About Gequal

About Gequal Project

 

The EU has recognized on several occasions the importance of achieving a balance in private and working life for women and men, however much remains to be done. Main objective of the two-year project was to address specific topics that are related to gender equality and the socialization of dependant people.

Citizens’ from four different cities were given the opportunity to interact with each other and share their ideas and experiences with respect to the issue of gender equality and the socialization of dependant people. Since one of the basics aims of the project was to enhance the social skills of dependent people like children with special needs, people with disabilities and senior citizens, the program helped in advancing the tolerance between EU citizens and making them more open-minded and caring towards people with special needs. Through this project, European values such as solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance were promoted.

The Gender Equality issue has been discussed widely within the European Union in the recent years, as a large body of European legislative texts is dedicated to equality between women and men. This is mainly made up of various Treaty provisions and Directives. A European Roadmap for equality between women and men was also established, that set out the priorities for the period 2006-2010. It combines specific initiatives and the integration of equality between women and men into all EU policies and activities (“gender mainstreaming”). However few events have been organized among local communities in Europe with the aim of finding effective ways to apply the Roadmap on a practical level. The project was pioneering as a large number of people (more than 500) coming from 4 different EU cities were involved in the events and were able to create a long-lasting cooperation network within their local communities.

 

Impact of the project

 

The main impact of the project was the exchange of best practices for the improvement of the quality and standard of life of women through the socialization of dependent people. This is based on the fact that Europe has to face a threefold challenge: a shrinking working age population, low birth rates and growing population of older people. Better work-life balance arrangements are part of the answer to the demographic decline by offering more affordable and accessible childcare facilities, and providing services that meet the care needs of the elderly and of people with different disabilities.  The quality of these services should be improved and the qualifications of staff employed should be developed and better valued. The project findings will have a widespread application, as many target groups were involved in the project: women, children with disabilities and special needs and elderly citizens.

Based on the methodology already provided by the EU on ways to enforce gender equality in local communities, the consortium of partners intended to use this methodology in practice, compare the best practices taking place at European level and combine these in order to develop a best practice guide in the form of a booklet. Another impact of this project was to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and solidarity among the citizens from the participating cities, especially for specific groups of people like children with special needs, people with disabilities, elderly people etc.