Gender Training in the European Union: Mapping, research and stakeholders' engagement (2012-2013)

In 2012-2013, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is implementing a project on gender training in the European Union and Croatia.

Gender mainstreaming is not a goal in itself but a political strategy, which requires that gender concerns are integrated into all policy decisions, legal frameworks, activities and programmes. In the context of EU policy-making,gender mainstreaming has been a policy priority since 1996. In order for gender mainstreaming to be implemented effectively, the right expertise and tools need to be in place; training, therefore, has a central role in supporting actors to fulfill their mandates.

After gaining administrative independence in 2010, the European Institute for Gender Equality set to support institutions at national and EU level in their efforts to promote gender mainstreaming. Gender training, in particular disseminating resources (e.g. training manuals, toolkits, guidelines etc.) and good practices, is a priority area for the Institute in this endeavour.

What do we mean by Gender Training?

Gender Training is an educational tool employed by EU and MS institutions that targets actors normally involved in policy-making at all levels of governance with an aim to develop their gender (mainstreaming) competence.

Gender Training refers to a range of gender awareness-raising and training activities, starting with the general awareness- raising courses for all the staff (including the management) and ending with specific training sessions aimed at transferring specialized knowledge (including methods and techniques) on how to put gender equality into practice to specific set of actors.

Why Gender Training?

  • Gender Mainstreaming has to bring change in policies, strategies, activities;
  • Ordinary policy makers in various fields often lack gender expertise/competence;
  • Gender training is the main tool employed to ensure necessary knowledge of actors in policy processes and thus improve gender mainstreaming;
  • There is a need to provide better access to gender trainers and available resources and information on gender training across the European Union;
  • Gender equality experts have expressed a need to set minimum quality standards for gender training at a number of occasions.

What are the objectives of this project?

  • To collect reliable and comprehensive information on theactivities, actors and resources related to gender training in the EU-27and Croatia;
  • To identify good practices in gender training in the EU-27 andCroatia;
  • To foster a discussion on the quality standards for gender trainingin the European Union;
  • To support policy makers to access high quality tools.

What are the anticipated outputs of the project?

Through collection and dissemination of information on gender trainers, gender training materials and good practices, EIGE aims to support the transnational learning process and contribute to building the gender capacity of relevant actors.

  • The study report on gender training in the European Union will look at policy developments and commitments, the scale and key elements of gender training in practice, reflect on the competences of gender trainers and the reasons for the lack of quality and gaps in training provision across the EU identifying gaps and needs, providing recommendations for further developments in the area of gender training.
  • Country factsheets will summarise the developments in the field of gender training in all EU member states and Croatia.
  • The EU-wide online database of individual gender trainers and training organisations will make easily accessible the practical information on gender training in all 27 EU Member States and Croatia through EIGE's Resource and Documentation Centre the database of available training resources collected across EU-27 and Croatia, that will contain materials developed by or for staff in public administrations to carry out gender mainstreaming.
  • Identified good practices on gender training will present examples of effective ways to develop competence and capacity to mainstream gender.
  • The in-depth research report will expand the knowledge base on a number of previously unexplored qualitative aspects related to gender training.

How do we facilitate discussions on gender training?

The institutes aims to bring together relevant actors, including policy makers and staff of public administrations, gender trainers, experts and researchers for a more effective and sustainable exchange of information and expertise.

Online discussion

The online discussion on gender training in the EU was held on 25-26 September 2012, using EIGE’s new technical platform EuroGender. The discussion was facilitated by Kelly Shephard, Editorial Manager, IDS Knowledge Services and supported by Jenny Birchall and Alyson Brody, senior members of the BRIDGE team.

The objective of the forum was two-fold:

  • To take stock of the present realities with regards to Gender Training in the EU.
  • To better understand the needs of various actors in the field of gender training and explore how to improve the quality and increase its effectiveness.

The discussion brought together 33 people who submitted a total of 220 responses on a wide range of gender training related issues.

European conference

On 13-14 November 2012, EIGE is holding a European conference ‘Advancing Gender Training to Support Effective Gender Mainstreaming’ in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The conference will bring together: the representatives of institutions that commission gender training, gender trainers, researchers and gender equality experts. It will provide an opportunity to exchange practices on gender training with the view to improving knowledge of policy makers to effectively mainstream gender.

For more information on the conference please visit the conference page.