women
returners after long term care, are addressed. In quite a
number of countries, however, policies in this area have not
been developed with any explicit reference towards gender
equality or gender mainstreaming. As almost all national
experts draw attention to existing gender inequalities, this
is reason for concern.


Another relevant employment issue is the gender pay
gap. Reducing the gender pay gap has been part of the
European Employment Strategy since 1999 and policy
efforts have intensified over the years. Given the complexity
of the causes of the gender pay gap, gender mainstreaming
pay policies would imply a variety of measures. Firstly,


countries may implement an equal pay policy aiming at
tackling direct or indirect gender wage discrimination.
Examples include (additional) legislation, availability and
dissemination of information, and initiatives with respect
to job evaluation. A second policy line may be targeted at
reducing horizontal as well as vertical segregation. Policies
to reduce horizontal segregation generally focus on young
girls in order to encourage them to consider a wider
range of occupational options, and to opt for science and
technology instead of caring, cleaning and catering. Policies
to reduce vertical segregation generally aim to increase
the number of women in high-level and/or management
jobs. A third policy line refers to gender mainstreaming
of ‘general’ wage policies, aimed at reducing wage
inequality and improving the remuneration of low-paid and/
or female-dominated jobs. Wage policies in this respect
may vary from the introduction of a mandatory minimum
wage, thereby setting a floor to the wage structure, the
centralisation of the system of wage bargaining, thereby
decreasing inter-industry and inter-firm wage differentials,
to the revaluing of low paid and/or female-dominated jobs,
for example as part of an anti-poverty or equality strategy.
The assessment of pay and career policies in 30 European
countries indicates that in most countries the gender pay
gap has a rather low profile, both in the public debate and
in the policy agenda. The emphasis on deregulation and
voluntary action by employers seems in some countries to
restrict national policy options. One of the main problems
appears to be that there is no real owner of the problem,
as nobody feels responsible for the gender pay gap.
Organising political support for closing the gap seems
to be an important challenge for the near future.


The reconciliation of work and private life is also an extremely
important part of employment policy. Reconciliation
policies can be defined as policies that directly support
the combination of professional, family and private life. As
such they may involve a wide variety of policies ranging
from childcare services, leave facilities, flexible working
arrangements to other reconciliation policies, such as
financial allowances for working partners. A gender
mainstreaming perspective in the domain of reconciliation
is, to a certain extent, established in so far as most European
governments recognise the impact of care responsibilities
on women’s employment. Yet countries differ in their policy
responses and in their implicit or explicit focus on gender
equality. Some countries encourage the supply of public
and private services, others improve the opportunities to
work part-time hours. Some still consider reconciliation a
woman’s affair, whereas others recognise the role of men
in care and family responsibilities (mainly encouraging
taking up or improving paternity leave schemes). Although
reconciliation is high on the policy agenda in quite of
number of countries, actual policies remain rather limited.
The majority of countries are far from reaching the
Barcelona target for children aged below three. In addition,


7. Concluding remarks




74


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


there seems to be no uniform trend with regard to childcare
facilities. Some countries like the United Kingdom and the
Netherlands are clearly moving towards a higher coverage.
Others are more or less at a standstill, whereas in some of the
former eastern European countries there is clear downward
trend. Also policies with regard to parental leave seem
rather diverse. Depending on the different starting points,
some countries report a lengthening of the leave facilities,
others a shortening, an increase in the flexibility or a change
in entitlements. Practically all countries report an uneven
involvement of men.


