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REPORT     
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27 February 2002
PE 305.469 A5-0066/2002
on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the programme of action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community development cooperation
(COM(2001) 295 – C5-0464/2001 – 2001/2193(COS))
Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities
Rapporteur: Maria Martens
Draftswoman (*):
Luisa Morgantini, Committee on Development and Cooperation
(*) Hughes procedure
PROCEDURAL PAGE
 MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 21 June 2001, the Commission forwarded to Parliament its communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the programme of action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community development cooperation (COM(2001) 295 – 2001/2193(COS)).

At the sitting of 22 October 2001 the President of Parliament announced that she had referred the communication to the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities as the committee responsible and the Committee on Development and Cooperation for its opinion (C5-0464/2001).

The Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities had appointed Maria Martens rapporteur at its meeting of 11 September 2001.

At the sitting of 13 December 2001 the President of Parliament announced that the Committee on Development and Cooperation, which had been asked for its opinion, would be involved in drawing up the report, under the Hughes Procedure

The Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities considered the Commission communication and the draft report at its meetings of 21 November 2001, 21 January 2002 and 26 February 2002.

At the last meeting it adopted the motion for a resolution unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: .Anna Karamanou, chairwoman; Marianne Eriksson and Jillian Evans, vice-chairwomen; Maria Martens, rapporteur; María Antonia Avilés Perea, Armonia Bordes, Lone Dybkjær, Fiorella Ghilardotti, Lissy Gröner, Heidi Anneli Hautala, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Joke Swiebel, Helena Torres Marques, Feleknas Uca, Ilda Figueiredo (for Armonia Bordes) and Anne E.M. Van Lancker (for Mary Honeyball).

The opinion of the Committee on Development and Cooperation is attached.

The report was tabled on 27 February 2002.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

European Parliament resolution on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the programme of action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community development cooperation (COM(2001) 295 – C5-0464/2001 – 2001/2193(COS))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2001) 295 – C5-0464/2001),

–   having regard to Articles 2 and 3 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention of 18 December 1979 on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 June 1995 on the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing: 'Equality, Development and Peace'(1),

–   having regard to the Declaration and the Platform of Action adopted by the fourth World Conference on Women, and to its resolution of 21 September 1995 on the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing: Equality, Development and Peace(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 September 1998 on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on integrating gender issues in development cooperation (COM(95) 423)(3),

–   having regard to the resolution of 20 December 1995 of the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States on integrating gender issues in development cooperation,

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 July 1996 on the follow-up to the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development(4),

–   having regard to its resolutions of 16 September 1997 on the Commission communication - Incorporating equal opportunities for women and men in Community policies and activities - 'mainstreaming'(5) and 9 March 1999 on the progress report from the Commission on the follow-up of that communication(6),

-   having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 May 1998 on gender issues in development cooperation,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 of 22 December 1998 on integrating gender issues in development cooperation(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the follow-up to the Beijing Action Platform(8),

–   having regard to the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(9),

–   having regard to the Council and Commission statement of 10 November 2000 on the European Community's development policy (doc. 13458/00),

–   having regard to its opinion of 15 November 2000 on the proposal for a Council decision on the programme relating to the Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005) (COM(2000) 335 - C5-0386/2000 - 2000/0143(CNS))(10),

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2001 on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the European Community's Development Policy (COM(2000) 212)(11),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Development Council meeting of 8 November 2001,

–   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities and the opinion of the Committee on Development and Cooperation (A5-0066/2002),

A.   whereas under Articles 2 and 3 of the EC Treaty, the European Community has a duty to promote equality between men and women, and whereas it must set itself the objective, in all its activities, of eliminating inequalities between men and women,

B.   whereas the gender mainstreaming strategy was adopted in the Beijing Action Platform, and whereas since 1996 the Commission should increasingly be pursuing a policy of taking gender equality into account in Community policies and activities,

C.   whereas gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated at all levels, by the actors normally involved in policy-making(12),

D.   whereas development cooperation regulations and agreements (the ALA regulation of 1992, the MEDA regulation of 2000 and the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou) contain provisions seeking to promote gender mainstreaming,

