The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), WIDE Network, and the Gender Working Group of CONCORD – the European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, call on European and national policy-makers to ensure that EU funding programmes for the 2014-2020 financial period will provide the framework and sufficient financial resources to strengthen the EU commitment to promote women’s rights and gender equality in all areas of its internal and external policies. This paper complements the joint statement of the three organisations ‘Toward gender responsive, accountable, and participatory post 2013 EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework‘ released in May 2011.
EU funding for promoting equality between women and men has decreased since the 2000-2006 financial period, and in the 2007-2013 period only 0.37% (EUR 3.56 million of EUR 975 billion) of the EU budget has been allocated to budget lines and spending categories earmarked for promoting women’s rights and gender equality. The decrease of EU funding for specific action on gender equality is partly due to the increased emphasis on gender mainstreaming as part of the EU dual strategy to gender equality. However, while an efficient gender mainstreaming can be a powerful tool to achieve equality between women and men when it accompanies specific actions to redress gender inequalities, evaluations of current funding programmes both within both EU internal and external policies show serious gaps in gender mainstreaming practices. Political will is required to redress these shortcomings when the decision about the priorities and financial envelopes of the EU funding programmes for the 2014-2020 period are made.
It is crucial that the total earmarked EU funding for women’s rights and gender equality within the EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 is increased or at the very least maintained at the current level. To guarantee adequate and predictable level of funding for promoting equality between women and men over the 2014-2020 period, the EU must establish a strong independent funding programme for women’s rights and gender equality, non-discrimination and fundamental rights within the budget heading ‘Security and Citizenship.’ Clear gender equality objectives and targets with earmarked budgets must be established within relevant funding programmes such as the European Social Fund, the proposed ‘integrated programme for employment, social policy and social inclusion’, and the Instrument for Development Cooperation. In addition, gender mainstreaming must be made a requirement in the founding regulations of all the 2014-2020 financing programmes, and its operationalisation ensured with sufficient financial and human resources and followed up in the strategic documents of the programmes.
The EWL, WIDE, and CONCORD Gender Working Group proposals regarding specific EU funding programmes 2014-2020
EU internal policies
1. Establish a strong independent funding programme for equality between women and men, non-discrimination, and fundamental rights within the budget heading ‘Security and Citizenship’ in order to guarantee a sustained level of funding and visibility for these crucial EU objectives;
2. Continue the DAPHNE programme to combat and prevent violence in the framework of the proposed ‘Justice Programme’ and make addressing violence against women its core priority in order to turn EU commitments to end violence against women into action;
3. Ensure that the proposed integrated programme for employment, social policy and social inclusion (successor to PROGRESS) has a strong mandate to promote equality between women and men in order to guarantee the success of both the EU’s employment and gender equality policies;
4. Strengthen the double Strategy of specific action in the field of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the European Social Fund in order to ensure the ESF helps Member States to reach the Europe 2020 targets.
EU external policies
5. Ensure earmarked budgets for promoting equality between women and men in all the geographic and thematic funding instruments of EU external policies, and enhance effective gender mainstreaming in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Downlown the full Statement in English here: