Public procurement strategies cover GRPP or include gender equality as an objective

GRPP is often subsumed under socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) strategies without being specifically referred to. However, when public procurement strategies include specific gender equality objectives, preferably at all stages of the procurement cycle, GRPP implementation does increase.

Examples of public procurement strategies including gender equality as an objective

In Spain, Barcelona’s sustainable public procurement objectives plan for 2020–2021 includes an objective to promote women’s employment. This is one objective, among others, that addresses social purposes. Award criteria continue to focus on best value for money, but take account of such social criteria too.

In Portugal, in the national strategy for innovation and modernisation of the state and public administration for 2020–2030 [1], strategic objective 7 (‘Promote innovation in public management’) includes measure 7.4: ‘Incorporate the gender perspective as the central dimension of innovative management models’. This strategy does not explicitly refer to public procurement, but it is applicable to it. It requires the achievement of the following goals by 2023: the holding of two sounding board meetings with women councillors and equality councillors from government departments in 2021, all administrative data produced by the central government to be disaggregated by sex and the awarding of the ‘AP conciliation’ seal to entities that implement and certify work–life balance management systems based on NP 4552:2016.

In Italy, Sardinia’s guidelines on social purchasing expressly provide for the promotion of gender balance among the social considerations in public procurement. The guidelines refer to gender balance both in sectors where women are under-represented and in those where men are under-represented.

How to act

Identify existing policy frameworks and strategies that promote GRPP and/or SRPP (SRPP frameworks usually allow gender equality goals to be pursued, although this might not be explicit).

Propose and develop new policy frameworks and strategies that clearly cover GRPP and consider setting a percentage of tender procedures that must include gender aspects every year. Setting a manageable percentage may help overcome initial resistance to applying GRPP.