Tool 7: Guiding questions for applying GRPP under the light regime – designing healthcare and social care service contracts with a gender perspective

This tool can be used by contracting authorities, policymakers and practitioners working towards gender equality and gender mainstreaming to apply GRPP under the light regime and to design healthcare and social care service contracts with a gender perspective.

This tool offers guiding questions that can help you to integrate a gender equality perspective when designing a tendering procedure for the provision of social and health services. If you are a contracting authority, you can also propose that tenderers use this tool for preparing their bid and for taking gender differences into account for healthcare and social services.

Taking gender into account is essential for optimising healthcare and social care services, bridging the gender gap in access to healthcare services and advancing gender equality. Healthcare and social care services that do not address gender inequality or other forms of inequality inflict significant social and economic costs upon society. Other costs of failing to address gender differences include reduced user satisfaction with services, which may affect both women and men, depending on which services are highlighted. This can also lead to less efficient use of services, which in turn affects health outcomes [1].

Guiding questions

The following questions can guide you, as a contracting authority, when preparing a feasibility study for integrating a gender equality perspective in healthcare / social care services.

  1. Is it possible to integrate a gender equality perspective within this particular healthcare / social care service?
  2. Does the healthcare / social care service concern women and men, girls and boys?
  3. Who will use and benefit from the healthcare or social care service? Will women and men benefit equally?
  4. Does the healthcare / social care service concern women and men who may experience multiple forms of inequality (as a result of the intersections of socioeconomic status, disability, ethnicity, age and gender, for example)?
  5. Can this healthcare / social care service have consequences that make it essential to do a gender analysis? (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 for understanding gender inequality.)
  6. How does the new or upgraded healthcare / social care service consider women’s and men’s different health needs throughout the life cycle?
  7. Are the statistics related to the healthcare / social care service sex disaggregated? (This question is important when evaluating the background information.)
  8. Is there a connection between this healthcare / social care service and the gender equality objectives that the national or local government has set up? (A feasibility study should include an examination of how the procurement can help the organisation achieve its gender equality objectives.)
  9. Is it possible to include gender elements in the contract title (e.g. ‘Health outreach services for women and men’)?
  10. Are there any criteria for evaluation from a gender equality perspective and is there a plan for follow-up?

It is also important to formulate measurable criteria or indicators for the evaluation of the public procurement from a gender perspective. Gender equality requirements should thus always be linked to the evaluation criteria. Likewise, it is important to define how the monitoring and evaluation will be carried out and who is responsible for the various activities.

To verify if the requirements are accurate and appropriate, it can be useful to ask the following questions.

  1. Are the requirements comprehensive enough to meet their purpose?
  2. Are the requirements proportionate and non-discriminatory?
  3. Are the requirements measurable?
  4. Do the requirements have a connection to the procurement’s subject?
  5. Is it possible to compare and evaluate the (evaluation) requirements?
  6. Is it possible to check on and follow up the requirements?
  7. Are the requirements clearly formulated so that all contractors, national and international, are given the same opportunitiesto respond?
  8. Are the requirements compatible with other requests or technical conditions that are set out in the specifications?

Download the questions