Updated 19 February 2013
Gender equality and equal opportunities
Gender equality and equal opportunities is a regulatory cross-cutting theme for all structural fund programmes in 2007-2013.
The ESF programme in England has a dual approach to mainstreaming gender equality and equal opportunities.
- Firstly, it ensures that equality of opportunity is taken into consideration and actively promoted by providers when they deliver their services. The procurement and contract management processes organised by Co-financing Organisations play an important role in ensuring this integration takes place
- Secondly, ESF is used to fund equality-specific providers or specialist support where this is appropriate to do so (including on a sub-contracting basis where a Co-financing Organisation is funding a prime-contractor).
At national level, gender equality and equal opportunities has been fully integrated across the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation stages of the programme.
On this page:
- Engaging unemployed women
- Gender equality and equal opportunities mainstreaming plan 2011-2013
- New gender equality good practice guide
- Over-50s good practice guide
- Race and age equality guides
- Annual ESF Gender and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Leader Awards
- Guide to Measuring Soft Outcomes and Distance Travelled
- Annual mainstreaming progress report for gender equality and equal opportunities
- Update to the equality impact assessment of the ESF Programme 2007-2013
Engaging unemployed women
A research report in “Engaging Unemployed Women” was undertaken by NIACE and produced in September 2011.
The NIACE report is available:
- Engaging unemployed women in ESF funding training (NIACE website)
And is supported by an annex document detailing case studies:
- Engaging unemployed women in ESF-funded training: successful approaches and case studies (NIACE website)
Gender equality and equal opportunities mainstreaming plan 2011-2013
The national ESF gender equality and equal opportunities sub committee agreed the following updated mainstreaming plan:
The main focus of the plan is on increasing the ESF programme’s female participation rate to 51% for the second half of the programme period.
New gender equality good practice guide
A new gender equality good practice guide is now available:
Over-50s good practice guide
The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) have published a good practice guide to help ESF providers offer 50+ participants the employment support they need.
- ESF Projects Successfully engaging with the Over-50s (660KB) (TAEN website)
Race and age equality guides
The following good practice guides draw upon studies and experience from EQUAL and Objective 3 projects:
- Ethnic minority communities - equality and diversity good practice guide (333KB)
- Age – equality and diversity good practice guide (446KB)
Annual ESF Gender and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Leader Awards
The 2007- 2013 ESF programme in England also promotes good practice through the national ESF Mainstreaming Awards for providers and partners who 'go the extra mile' in promoting gender equality and equal opportunities.
Guide to Measuring Soft Outcomes and Distance Travelled
This report aims to help projects and organisations to understand how to recording soft outcomes and distance travelled. It offers a definition of these terms and presents different methods for recording and measuring them. Primarily its aim is to be a resource for ESF projects where the target groups are some distance from labour market participation.
Annual mainstreaming progress report for gender equality and equal opportunities
2012 progress report
The latest annual ESF gender equality and equal opportunities mainstreaming progress report is now available. The report has a specific focus on the progress that has been made in promoting female participation in the ESF programme during the second half of the programme period.
Previous years' reports
- ESF Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Plan progress report – 2011 (614KB)
- Gender Equalities and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Plan Progress Report – 2010 (891KB)
- Gender Equalities and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Plan Progress Report – 2009 (1.01MB)
Women’s participation in ESF: Notes from workshops held during November 2012
A report covering both gender equality workshops in November 2012 setting out the main findings and issues as well as identifying a range of additional actions that can be taken to further-promote female participation.
Update to the equality impact assessment of the ESF Programme 2007-2013
This report provides an update to the equality impact assessment which was conducted before the programme was launched in 2007.
- European Social Fund equality impact assessment (update) - August 2011 (410KB)
- Annex 1: Representation of groups with protected characteristics on ESF (263KB)
- Annex 2: Performance - participants from protected groups into jobs (186KB)
- Annex 3: Performance - achievement of basic skills and qualifications (179KB)