E.   whereas the equal opportunities objective forms part of a dual approach aimed at ensuring equality between women and men by means of gender mainstreaming in all policies and activities and, at the same time, adopting specific positive measures for women,

F.   whereas Community development policy is based on the principle of sustainable, fair and inclusive human and social development, and whereas the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law forms an integral part of this principle,

G.   whereas the main aim of Community development policy is to reduce and, where possible, eradicate, poverty; whereas poverty is a multi-dimensional problem, which must be seen in terms of not just a lack of income but also mutually reinforcing factors which give rise to vulnerability and marginalisation, such as a lack of control over and access to property, resources and services and a lack of involvement in decision-making,

H.   whereas a large majority of poor people in the world are women and it is this link between gender and poverty which has made the gender factor in development cooperation policy more important than ever,

I.   noting with satisfaction the European Community's declared intention to go beyond a strictly economic approach and taking the view that development policy also concerns other areas of human activity such as the political, social and cultural fields,

J.   drawing attention to the fact that women in developing countries are often discriminated against in terms of access to food, health care, education, training, decision-making, participation in regional programmes and economic activities, as well as property rights, and that it is essential for inequalities to be removed and the role and rights of women to be strengthened if social justice and development are to be achieved,

K.   whereas Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 will expire in 2003,

1.   Welcomes the Commission's programme of action, which seeks to introduce a three-strand strategy aimed at integrating gender equality in development cooperation policies and strategies by means of negotiations with partners at all stages in project and programme cycles; draws particular attention to the following:

- the programme contains a number of practical measures aimed at preventing 'gender policy evaporation';
- action to promote equality is deemed to be the responsibility of the Union and not just the Member States and NGOs;
- an indicative timetable is set for the programme and provision is made for mid-term and final evaluations;
- reporting on the implementation of the programme will form an integral part of the annual report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Community development policy;

2.   Regrets that almost six years elapsed between the Council’s first designation of gender mainstreaming as a principle of Community and Member States’ development policy(13) and the publication of the Programme of Action, and that limited practical effect was achieved in the meantime even though the concept was enshrined in legislation,(14) but appreciates the Commission’s acknowledgement of the effect of ‘gender policy evaporation’;

3.   Considers however that the programme of action needs to be fleshed out, and calls accordingly on the Commission to submit a formal proposal and a detailed work programme setting out specific operational arrangements, deadlines and financial requirements, as well as qualitative and quantitative indicators by which to measure achievement;

4.   Requests that the mid-term and end-term evaluations also be sent to Parliament, with the mid-term evaluation being sent before the end of Parliament's fifth legislature;

5.   Takes the view that gender mainstreaming should not be seen as a means of increasing the productivity and effectiveness of development work, but rather as a matter of principle, as part of the much wider struggle for respect for human rights and for the personal value of women and men, whose differences must be recognised but whose rights must be equal;

6.   Refers in this connection to the objectives of the Community framework strategy on gender equality, which focuses on economic life, equal participation and representation, equal access and full enjoyment of social and economic rights for men and women, and promoting the human rights of women; stresses however, that as long as fundamental rights, such as equal access to food, education and health are not respected, it will be extremely difficult for women to pursue decision-making positions;

7.   Notes that the programme is to apply to the six priority areas of Community development policy, but, in view of the limited financial resources, questions the ranking given to transport in particular; agrees that the ranking order should give first priority to supporting macro-economic policies, poverty-reduction strategies and social sector programmes in education and health, especially reproductive health, where gender inequalities are the most serious and consequences gravest, not only to women, but to their families, communities, societies; considers it unacceptable to place such low emphasis on such key areas as trade - taking especially into consideration the impact of trade agreements on women's rights and position in the developing countries - and institutional capacity-building, good governance and the rule of law;

8.   Stresses the importance of improved access to quality reproductive health services, which include not only the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STIs, but also family planning, ante-natal, post-natal and delivery care and discouragement of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, etc; highlights that gender mainstreaming in health should target men, as well as women, in order to foster greater responsibility for family planning, safer sex and parenthood;

