A balanced approach of men and women is a horizontal criterion throughout theĀ  programme. The specific realisation depends on the call for proposals. You need to analyse the call for proposals filing card in order to know what is specifically expected from you regarding gender activities.

What is gender?

The term gender refers to the differences between men and women which are not innate, but on the contrary socially constructed and differing from one culture to another one.
A simple example may clarify this. Unless science would change this, it is only women that are able to bear children. But it is the culture that determines the fact that mainly women take up care for children. And this obviously has consequences on the way in which women behave on the labour market.

But what does gender mean within ESF?

Within ESF projects we aim to establish a balanced approach towards men and women. To do so, an initial analysis has to be made of plausible inequalities between men and women. Consequently, actions can be set up which will stimulate a gender balance within the organisation/project. This may seem complex, butĀ  some examples can clarify things.

Example 1
Thanks to a gender analysis, a promoter of a project regarding the re-integration of cardiac patients into the labour market has discovered that the process evolves in another way for male cardiac patients as compared to the one for female cardiac patients. In order to make the re-integration process as successful as possible, a different working method needs to be applied for the respective sexes.

Example 2
A promoter of an IT training project had noticed that women only constituted a minority among the participants. Enquiries within the target group have shown that one of the obstacles was the flyer that presented the training. Both the wording of the course programme (too much focus on technical aspects) as well and the images (only male participants) clearly were more directed towards male rather than female participants.

Does it seem too complex? Do feel free to ask for help. The ESF unit offers support through the Gender Equality officer.