Tool 2: Analysing gender inequalities and gender needs at the national and sub-national levels

The tool offers guidance on how to assess gender inequalities and gender needs in EU Funds programmes. It has been designed for EU Member States and managing authorities at the national and sub-national levels.

Gender analysis is the basis for effectively considering gender equality throughout the entire programming period. Gender impact assessments should look for, and use, reliable data to describe the current situation for target groups. Such assessments should identify specific gaps and inequalities, especially in relation to regional economic development, labour market participation, unpaid work, supporting improved care provision and practices to improve work-life balance for both women and men. Interventions related to infrastructure investments or specific economic sectors (such as fisheries and agriculture) are also important areas for reducing economic differences between women and men.

For the EU Funds, gender analysis is necessary for various purposes:

  • Advancing the dual approach to gender equality. According to the dual approach adopted by the European Commission, special actions are one way to directly address existing inequalities, whereas gender mainstreaming is a longer-term strategy to strengthen gender equality policy-making. Specific projects can also be developed to address gender gaps and advance equality. Gender inequality is a key area for the EU Funds to address. A socioeconomic gender analysis identifies the differences and specific needs of women and men. Therefore, it is needed to inform and justify the priorities of OPs. Gender analysis and assessments must be used when developing objectives and indicators in Partnership Agreements (PAs), OPs and projects.
  • Ensuring quality and effectiveness. The EU Funds are meant to be used as effectively as possible to benefit the whole population. This means that, when using ESIF finances to pursue EU strategic goals on economic growth, employment and social inclusion, the funds must simultaneously be used to advance gender equality and deliver better outcomes for women and men in all their diversity. Gender impact assessments should be part of baseline assessments, socioeconomic analysis, objective setting and indicator frameworks that inform the funds’ implementation and structure EU Funds' monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes. Analysing the causes of inequalities makes it possible to set gender-relevant goals and pursue activities that contribute to overall strategic goals.
  • Targeting underprivileged or disadvantaged groups of women and men. Gender analysis considers the different experiences of women and men depending on their different characteristics, such as age, income, poverty level, urban/rural location, disability, race or ethnicity. This intersectional analysis of the characteristics that affect women’s and men’s daily lives is essential to understand inequality. In turn, this understanding is key to informing the development of programmes and projects within the EU Funds that respond to these differences and, thereby, deliver more effective results.
  • Responding to specific local data. That local labour market is vital for informing sub-national programmes and local projects. Such data must consider the different situations of women and men in terms of occupational and sectoral distribution, the availability of local childcare and other social care facilities, the extent of integrated transport, local training provision and gaps in skills development, the current pay gap, the distribution of paid and unpaid work and information from time use studies.