Taking the aspect of gender into account in policy making helps identify and change the mechanisms that reproduce inequality in society and makes intervention more effective and responsive to the needs of both women and men.
A policy that takes the aspect of gender into account ensures:
Valuable additional information for decision-making can be obtained when the population is no longer approached as a homogenous group in policy making and the specific needs and life experiences of men and women are identified. The result will be more effective solutions that better meet the expectations and needs of target groups, as well as more human-centred policy making. In turn, more effective solutions help to save the resources used to implement policies.
Unlocking the full potential of people
When multiple stakeholders (men, women) are consulted in policy-making and restrictive gender stereotypes are abandoned, human resources can be deployed according to their individual abilities, not their gender.
If the gender aspect is taken into account in decision-making, the unintended consequences of proposed policies (including the reproduction or exacerbation of gender inequality) decrease and the quality of decision-making improves.
Reasonable use of resources
The use of gender-based baseline studies and analyses improves the knowledge basis of policy decisions and allows for better and more accurate targeting of policies and more efficient use of resources – public resources benefit the social groups that need it the most. The openness and transparency of decision-making processes increases.
Prevention of inequality
Integrating the gender aspect into analysis and decision-making processes will bring the problems concerning the inequality of men and women to the fore and help avoid the adoption of policies and programmes that recreate gender discrimination and exacerbate existing inequalities.
If the gender aspect is not taken into account, and the population is treated as a homogeneous group, gender inequality in society can increase.
Examples of gender blind decisions that help perpetuate inequalities
- Growth aid is given to businesses on the condition that the company’s sales revenue exceeds a certain minimum threshold. As the minimum threshold for turnover can only be achieved by medium-sized or large enterprises, this condition excludes most businesses established by women, which operate mainly as micro and small enterprises and whose turnover is generally below the threshold, from being eligible for the support. Thus, the condition worsens the opportunities of female entrepreneurs to receive support;
- When applying for a farmer’s start-up or investment support, the farm’s turnover must be equal to the amount of the grant five years after receiving the grant. The scheme does not take into account the possibility that a female farmer may have a child in the meantime and not be able to actively engage in entrepreneurship;
- Only women are seen as the target group when measures for reconciliation of work and family life are planned;
- Different working conditions are established for full-time and part-time employees (there are more women among part-time employees, especially mothers of young children, who may be paid less per hour than full-time employees or may not be entitled to certain benefits, privileges, etc.). For example, surveys show that employers are less likely to allow part-time employees to participate in professional training.
If you feel that you’ve been treated unequally, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.