Policy cycle in youth
In this phase, it’s recommended to gather information on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, as well as checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and youth statistics
At the EU level, relevant databases and indexes have been developed to address the dimension of gender in youth. Do not forget to check databases that may also exist at the level of the Member States.
The Eurostat section of youth statistics
This database covers the fields of action identified in the EU Youth Strategy, as well as providing demographical contextual information. All data is disaggregated by sex and includes the following areas:
- Demography – gives some background indications on the main trends affecting the populations of young women and men.
- Education and training – informs about the participation of young women and men in formal and non-formal education and training.
- Employment and entrepreneurship – informs about young women and men’s integration into the labour market, either as employees or as entrepreneurs.
- Health and well-being – includes indicators on health and well-being of young women and men with a focus on life styles, health status as well as mental health.
- Social inclusion – includes indicators on the populations of young women and men at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
- Culture and creativity – includes an indicator on the frequency of participating in cultural activities.
- Participation – includes indicators on the participation of young women and men in the whole society.
- Volunteering – includes an indicator on the participation in informal voluntary activities.
- Youth and the World – should measure the mobilisation of young women and men in global policymaking at all levels using existing youth networks and tools. However, there is currently no identified data in European statistics for this objective.
Examples of studies, research and reports
Eurostat, Being young in Europe today, 2015
This Eurostat publication presents recent statistics on the situation of children and young women and men in the European Union with sex-disaggregated data and information. There is also an interactive view of the data on the webpage.
European Commission, 2015 EU Youth report
The 2015 EU youth report is the first joint report by the Council and the Commission in the youth field and presents what EU Member States and the Commission have done to implement the EU Youth Strategy during the first 6 years of implementation, with in-depth analysis of gender-related issues, such as the promotion of sharing of responsibilities between young partners.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, ‘The situation of girls and young women’, in World Youth Report, 2003
In this report there is a chapter that explores some of the challenges and opportunities girls and young women face, taking into consideration factors such as access to health, education and employment as well as values, attitudes and behaviour (including violence) towards young women and girls.
Gender differentials in education, career choices and labour market outcomes on a sample of OECD countries, Background paper for the World Development Report 2012, the World Bank
The paper describes and analyses gender asymmetries in the interactions between labour market outcomes and education choices for a sample of OECD countries. It describes the main asymmetries by gender in education choices, measures which factors may explain these asymmetries and examines the relationship with gender differentials in the labour market; finally it studies the correlation between education and occupation choices.
Cedefop, From education to working life, The labour market outcomes of vocational education and training 2012
The report presents the labour market outcomes for young people in Europe and across countries, and examines how the various levels and orientations of education affect employment prospects, the transition to work, job quality and wages. The findings of the report take into consideration the gender perspective.
European Commission, Youth on the move, Analytical report: Flash Eurobarometer, 2011
The report presents the results of a survey conducted through phone interviews with nationally representative samples of young people (aged between 15 and 35) living in the 27 EU Member States, as well as in Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey. It looks at how mobile young people (aged 15 to 35) are for the purposes of education and work and how they view the attractiveness of different educational settings. The study offers an overview of the main concerns when seeking employment and the willingness to set up a business, or move to another country for employment from a gender perspective.
European Parliament, The advantages of a gender-sensitive approach to tackle youth unemployment, 2013
The study contains the contents of a workshop on the advantages of a gender-sensitive approach to tackle youth unemployment, organised by the European Parliament in Brussels in 2013. The themes of the discussion focused on the conditions of unemployed young women and men in the European Union, the effects of educational attainments on employability, the effects of childcare and care for other dependents on career choices, gender differences in the willingness to compete, the youth employment package as an effective assistance for both young men and women to integrate into the labour market and finally the advantages of an integrated and gender-sensitive approach to youth unemployment.
