Topic forums Gender Mainstreaming Coordination Unit

The Coordination Unit for Gender Mainstreaming in the ESF ( has been offering topic-specific meetings on various labour market policy issues with view to the gender perspective since 2004. The objective of the topic forums is to exchange information on these topics with experts based on inputs. For this purpose, experts with both theoretical as well as implementation-orientated experience are invited. Topic forums on 9 different topics have been organised up to now. These are briefly described below.

Since the topic “Disability and gender roles” has only been rarely discussed and treated up to now, it was an important concern of the GEM coordinators to address this issue. Two topic forums “Disability and gender roles – Expectations and reality” were therefore organised In July and in September 2004, at which experts and interested parties from Federal Disability Authorities, responsible Ministries, organisations carrying out projects, initiatives and social partners discussed the following issues:

  • Disability and gender on the labour market – Amplification of gender specific role ascriptions?
  • Conception and acquisition of (labour market policy) measures – Focus on men?
  • Parents of children with disabilities – only for women?

The objective of the third topic forum “Evaluations and Gender Mainstreaming: Conditions, quality standards and perspectives” on 15 December 2004 was to exchange information on above topics with experts on the basis of inputs as regards contents as well as to discuss the common need-orientated development of quality standards for monitoring systems and evaluations with regard to the equal opportunity perspective. Focus point were the experiences, which had been gained so far with monitoring systems and evaluations with regard to equal opportunity criteria, how minimum standards, necessary for monitoring and evaluation from the gender mainstreaming point of view can be formulated as well as the requirements for (future) monitoring systems and evaluations.

The priority of the topic forum “Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity – Areas of conflict between theoretical pretences and actual implementation” on 10 March 2005, was to investigate, whether and how the labour market opportunities of discriminated groups have increased by the implementation of gender mainstreaming and diversity concepts. The theoretical foundations of diversity and GM were presented, the practical experiences of companies/groups were recounted, and the benefits of gender mainstreaming and diversity for companies/groups were highlighted.

The topic forum “Gender Budgeting – Status quo, Chances and Challenges” on 16 June 2005, concentrated on the theoretical foundation of gender budgeting, on the present situation in Austria and in the international context, on practical experiences currently gained during implementation of gender budgeting as well as the possibilities arising due to the implementation of gender budgeting with regard to equal opportunities on the labour market. “Lifelong learning – Chances and challenges during the implementation of Gender Mainstreaming”.

The topic forum on 29 September 2005, addressed gender-typical structures in the concept of lifelong learning, the gender-specific organisation of training situations as well as the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the educational work of the educational bodies.

The topic “Gender-typical segregation on the labour market – Chances and challenges for Gender Mainstreaming” was dealt with on 15 December 2005 and addressed the causes and reasons of gender-typical segregation on the labour market, the associated phenomena, similarities, differences and stereotypes in traditionally male and women defined and/or gender-atypical occupations as well as the approaches offered by gender mainstreaming.

On 30 March 2006 the topic forum “Gender Pay Gap – Approaches for the reduction of gender-specific income differences” addressed the gender-specific income situation on the Austrian labour market, the causes and reasons for gender-specific income differences, effective countermeasures and approaches offered by gender mainstreaming.

The priority of the meeting “Gainful employment and care activities – An irresolvable conflict?” organised on 31 May 2006, was in particular the issue, which approaches can be found, in order to counteract the gender-specific allocation of gainful employment and care activities. How can gainful employment and unpaid care activities be divided more fairly between women and men?

The GeM topic forum “Woman’s time – Men’s time: Gender-specific differences in working time”, organised on 4 October 2006, illustrated the actual working time situation of women and men in Austria and in an international perspective as well as possible approaches to achieve a fairer distribution of the working time between women and men.

Topics: EU-Programs, Gender, Labour Market, Women's Issues
Client: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Labour
Team: Claudia Sorger, Hedwig Hasil, Nadja Bergmann, Peter Prenner
Status: beendet
from: 2004 to: 2006