Manual for Gender Mainstreaming of Employment, Social Inclusion and Social Protection Policies
What do EU policy makers need to do to mainstream gender into social inclusion and social protection policies? This manual provides policy makers with a hands-on tool to aid this process. It suggests several factors to consider when designing social protection policies. For example, do policies include measures to address the needs of specific groups, such as lone parents (availability of childcare), women returning to work (adequately tailored training possibilities), disabled women, as well as ethnic minority or immigrant women? Are the specific needs of women and men considered in the way in which job training is organised - for example through the provision of childcare? The manual then focuses particularly on how to mainstream gender into the earnings-related pension systems in place in EU Member States. These systems generally mean that women receive lower benefits than men because of gender inequalities in income, and because women are more likely than men to interrupt their working lives to care for children and other dependents. But pension systems can be designed to give credits for breaks in paid employment or for part-time work because of care obligations. Health and long-term care policies must also take gender into account - since women are the main providers of informal care for dependents, as well as constituting by far the largest proportion of the labour force in the care and health sectors. The manual provides questions to guide policy makers in assessing the gender impact of health and long-term care reforms. For example, are there initiatives to support informal carers? Do policies promote the participation of women and men equally in training and life-long programmes for staff in the health and long-term care field?