Gender Mainstreaming in the Operational Programme

The dual approach is applied in the ESF. It consists of

  1. gender mainstreaming in all programmes, procedures and levels of the ESF, and
  2. specific measures addressing women or equality issues.

The dual approach is based on the Operational Programme and is described in the supplementary documents. It is backed by Gender Budgeting.

Out of the 55 programmes within the ESF, three programmes explicitly address women (women in the economy, women in decision making and female business starters). One programme focuses on less stereotypical career opportunities for young women and men (Girls’ Day and New Ways for Boys). Six programmes tackle the issue of how to balance family and work. One programme addresses how to re-enter professional life after a phase of caring; another programme is directed toward a target group of single caregivers. The Agency, however, focuses on programmes that do not explicitly address gender equality as a core objective, because the EU regulations on the ESF, call for all programmes to contribute to Gender Equality.

Several gender equality objectives are defined in the Operational Program, and can be summarized as follows:

  1. To increase the employment rate of women. This objective not only means a quantitative increase in the number of jobs for women, but also focuses on a qualitative improvement: it envisions an independent livelihood for women and secure jobs (employed and self-employed)
  2. To promote women’s careers and their participation in innovative and potentially successful positions in education and employment
  3. To reduce horizontal and vertical segregation in the labour market (stereotypical career choices of young women and men)
  4. To improve the balance of family and work (work/life balance)
  5. To strengthen the potential of business start-ups by women and persons with a migration background