The concept of flexicurity is rather new on the policy
agenda. However, in the debate about modernising
the European labour markets, flexicurity has become
an important frame of reference. Flexicurity policy
can be described as ‘a policy strategy that attempts,
synchronically and in a deliberate way, to enhance the
flexibility of labour markets, the work organisation and
labour relations on the one hand, and to enhance security
– employment security and social security – notably for
weaker groups in and outside the labour market on the
other hand’ (Wilthagen and Tros 2004: 169). The central
focus is on finding a balance of policies with the aim of
increasing the adaptability of workers and the workplace.
As such the flexicurity approach implies a shift from a job
security paradigm (having the same job all your life) to
an employment security paradigm (having employment
possibilities and abilities all your life). The relationship
between flexicurity and gender equality is not self-evident.
On the one hand proponents may claim that flexicurity
offers an answer to gender inequality because it helps to
reduce the segmentation risks of a more mobile and flexible


labour market. On the other hand, critics may claim that
the actual flexicurity measures carry the risk of deepening
gender equalities because of the active encouragement of
flexible jobs. A gender mainstreaming approach to policies
in the area of flexicurity would recognise the role of gender
in reinforcing inequalities associated with flexible working
and in shaping flexible working patterns and would
address the reconciliation needs of employees with care
commitments while recognising the risks of extending
working hours or scheduling unsocial hours. In addition
a mainstreaming approach would support pathways out
of non-standard work and working times to avoid the
risks of long-term traps and segmentation of women in
disadvantaged employment forms. The assessment of
flexicurity policies in 30 European countries indicates that
a gender mainstreaming approach is still largely missing.
Given the centrality of gender to the issue of flexibility and
security in European labour markets, the limited evidence
of gender mainstreaming is rather disappointing.


The present study indicates that most countries are still
far from adopting a full gender mainstreaming approach
to employment policies. The awareness of gender
equality is usually rather limited, especially in the field of
pay and flexicurity policies. In addition, gender equality is
often not taken into account in the actual design of policy
measures. In order to improve the knowledge of gender
mainstreaming of employment policies, this report has
provided not only an analysis of current trends but also
a checklist and a number of examples of effective gender
mainstreaming. As such, the report may be used as a
manual for all actors involved in gender mainstreaming at
the national as well as at the European level.




75


A. The national expert reports


Barry, U. and S. Murphy, (2007), Gender mainstreaming in
Ireland – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group on
Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Borg, R. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Malta – An anal-
ysis of employment policies from a gender perspective,
European Commission’s Expert Group on Gender, Social
Inclusion and Employment report for the Equal Opportuni-
ties Unit, DG Employment.


Botsch, E. and F. Maier, (2007), Gender mainstreaming in
Germany – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group on
Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Emerek, R. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Den-
mark – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Fagan, C. and P. Urwin, J. Rubery, and R. Donnel-
ly, (2007), Gender mainstreaming in the United King-
dom – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Ferreira, V. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Portu-
gal – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Kanjuo Mrcěla, A. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Slov-
enia – An analysis of employment policies from a gender
perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group on
Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Kanopiene, V. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Lithua-
nia – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Karamessini, M. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in
Greece – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Krízková, A. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in the Czech
Republic – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group on
Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the
Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Lehto, A.M. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Finland
– An analysis of employment policies from a gender
perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Mairhuber, I. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Aus-
tria – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Meulders, D. and S. O’Dorchai, (2007), Gender main-
streaming in Belgium – An analysis of employment policies
from a gender perspective, European Commission’s Expert
Group on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Moltó, M. L. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Spain
– An analysis of employment policies from a gender
perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Nagy, B. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Hungary
– An analysis of employment policies from a gender
perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report
for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Nyberg, A. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Sweden
– An analysis of employment policies from a gender per-
spective, European Commission’s Expert Group on Gen-
der, Social Inclusion and Employment report for the Equal
Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Panayiotou, A. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in
Cyprus – An analysis of employment policies from a
gender perspective, European Commission’s Expert
Group on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment
report for the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


Piscová, M. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Slova-
kia – An analysis of employment policies from a gen-
der perspective, European Commission’s Expert Group
on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment report for
the Equal Opportunities Unit, DG Employment.


References




76


Gender mainstreaming of employment policies A comparative review of 30 European countries


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R. Plasman, and S. Sissoko, (2007), Gender mainstream-
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Plomien, A. (2007), Gender mainstreaming in Poland –
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