The GeM Coordination Unit was a comprehensive counselling, information and development project, which was conducted by L&R Social Research on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour of the Republic of Austria (BMWA) from 2000-2007.
Key task of the GeM Coordination Unit was the support of the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the measures of the ESF (European Social Fund) and in a broader sense within the Austrian labour market policy.
Target groups of the GeM Coordination Unit amongst others were the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), the Federal Social Welfare Offices, the territorial employment pacts, the federal state authorities as well as the project executing organisations, which implement employment market and educational measures.
To support the implementation of gender mainstreaming a number of multifaceted activities have been developed and designed, which can be subsumed in following focal points:
Focal Point Information and Knowledge
The handling and preparation of Gender Mainstreaming and employment market topics as well as the appropriate counselling and coordination of central employment market and equal opportunity policy stakeholders were the centre point of attention, especially at the beginning of the project.
The main tool for provision of information was the creation of an own GeM website. This website consisted of all GeM materials, as well as a comprehensive database with topic related literature, a well-sorted list of links, news and a topic related event guide.
The GeM helpdesk supplied advice and information via phone or email at all hours.
The Gem-info letter, published four times a year, represented a further information channel, dealing with the different employment market related gender topics. The spectrum ranges from the question of compatibility of job and private life to the topic of disability and gender as well as gender related deviations in income.
Focal Point Networking and Cooperation
Within the network of central employment market and equal opportunity policy stakeholders, a collective accumulation and constant transfer of knowledge on this topic took place.
In addition to a large number of topic related events, the so-called GeM Topic Forums, annual GeM Roundtables were held in all federal states to keep the topic of gender mainstreaming visible nationwide and to discuss implementation methods together.
In the scope of this event and the topic related coordination of regular meetings, collective products for the support of different areas within the integration of gender mainstreaming have been created. The Tep-GeM strategy paper, organised by the GeM coordination unit, needs to be highlighted at this point.
Counselling and Development
To support the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of the labour market policy, the GeM 4-step method was created, which is also the basis for a set of guidelines for the implementation of gender mainstreaming. These guidelines were collected within the GeM Tool Box and made accessible through the website for whoever was interested in this topic.
Furthermore, GeM Workshops especially targeted to all the ESF target groups have been conducted to collectively discuss and test the possible implementation methods for gender mainstreaming. In the coordination unit half time the comprehensive GeM Practice-Guide was developed, consisting of tips and implementation examples for the field work, based on the experiences which were collected up to this point.
At the same time, there was always the possibility of receiving individual counselling concerning implementation related questions. Finally, the GeM Coordination Unit processed and documented the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the Austrian labour market and employment policy in the years 2001 to 2006 in the GeM Field Report
2 large GeM Conferences, presenting a synopsis of central scientific and practical experiences in the field of gender mainstreaming, established further elements (2003 and 2007) of the services and processed the respective status quo of the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of the labour market policy for a broader public.
Bergmann, Nadja / Sorger, Claudia: The implementation of gender mainstreaming in the Austrian employment market and policy. A field report of the gender mainstreaming coordination centre. Vienna 2007
Bergmann, Nadja / Pimminger, Irene: Practice Guide Gender Mainstreaming. Concept. Implementation. Experience. Vienna 2004
Bergmann, Nadja / Pimminger, Irene: The Toolbox Gender Mainstreaming. Vienna 2004
Austria’s Employment Pacts Gender Mainstreaming Platform (TEPGEM-Platform): Policy paper fort he implementation of gender mainstreaming in the territorial employment pacts. Vienna 2004
2001-2006: GeM Info letter, published 4 times a year
Team: Nadja Bergmann, Hedwig Hasil, Irene Pimminger, Peter Prenner, Claudia Sorger, Tosca Wendt