Example 6: Setting gender equality objectives
Gender Equality Framework Programme by the Federal State of Berlin
Berlin as one of 16 Federal States in Germany developed a Gender Equality Framework Programme (GPR). In April this year the General principles on gender equality in the State of Berlin came into effect within the second phase of the GPR. It is a binding framework for policy orientation of all authorities of the State of Berlin. As the GPR Website indicates “(t)he general principles express an ideal conception of gender equality from the perspective of citizens, which shows that there is still much to do”
The ten principles of gender equality in the state of Berlin are:
- Women and men play equal parts in determining and shaping the life of the community in its political, economic, cultural, and social facets.
- Women and men are equally empowered and self-directed in all areas and phases of their lives.
- Women and men earn their own livelihoods and secure poverty-proof retirement with the help of high-quality initial and continuing education, equal compensation, and equitable access to the employment market.
- Women and men share equitably in family- and care-related work involving household chores, child rearing, and looking after other family members, while maintaining their own independent livelihoods.
- Women and men have equitable participation in the state’s resources.
- Women and men can depend on the government to demonstrate gender equity in its speech, writing, and actions.
- Women and men learn and teach in a gender-equitable way in schools, day care centers, and all other educational facilities.
- Women and men are offered gender-equitable programs in health care and sports.
- Women and men feel safe and are not subject to violence or sexist discrimination in either the private or public spheres.
- Women and men are free to express their personalities and are appreciated and respected in their diversity.
Questions and answers
What does the example show?The example shows how gender equality objectives can be defined for certain fields as mentioned above. Ten guiding principles were outlined within the framework concerning questions from of housework to pensions. Gender is considered as essential and something which affects human life in every constellation. It is the responsibility of the State of berlin to find ways to implement gender mainstreaming in all different departments. Principles which belong to all institutions make it easier for them to conduct their activities related to these principles.
Which components of the example relate to one or more of the 13 steps of the guide and how?Because there is a reporting system the GPR it also contributes to accountability (step 1).
Why is the example suitable for promoting institutional transformation?Concrete goals are supplemented by measures and activities. The goals presented by the framework are easily to understand and appealingly presented. Furthermore they remain realistic and achievable but still ambitioned.
What was the example’s line of action?The Berlin administration established a Gender Commission in 2003. The members were high level administration staff from various units and both levels of the Berlin administration. The commission installed a working group on gender budgeting in which the “Initiative for a gender just budgeting in the City of Berlin” was also represented as a civil society group.
The first Gender Equality Framework (2008 to 2011) gave already objectives for the gender equality policy for the Federal State level as well as the communal level. When creating the GPR, the administration in the year 2007 organised thematic focus groups as well as a conference inviting gender equality experts, NGOs and women`s projects.
Also, within the GPR thematic conferences were organised, for example on gender aspects in sports policies or the promotion of youth. Also a conference on “Gender Budgeting: From analysis to monitoring” was organised in 2010. These conferences allowed dialogue between policy makers, administration, researchers, experts and civil society groups.
Who was involved and in which way?A unit within the ministry for Labour, Integration and Women is coordinating the process. There is also a high level State Committee for Equality consisting covering two different levels (Federal State as well as communal level).
Which lesson can be learned in terms of success factors?Since the framework has been implemented all departments and institutions associated to the State of Berlin need to consider these guiding principles in their activities.
However, it is too early to assess whether the potential of the GPR principles can unfold and will translate into real life politics.