9   Notes with satisfaction that the six health areas include tackling gender-based violence and sexual abuse against women and calls on the Commission to carry out a wide-ranging investigation into the links between poverty levels and acts of violence against women and children;

10.   Calls on the Commission to carry out an in-depth study into the influence of local cultural traditions and customs both on the process of economic and social development and on women's rights and gender equality;

11.   Observes that gender disparity is not always exclusively linked to poverty but also to cultural, religious and socio-economic practices which should, however, never be considered an acceptable excuse for obstructing progress in the area of gender rights;

12.   Insists that the introduction of gender mainstreaming should not be to the exclusion of separate affirmative action programmes but that the Commission adopt a twin-track approach to gender policy incorporating both elements;

13.   Calls for gender analysis to form part of all future poverty reduction strategy papers and country strategy papers;

14.   Maintains that it is essential to institutionalise the involvement of women and women's organisations in developing countries in the planning, drawing up and follow-up of the measures to be taken, to ensure a balanced representation of women and men in project management and to introduce recruitment procedures which take due account of gender concerns;

15.   Considers that operational instruments such as gender impact assessment (ex-ante and ex-post), checks on the integration of gender issues, follow-up indicators and gender-specific statistics and data should be promoted and used at all levels; gender impact assessments should be carried out for all different components of the development cooperation agreements, including provisions and policies related to trade;

16.   Considers gender auditing of public budgets to be an essential means of establishing whether the principle of gender mainstreaming is being applied in public policy;

17.   Demands that sufficient financial and human resources be made available to support the actions outlined, in order to ensure the coherence and the continuity of the implementation process of the EU's action programme on gender and development, noting that in 2001 only € 2.02 million was allocated for integrating gender issues in development cooperation(15), compared with € 5 million in 1998(16);

18.   Calls on the Commission to draw up a new proposal for a regulation on the basis of its assessment of financial interventions in this area, to replace Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98, which serves as the legal basis for heading B7-6220, when it expires;

19.   Calls for the approach of ‘integrated gender issues’ as a requirement for funding to be extended from the EC budget line for HIV/AIDS to become a standard tool for all development budget lines;

20.   Considers that the Gender and Development Inter-Projects Group (GIDED) should be used in all partner countries where an ex-ante analysis suggests that a positive outcome can be expected;

21.   Emphasises the need for gender training and awareness-raising among Commission staff of all different DGs responsible for the external relations of the EU; to this end, sufficient ring-fenced funding must be made available from the administration budget for obligatory training for Commission staff working on development policy planning, programming and management either at the Commission’s headquarters or in the delegations;

22.   Emphasises the need to strengthen gender expertise in the Commission by establishing a permanent official as a specialist ‘gender desk’ with clearly defined responsibilities, in each delegation and in each of the services responsible for foreign relations (DG Development, DG External Relations, DG Trade, ECHO and the EuropeAid Cooperation Office) and by incorporating specialist gender staff in the Inter-Service Quality Support Group and in project evaluation teams;

23.   Calls on the Commission to strengthen its information strategy, to encourage networking and exchanges between the various stakeholders in the partner countries and the EU, and to improve coordination on gender issues among its various departments;

24.   Calls for Commission heads of unit and heads of delegation to be made responsible for the elaboration and implementation of sectoral and geographical gender guidelines and follow up and also for ensuring effective coordination between different Commission services on gender issues;

25.   Considers NGOs to have an essential role in promoting democracy based on respect for gender equality and stresses the importance of civil society and women's organisations at local level in both the North and South being fully involved at all stages in the project cycle and in situ technical assistance;

26.   Calls on the Commission and the partner countries under the Cotonou Agreement to make intensive efforts to implement the Development Council resolution on gender mainstreaming and to hold an extraordinary ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly on this vital topic;

27.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up cooperation with other international organisations, such as the UN, the Council of Europe and the OCSE, in order to create a link between trade liberalisation, economic aid and sustainable development;

28.   Calls on the Commission to step up cooperation and the exchange of information on respect for the human rights of women with the relevant NGOs and international organisations, and to support action to raise awareness of gender-specific human rights violations in situations of armed conflict or in cases of non-application of the relevant legislation owing to inadequate mechanisms or the predominance of anachronistic cultural traditions and social stereotypes;

29.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Member States.

