© Sept 2001
Gender Mainstreaming Strategies in United Kingdom
1. Action Plans for Gender Mainstreaming
Did national, regional and/or local governments in your country launch a plan aiming to
implement equal opportunities for women and men in all fields of policy while at the same
time ensuring that persisting gender gaps are being addressed by positive action?
If so, please indicate:
|Official name of plan in original language
||UK Action Plan
|Date when plan was presented and launched
||May 2000 - updated every year
|Essential objectives and features
||Reducing the unemployment rate of women; increasing the activity rate of
women; de-segregation of the labour market; raising skills ; reducing social exclusion.
|Quantitative goals and timetables
||Appropriate budgets for specific programmes
2. Getting ready for Gender Mainstreaming
Are national, regional and local governments or other key-players currently preparing the
ground for implementing gender mainstreaming?
If you see indications in your country, please elaborate.
|Awareness raising events and publications
by governments, equality infrastructures, women's NGOs, trade unions etc.
||The Women's Unit (part of the Cabinet Office) has an overview of
initiatives and is evaluating the Gender Impact Assessment Tool which is being piloted in
key government departments. It helps officials to help officials compare the differential
impact of their policies and service delivery on women and men Each government department
has a responsibility for implementing gender mainstreaming. The Women's National
Commission ( NGOs) addresses this aspect of policies. The Scottish Executive has developed
and publicised a Toolkit for Mainstreaming with practical strategies for implementation.
The London Borough of Lewisham, as part of the 4th Action Programme has developed a
toolkit for Effective Local Partnerships to implement gender mainstreaming. The Equal
Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality have taken the lead on
strategies and support advice. The Department of Education and Employment is the
department with responsibility for sex equality and disability legislation.
|Training targeted at various actors
organised by governments, equality infrastructures etc.
||Each Regional Development Authority is required to have a policy and
strategy for equality and to develop programmes to support this. Their policies and
outcomes are monitored centrally annually.
This may lead them to organise training and awareness raising. The Equal Opportunities
Commission does not instigate training, but supports initiatives which may have that
element, such as the Fair Play initiative, a regional approach to equality needs in that
|Research and study
||The Women's Unit and the Department of Education and Employment do research
and commissions studies on gender issues. Various university departments also research
this, such as the University of Westminster, the University of Humberside and
Lincolnshire, and the University of Sussex.
|Information and funding of women's NGOs in
a perspective of making them key-actors in the process of gender mainstreaming.
||The Women's National Commission is government funded with the brief to
advise the Government on women's issues, including gender mainstreaming. NGOs in general
try to monitor this, but are not funded to do so. The Fawcett society with the aim of
promoting equality between women and men particularly researches and raises awareness of
women in political decision-making.
||The Wales Assembly and the Scottish Parliament have made particular
progress in achieving gender equality in representation by specific methods of selecting
3. Gender mainstreaming targeted explicitly at women in decision-making
Besides getting an overview of the broad-based approaches to gender mainstreaming it is
important to track information that is particularly relevant to current and future aims of
the WID project. The following points reach beyond women's participation in the political
arena. Please try to cover them as far as possible considering questions such as:
- Are the relevant strategies including timetables and quantitative goals?
- What are the concrete measures to reach them?
- Who are the major players to take action?
- What are the relevant monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to be applied?
|Tackling gender gaps in decision-making -
in both the political arena and in economic and cultural life - as priority in the
(already mentioned eventually existing) national action plan for gender mainstreaming.
||There are many organisations tackling gender gaps in economic and social
spheres, from NGOs to the Institute for Personnel Development. Women NGOs network to offer
support for women who are in decision-making positions. Many professional bodies have a
women's wing, emphasising the need for such initiatives. The Fair Play Consortia focus on
access to economic decision-making and employment initiatives. There is a strong awareness
in the country of the need to improve the situation, but very little in the way of
co-ordinated strategy and activity. The employer-led organisation Opportunity Now has
benchmarked this aspect, but does not enforce it, or censure member organisations which do
not fully comply.
|Vertical desegregation of the labour market
(i.e. enhancing women's access to senior management and decision-making levels) as a
priority among measures described under pillar 4 of your country's National Action Plan
for Employment (NAP)'.
||While the Civil Service has made great efforts to overcome the
de-segregation of the labour market, and the Government has a policy of greater
representation of women and minority ethnic groups on other decision-making bodies, and
this is monitored annually, the improvement is slow. A more rapid increase in the number
of women in senior positions in industry would require potentially require the setting of
quotas, which would not be supported by Government and industry.Targets are acceptable,
but not quotas.
'NAPs can be found on the Europa Server at the website of the DG Employment & Social
Search for European Employment Strategy.
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