How is gender-responsive public procurement linked to gender equality?

Gender equality is a fundamental value of the EU [1]. Promoting gender equality in all its activities is one of the EU’s tasks. Article 8 of the TFEU explicitly requires the EU to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between women and men through all of its activities (i.e. to ensure gender mainstreaming). The EU’s gender equality policy objectives are wide-ranging and include fostering equal economic independence for women and men, closing the gender pay gap to advance gender balance in decision-making, ending gender-based violence and promoting gender equality beyond the EU.

To achieve gender equality, EU institutions and Member States should apply gender mainstreaming to all of their policies, laws, budgets and actions, including public procurement. Gender mainstreaming is an approach to policymaking that takes into account both women’s and men’s interests, experiences and concerns, so that women and men benefit equally from policies, programmes and budgets and inequality is not perpetuated.