(1)OJ C 166, 3.7.1995, p. 92.
(2)OJ C 269, 16.10.1995, p. 146.
(3)OJ C 313, 12.10.1998, p. 137.
(4)OJ C 211, 22.7.1996, p. 31.
(5)OJ C 304, 6.10.1997, p. 50.
(6)OJ C 175, 21.6.1999, p. 72.
(7)OJ L 354/5 of 30 December 1998.
(8)OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 258.
(9)OJ L 317 of 15 December 2000.
(10)OJ C 223, 8.8.2001, p. 149.
(11)OJ C 277, 1.10.2001, p. 130.
(12)Council of Europe report (EG-S-MS(98)2).
(13)Council Resolution of 20 December 1995 (see above).
(14)Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 (see above).
(15)Budget Item B7-6220.
(16)Budget Item B7-6110.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I.   Introduction

Equality of opportunity for women and men is a principle, an objective and a task for the European Union enshrined in the EC Treaty (Articles 2 and 3) and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The EU and its Member States have given undertakings to that effect in the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the 1995 Beijing Action Programme and the Cairo (1994) and Copenhagen (1996) conferences.

Since 1996 the Commission has been conducting a policy of incorporating equality of women and men into Community policies and activities (gender mainstreaming)(1), which in the development field has been reflected in the regulation on integrating gender issues in development cooperation(2) (3).

Incorporating equality, over and above any economic considerations of productivity and effective development, reflects considerations of human dignity and value and the requirements of social justice.

II.   The Commission's plan of action

The five-year plan of action (2001-2006) seeks, via a package of specific measures, to put political good intentions into practice and thus prevent the 'evaporation' of the policy of equality between men and women.

The plan of action is three-stranded:

a. analysing and integrating gender in the six Community priority development policy fields;
b. mainstreaming gender in regional and national projects and programmes;
c. strengthening the Commission's internal gender capacity.

The Community needs to conduct positive discrimination schemes and to incorporate the gender dimension at all levels of development cooperation, by means of negotiations with partners at all stages in project and programme cycles (planning, drafting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). The programme provides for mid-term and final evaluations and is accompanied by an indicative timetable.

The programme's aims are ambitious but it needs to be fleshed out and made operational. For this purpose we hope that the Commission will, as it did in the case of the framework strategy for equality between women and men, submit a proposal accompanied by a detailed work programme setting out specific operational arrangements, deadlines and financial requirements, and qualitative and quantitative indicators by which to measure its achievements.

The progress report on the programme is to be an integral part of the Commission report on development policy. Your rapporteur supports the Council's recommendation(4) that the Commission should include the principal elements of the programme of action for equality in the overall Programme of action on the EC's development policy.

Fields of activity

The programme has to be applied in the priority areas in the Community's cooperation and development policy(5). The overall aim of this policy is to reduce poverty with a view to finally eradicating it which will involve support for sustainable, fair and participatory economic, human and social development, promoting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and sound governance(6).

This approach needs to be coordinated with the aims of the framework Community strategy for equality between women and men in which development is a horizontal theme(7). Information and communications technology must not be ignored so that these new technologies do not become an additional factor in the marginalisation of women.

In the economic field, gender analysis will be incorporated in the planning, implementation and assessment of macroeconomic policy measures and action against poverty. Women's economic capacity and rights need to be strengthened to give them viable means of subsistence. Equality between women and men must become an integral part of national poverty reduction policies and country strategy papers.

Poverty is a multifaceted phenomenon and cannot be defined simply as a lack of income or financial resources but should include the notion of vulnerability and the lack of access and enjoyment of certain fundamental social rights such as access to adequate food supplies, drinking water, education and health and to employment and credit, property, justice, information and participation in politics, to services and infrastructure.

We agree on the priority given to social development programmes in the fields of education – especially as regards the elimination of illiteracy and primary schooling – and health, in particular basic health services, the main communicable diseases (AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) and reproductive health. The structural adjustment programmes (SAP) too often cut national welfare, health and education budgets, at the expense of women in particular.