Plantenga, J., Remery C. and Lodovici, M. S., Starting fragile: Gender differences in the youth labour market, 2013
The report presents the way young people have been severely affected by the economic crisis. Their socio-economic position is fragile. The main assumption is that while there are significant variations between Member States, the position of young women is more fragile than that of young men, and it is particularly negative in southern and eastern European countries. The study presents the significant and persistent gender differences in the labour market conditions for young people.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy domain. The information and data you collect will allow for an understanding of the reality and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Examples of gender analysis
UNFPA, 2002, Methodological guidelines for the gender analysis of national population and housing census data
One of the main pillars of UNFPA’s technical support for national population and housing censuses is to make certain that the information collected informs policy and programming, particularly in areas such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescents and youth, population dynamics and gender. To this end, gender analysis is viewed as a tool to assess, analyse and reveal the processes of different social roles, variances in social treatment and outright discrimination that explain the observed results.
Children/Youth as Peacebuilders (CAP) and Save the Children, Gender maps, a resource manual: gender analysis with youth, 2011
The purpose of this manual is to support children’s rights organisations in their work on gender analysis and gender-sensitive programming. The tools, based on the results of a joint project between CAP and Save the Children in 2010 – 2011, are aimed at engaging youth in a gender analysis of their life circumstances and developing gender-sensitive tools to support child-centred programme development.
Examples of a gender impact assessment
Crawley, M. and O’Meara, L., Gender impact assessment handbook, 2004
This handbook has been produced and funded by the UK Gender Equality Unit within the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister. Although not specifically addressing youth policies, several examples specifically focused on young women are provided.
Consider consulting stakeholders (e.g. gender experts, civil society organisations) on the topic at hand, to share and validate your findings and improve your policy or programme proposal. This will enhance the learning process on the subject for all those involved and will improve the quality of the work done at the EU level. The stakeholders consultation process will start in this phase, but could also be considered as an important method to be applied throughout each phase of the policy cycle.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
European Women’s Lobby
One of the key working areas of the European Women’s Lobby is young women in Europe, which is aimed at reconnecting and reinforcing young European women’s activism and setting up a creative space for young feminist change agents.
Pool of European Youth Researchers (PEYR)
This is a unique initiative at the European level which represents a contribution of both the Council of Europe and the European Commission to evidence-based policymaking in the field of youth. It consists of 25 researchers and experts from across Europe who possess a wide range of expertise in different policy areas connected to youth.
European Youth Forum
This is the platform of 99 youth organisations, both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, in Europe. Although not specifically gender related, the Youth Forum actively works against the discrimination of young people based on age or on any other grounds including sex, and strives to ensure the full inclusion of youth in society.
In this phase, it is relevant to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting shows how much public money is spent for women and men respectively and therefore it aim to ensure that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in youth
Institute for Youth Development, KULT, Manual for monitoring and evaluating youth policies and strategies by applying the principles and methods of gender-responsive budgeting, 2013
This manual for monitoring and evaluating youth policies and strategies applies the principles and methods of gender-responsive budgeting as an educational, practical and informative resource. This could be used primarily by young women and men included in the process of creating, monitoring and analysing youth strategies by monitoring and analysing allocated budget funds, but also by all who wish to improve their knowledge and skills for starting and implementing a gender-responsive budgeting initiative.
When planning, do not forget to establish monitoring and evaluation systems and indicators that will make it possible to measure and compare the impact of the policy or programme on women and men over the timeframe of its implementation. Remember to define the appropriate moments to monitor and evaluate your policy.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and youth
Youth employment rate by sex
The youth employment rate is the percentage of employed persons calculated for a particular age group. Generally, the youth employment rate refers to 15 – 24 year olds, but is also available for the age range 25 – 29, and could be calculated for the 15 – 29 age bracket. An employed person is considered someone aged 15 and over, who during the reference week performed work – even if just for one hour a week – for pay, profit or family gain. Among young people aged 15 – 24, the employment rate for women in 2014 was 30.5%, while for men it was 34.2%. Figures for ages 25 – 29 were 66.4% for women and 75.9% for men. The indicator is available from Eurostat LFS survey data (online data code: lfs_ergan).
