Project proposal for open call vp/2005/020

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Project proposal for open call VP/2005/020 (Gender Equality)

Proposed project title:

Getting Engaged: Women in Local Development

The EC has issued a call for proposal within the Gender Equality Strategic Framework programme. The priority theme for the call is the “promotion of gender equality, particularly in local development”.

This proposal seeks to focus on two key aspects of this theme:

  • how to encourage balanced participation of men and women in the economic and social issues of local development and

  • how policies and services implemented at local level can encourage, on a daily basis, the promotion of gender equality.

Equality has long been on the EU agenda and major advances have been made regarding the position of women, but equality in daily life is still hampered by the fact that women and men do not have equal rights in practice. Especially, the participation of women in political, economic, and social fields is still not adequately reflected in women being seen and heard in decision-making mechanisms. This is particularly so in regeneration areas which are key sites of local development and thus which impact greatly on gender equality in terms of participation and provision of services. However, regeneration areas are also characterised by having high levels of diversity and social exclusion. A focus on gender equality in local development in such areas would thus also cut horizontally in relation to race and age equality issues in local development.

Given this perspective and context we are seeking partners who are located and active in diversity rich environments.
During the 1980s and 1990s many initiatives designed to promote women's perspectives in local development policy and practice were established. These changes alongside enhanced equal opportunities legislation and increasingly positive images of women in the media have all contributed to the implicit assumption that women have achieved equality. However academic research casts considerable doubt over whether social and political inclusion is a commonly experienced reality for all women, particularly for women in low-income households.
Nowadays there is a recognition that regeneration needs to be people-centred, and that it needs to involve people from the local community. Therefore one of the challenges of gender policies lies in the balanced access and representation of women in local development. Promoting and developing gender equality in urban regeneration areas is not simply a matter of pursuing 'political correctness'. It is now widely accepted that regeneration in such areas will only work if local people are involved and have a sense of ownership. If women are not involved in local development, such 'ownership' will be impossible to achieve.
Furthermore a focus on local development needs to take on board the fact that women are becoming important actors in economic regeneration. Job creation, for example, increasingly includes occupations that are most likely to be carried out by women: caring, call centres, and health promotion work being just a few examples.
Whilst there is some evidence of increasing national interest in women’s gendered experience of local development, little is known about the extent to which local patterns of gender roles and relationships are taken into account in the planning, implementation and evaluation of local regeneration strategies or their gendered impact. Whilst some issues for women in local development strategies are broadly the same as those for the whole community - housing, employment, poverty, crime etc. In addition however, there are certain key issues of particular relevance for women, such as raising their aspiration (-particularly of certain groups of young women and men- to help them break out of the low aspirations and poverty cycle) and childcare support.
In short local regeneration policies often include both explicit gendered policies, and less explicit areas such as community safety, health promotion, and housing improvement, which have different meanings for men and women. There has, however, been little evaluation of the attitudes of the main participants in partnerships to the inclusion of a gendered evaluation of need or impact of such policies. When gender is taken on board in regeneration, both men and women feel empowered, leading to real changes for communities and those who live in them. Better-tailored and targeted programmes can help reduce poverty and unemployment, increase educational attainment and improve health and quality of life.
Finally, a focus on local development in regeneration areas also links the issue of gender equality to the issue of globalisation. Globalisation of the economy has brought with it global social change. In every country there are challenges to established family life and to the roles of men and women. We could see this as a time of threat but it is also a window of opportunity for women to assert a new set of priorities based on a different way of working, particularly through their involvement in local and regional development.

Given the above aims and contextual background, the overall aim of this project is to bring about an exchange of experience and transfer of learning between partners seeking to strengthen their approach and commitment to an ‘inclusive’ approach to local development regeneration which incorporates a gender equality dimension. In so doing the project will also aim to:

  • Disseminate research which has highlighted the absence of women from local development initiatives.

  • Identify and disseminate good practice where it does exist.

  • Promote positive action to address gender equality within local development regeneration.

To realise these aims the project has the following specific objectives:

  • Undertaking three transnational peer reviews of local development workshops. The workshops would focus on three specific sub-themes;

    • Strategies, priorities and monitoring issues;

    • Patterns of involvement and consultation issues;

    • Perception of women’s needs and relationship to service provision issues

Each workshop would bring together a delegation of 3 to 4 participants from each partner locations plus expert input and good practice case studies from outside the project partnership. The aim will be share experience and also result in the production of good practise case studies. The workshops would also support in the development of local action plans for gender equality in local development.

  • The establishment of Local Action Groups (LAG’s) at a local level which would act as the catalyst for local/regional change. Each LAG would be cross-sectoral and have a minimum of 12 members. The members of the LAGs would participate in the transnational programme, local dissemination and also development of the local action plans.

  • To develop an online good practice exchange and development forum, which would bring together access to resources, case studies connections with practioners and policy officers for developing services for the target group. The aim being to pool the experience within the partnership and beyond in order to create an online resource that can be useful in disseminating good practise. This would draw on the work undertaken in the workshops but also include a wider mapping exercise.

  • Undertake a mapping exercise at a local level in order to identify the needs of the target groups and also the gaps in local provision. The aim here would be to create local action plans which provide a means for wider dissemination and implementation of outcomes.

Budget (Based on 8 partners)
Strategic co-ordination and management of project (staff costs; audit; administration; financial management; website; overheads; etc)

Local Co-ordination

€22,450 per partner x 8

3 Peer review workshops (3 delegates per partner plus experts for three nights; interpretation in Italian, French, Spanish and English; fees for two experts)

€56,800 per workshop x 3

Steering group meetings (one delegate per partner)

End Report





EC will pay 80%.

Which means that each partner will need to pay €12,500 in co-financing. However, each partner will receive €22,450 for local co-ordination (this will include €1800 for undertaking translations of workshop reports and €20,650 for local staffing, mapping, dissemination).

In addition, the project will pay for 9 delegates to attend the 3 workshops and costs for attending steering group meetings. This is equivalent to a further €8500 per partner.

Project Duration: 15 Months.

If the project is approved we would start in Sept/October 2006

Next Steps:
This project will be limited to 8 partners.

To join this project, please send an email to:

by Friday April 7, as we will be seeking to finalise the partnership by this date.
Following receipt of your email you will receive documentation that you need to send to us and also a model letter of commitment that will need to be signed and faxed and posted to us by 21 April.

For further information please contact:
Haroon Saad,


Andrea Giordano,

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