To encourage women's participation and representation in decision-making bodies the partner countries' ability to incorporate equality at national and local level and in civil society must be stepped up.

Defending women's human rights and eliminating violence against women are priority objectives in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights, CEDAW, and the Peking Action Programme. With this in view, there needs to be greater cooperation and exchanges of information with the NGOs and international organisations involved, an effort to increase awareness of gender-related human rights violations in armed conflict and to take account of women's specific needs in humanitarian aid programmes.

Methodology and tools

As our committee has always maintained, 'gender mainstreaming', i.e. the '(re) organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages by the actors normally involved in policy-making'(8) needs to be accompanied by the adoption of specific, positive action measures (twin track approach).

In respect of methodology and tools, we need to promote and use at all levels instruments such as gender impact assessment, checks on the integration of gender issues (e.g. by the inter-departmental quality support group which considers country strategy papers before their adoption) and to use statistics and data broken down by sex, verifiable indicators and performance assessment criteria to monitor progress.

'Gender auditing' of public budgets needs to be stepped up, as it is a vital means of establishing whether the principle of gender mainstreaming is being applied in public policy. In the EU budget all appropriations for development cooperation should be analysed for their impact on equality between women and men.

Cooperation, coordination and partnership

To achieve the aims of gender equality there has to be consistency and complementarity between the activities of the various parties involved in development cooperation, north and south, which calls for strategic alliances and partnerships.

In particular, cooperation with other international organisations (UN, Council of Europe, OSCE) and partnership with Member States need to be strengthened, and synergy created between civil society organisations, public authorities and the private sector.

The NGOs, in particular those specialising in gender matters, and women's organisations, can play a vital role in promoting equality. The provision of information needs to be improved, women's organisations need to be strengthened and their participation facilitated in the preparation, drawing up and monitoring of programmes and projects, and we need to encourage the networking and establishment of links between parties in the partner countries and the EC. Balanced representation of women and men in project management is also needed, as is the establishment of gender-oriented recruitment procedures.

Human and financial resources

Promoting equal opportunities is a political priority for the EU, as witness its framework strategy for 2001-2005. The means need to be proportional to the ambitious aims for the action programme; the Commission must have appropriate human resources in terms of number, capacity and continuity, and adequate financial resources(9).

Staff gender training and awareness, at headquarters and in the delegations, are still important. We note the Commission's objective of having its entire staff working in the development cooperation field possessing the professional competence to promote equality by 2006. The Commission must also continue to strengthen its information and coordination strategy as between its various departments on equality matters.

We regret the delay in the utilisation of funds in 2001 under the specific budget heading for integrating gender issues in development cooperation (B7-6220), intended to provide further technical assistance, as a result of internal reorganisation at the Commission, and the amount earmarked (€ 2.2 million in 2001 and 2002). Regulation (EC) 2836/98, the legal basis for this heading, will expire in 2003; consideration will therefore have to be given to replacing it after the Commission's scheduled evaluation of the Commentary's financial operations in the field.

(1)Commission communication on incorporating equal opportunities for men and women in Community policies and activities
(2)Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98, OJ L
(3)Some regulations or agreements (ALA 1992, MEDA 2000, Cotonou Agreement 2000) also contain provisions encouraging incorporation of equality between women and men.
(4)Conclusions of the Development Council of 10 November 2001
(5)The following fields are involved: 1. economic policy and poverty reduction; implementation of social development programmes in health and education; 2. food security and sustainable development; 3. transport; 4. institutional capacity building, good governance and the rule of law; 5. trade and development; 6. regional integration and cooperation
(6)COM(2000) 212 of 26.4.2000)
(7)Aims: equality in economic life; equal participation and representation; equal access and full enjoyment of social rights and promoting women's human rights.
(8)Council of Europe report – EG-S-MS(98)2, p. 15.
(9)Conclusions , Development Council, 10 November 2001.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION

21 February 2002

for the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities

on the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Cooperation

(COM(2001) 295 – C5-0464/2001 – 2001/2193 (COS))

Draftsman (*): Luisa Morgantini

(*) Hughes Procedure

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Development and Cooperation appointed Luisa Morgantini draftsman at its meeting of 11 October 2001.

