Gender-responsive public procurement in practice: importance of legal, regulatory and policy frameworks

This section outlines the importance of the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that inform the use of GRPP [1].

The EU public procurement legal framework provides for the possibility of implementing GRPP, although gender equality is not mentioned as a specific objective. The same situation can be found in most Member States, although there are variations in the transposition of Directive 2014/24/EU.

Research conducted by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) [2] also found that gender equality legislation and related policy frameworks very seldom make specific reference to public procurement as a tool to advance gender equality.

UN Women [3] and other studies [4] underline the fact that legislation is important but remains insufficient if not coupled with adequate policy frameworks, strategies and capacity-building programmes.

The following six preconditions (as illustrated in Figure 1) have the potential to deliver the best application of GRPP. It is worth noting that preconditions are necessary but not sufficient. In some of the countries in which most of these preconditions are in place, we can still find only a few examples of GRPP, which shows that GRPP is far from being mainstreamed across  whole countries and at all governance levels.

Figure 1. Six preconditions that promote the best application of GRPP