Youth unemployment rate by sex
Youth unemployment includes all youth (i.e. people between the ages of 15 and 24, inclusive) who are unemployed. The youth unemployment rate is the percentage of the unemployed in the age group 15 to 24 years old, compared to the total labour force (both employed and unemployed) in that age bracket. Generally, the youth unemployment rate refers to 15 – 24 year olds, but is also available for ages 25 – 29, and could be calculated for the 15 – 29 age bracket. The indicator is one of the most relevant indicators at the EU-28 level for measuring the situation of young people on the labour market. Youth unemployment rates are more than twice as high as for the total EU population. They reached 21.4% for young women and 22.8% for men in 2014. Young women and men aged 25 – 29 have almost the same rate (13.7% and 13.65% respectively). The indicator is available from Eurostat LFS Survey data (online data code: lfs_urgan).
Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) rate by sex
The indicator measuring young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) provides information on young people aged 15 to 24 who meet the following 2 conditions:
- They are not employed (i.e. unemployed or inactive according to the International Labour Organisation definition).
- They have not received any education or training in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
The NEET rate is a more complete indicator of gender differences than the unemployment rate because it also takes into account those young people who are inactive but do not participate in education or training. The indicator is also available for the 24 – 29 and 15 – 29 age groups. Data is expressed as a percentage of the total population in the same age group.
The indicator is one of the most relevant indicators at the EU-28 level for measuring the situation of young people on the labour market. The EU-28 NEET rate of young women aged 15 – 29 was 17.1% in 2014, while the rate for young men in the same age group was 13.5%. For ages 15 – 24, figures for women and men are respectively 12.6% and 12.2%, while in the age group 24 – 29 they are 24.9% and 15.8% respectively. The indicator is available from Eurostat LFS Survey, included in the Eurostat education and training data (online data code: edat_lfs_20).
Early leavers from education and training
Early leavers from education and training refer to those aged 18 to 24, fulfilling the following 2 conditions:
- The highest level of education or training attained is ISCED 0, 1, 2 or 3c short.
- Respondents declare not to have received any education or training in the 4 weeks preceding the survey (numerator).
The denominator consists of the total population of the same age group, excluding ‘no’ answers to the questions highest level of education or training attained and participation in education and training. It is an indicator measuring the proportion of young people aged 18 to 24 who are early leavers from education and training, with at most a lower secondary education. In 2014, female early leavers represented 9.5% of the total population of the same age group, compared to 12.7% of males. The indicator is particularly used at the EU level as it is included in the employment performance indicator under the table in the EU policy section of the Eurostat database, as well as in the Education and Training Statistics (online data code: edat_lfse_14).
When preparing calls for proposals in the framework of funding programmes, or terms of reference in the context of public procurement procedures (notably for contractors to be hired for policy support services), do not forget to formalise gender-related requirements. This will ensure that the projects and services which the European Commission will fund are not gender-blind or gender-biased.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all who are involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If not, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers and programme committee members.
Example of capacity-building initiatives about gender and youth
Anna Lindh Foundation (Barcelona), Peace bag for EuroMed youth: The PeaceBag toolkit
The Peace Bag Toolkit features working tools, methods, case studies, key concepts and information, as well as practical activities that youth workers can use and adapt according to their own needs. This training guide aims to help youth understand how peace and intercultural dialogue is related to the day-to-day work of young people. It is a practical guide for youth organisations, with the objective of presenting different ways to incorporate peace and intercultural dimension in youth work. Among the contents of the online toolkit, there is a specific tool (part 4) related to gender mainstreaming.
During the implementation of your policy or programme, publications, communications and press releases might be issued. Do not forget to give visibility to gender issues and pay attention to the language and visuals as these can convey gender stereotypes and gendered concepts, but they can also contribute to deconstructing stereotypes.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during monitoring – and at the end – evaluation, of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for the follow-up of progress and remedying possibly unforeseen difficulties. This exercise should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate the results to promote its learning potential.
Example of monitoring and evaluation on gender and youth
Webinar: Youth Economic Opportunities, Beyond disaggregated indicators: applying gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation to enhance learning
The importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to enhance learning is by now well established. At the same time, practitioners are increasingly aware of the need to take into account gender issues to improve programme effectiveness. This webinar provides practical examples of how gender-sensitive M&E can be achieved and what difference it makes for youth development programmes. Webinar tools are provided and practical examples of how to conduct M&E, such as a sample list of questions and examples of M&E forms are presented.