It considered the draft opinion at its meeting of 23 January 2002.

At its meeting of 21 February 2002 it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Joaquim Miranda, chairman; Margrietus J. van den Berg, Marieke Sanders-ten Holte and Anders Wijkman, vice-chairmen; Luisa Morgantini, draftsman; Yasmine Boudjenah, Marie-Arlette Carlotti, Maria Carrilho, John Alexander Corrie, Nirj Deva, Concepció Ferrer (for Fernando Fernández Martín), Michael Gahler (for Jürgen Zimmerling), Vitaliano Gemelli, Karin Junker, Glenys Kinnock, Karsten Knolle, Paul A.A.J.G. Lannoye, Nelly Maes (for Didier Rod), Mario Mantovani (for Hervé Novelli), Maria Martens (for Luigi Cesaro), Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Hans Modrow, Tokia Saïfi and Francisca Sauquillo Pérez del Arco.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The mainstreaming of gender issues in Community development and cooperation policy is a key factor for the durability of development actions.

The EU was an active participant in preparations for the fourth world conference on women held in Beijing in 1995 and in subsequent follow-up to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In its resolution of 20 December 1995, the Council acknowledged that the elimination of existing inequalities between men and women was an essential aspect for development both in terms of the effectiveness of the assistance and in terms of social justice.

To follow up and add substance to these statements, in 1997 the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation which was adopted by the Parliament(1) and Council (2) and provides the legal base for the specific budget-line for the integration of gender issues.

In presenting its current Programme of Action, the Commission intends to go one step further towards the integration of gender issues into mainstream development policy. It bases the Programme on experience to date, and proposes incorporating gender issues on the basis of three objectives:

1)   Integrating gender as a mainstream concern in the six areas identified as priorities for EC development cooperation;(3)

2)   Incorporating gender goals in projects and programmes designed jointly by the EC and its partners at country or regional level, with emphasis on gender analysis in the planning, implementation and evaluation of interventions as part of the project cycle management;

3)   Improving the capacity of the Commission in the area of gender both at Headquarters and in Delegations.

It is proposed that this programme of action should be carried out over a period of five years (2001-2006) and will be subject to evaluation both at mid-term and at the end of the period.

The Communication gives a clear description of the instruments and methods to be used, along with indicators by which progress may be measured. The evaluation process will analyse efficiency, effectiveness, impact and relevance of the gender mainstreaming measures.

Your draftsman notes that gender mainstreaming is not a novel concept in development policy. It was mentioned in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and its accompanying Platform for Action and specifically listed as a principle of EU development cooperation in the Council Resolution of 20 December 1995. The same language was included in Articles 1 and 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 on integrating of gender issues in development cooperation, which also added the important element of financial support. Viewed in this context, it is regrettable that the Commission has not come forward before now with a proposal to implement this mainstreaming, including such fundamental methodological tools as ensuring gender issues are an item on the agenda in policy dialogue with partners and the inclusion of gender perspective in the manual on Project Cycle Management.

Despite its tardiness, however, your draftsman considers that the Programme of Action is wide-ranging and forms a good base from which to give practical effect to the principles and declarations on gender that have been adopted in the past by the European Union.

It is particularly welcome that reporting on the implementation of the Programme of Action will be an integral part of the annual report from the Commission to the Council and Parliament on implementation of Community Development Policy. The proposal also makes provision for mid-term and end-term evaluations which it is to be hoped will be made available to Parliament. Such systematic evaluation is essential to avoid ‘policy evaporation’ that has too often been a feature of gender concerns. Your draftsman is pleased to note that in some cases specific indicators are listed to facilitate assessment of implementation, and calls for the list of indicators to be strengthened and to include quantitative targets for results.

It is observed in Annex III of the Communication that the EC budget-line for HIV/AIDS includes ‘integrated gender issues’ as a requirement for funding, meaning that if this is not fulfilled the project proposal is not accepted for financing. Your draftsman calls for an extension of this approach to other budget-lines to ensure appropriate consideration is given to gender issues in all projects where they may be relevant. Inevitably, in certain of the six priority areas of EC Development Policy gender concerns may be marginal, but even in these cases it should be obligatory to assess interventions from a gender perspective to ensure any possible gender impact is not overlooked.

Annex III also gives an example of the institutionalisation and integration of gender issues in rural development through the establishment of the Gender and Development Inter-projects group (GIDED) in Guinea Conakry, noting that this was so successful it is to be replicated in Mali and Madagascar. Your draftsman hopes that similar initiatives will soon become a widespread feature of EU cooperation.

Another aspect that your draftsman considers fundamental is the provision for sufficient expertise within the services of the Commission to ensure institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming. This involves information, training and use of specialist consultants, both at Headquarters and in Delegations. Training in gender awareness and gender planning should be obligatory and staff participation should be guaranteed. Funding for these courses should be ring-fenced from the general training budget, especially in Delegations. A specialist “Gender Desk” should be established in each Delegation and in each of the services responsible for foreign relations (DEV, RELEX, TRADE, ECHO and EuropeAid). Mechanisms should also be established to ensure coordination on gender issues between these services.

Your draftsman wishes to echo the call made by the Council in its conclusions of 8 November 2001 for the Commission to present as soon as possible a formal proposal with a work programme and specific operational modalities to allow the Programme to be put into effect without delay.

Finally, your draftsman would like to underline something that is often lost from sight when gender mainstreaming is presented as a tool to promote effectiveness, both in development cooperation and in economic terms. Such language suggests that gender concerns are only important as a means to improve policy implementation. However, it must be stressed that equal opportunities have an intrinsic value of their own as a matter of human rights and the personal value of women and men, recognising their differences but insisting on their equal rights.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Development and Cooperation calls on the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following points in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995,

–   having regard to the Council Resolution of 20 December 1995 on integrating gender issues in development cooperation,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 of 22 December 1998 on integrating of gender issues in development cooperation,

–   having regard to the European Commission’s Communication on the European Community’s Development Policy COM (2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000,

1.   Welcomes the Programme of Action as a practical strategy to address the wide range of problems currently hindering gender mainstreaming in development cooperation and as a good base to take forward declarations in favour of this approach made in the past by EU institutions and Member States;

2.   Regrets that almost six years elapsed between the Council’s first designation of gender mainstreaming as a principle of Community and Member States’ development policy(4) and the publication of the Programme of Action, and that limited practical effect was achieved in the meantime even though the concept was enshrined in legislation,(5) but appreciates the Commission’s acknowledgement of the effect of ‘gender policy evaporation’;

3.   Affirms that the approach of integrating gender into each of the six priority areas for EC development cooperation is appropriate and agrees that the ranking order should give first priority to supporting macro-economic policies, poverty-reduction strategies and social sector programmes in health and education, but considers it unacceptable to place such low emphasis on such key areas as trade and institutional capacity-building, good governance and the rule of law;

4.   Insists that the introduction of gender mainstreaming should not be to the exclusion of separate affirmative action programmes but that the Commission adopt a twin-track approach to gender policy incorporating both elements;

5.   Calls for a commitment to include gender aspects in all future Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and Country Strategy Papers;

6.   Demands that full account be taken of input from civil society organisations, especially those specialising in gender concerns and women's organisations, both for in-country technical assistance and at every stage of the project cycle;

7.   Calls for the approach of ‘integrated gender issues’ as a requirement for funding to be extended from the EC budget-line for HIV/AIDS to become a standard tool for all development budget-lines;

8.   Considers that the Gender and Development Inter-projects group (GIDED) should be used in all partner countries where an ex-ante analysis suggests that a positive outcome can be expected;

9.   Stresses that sufficient ring-fenced funding must be made available from the administration budget for obligatory training in gender awareness and gender planning for Commission staff working on development policy planning, programming and project management either at the Commission’s headquarters or in the delegations;

10.   Emphasises the need to strengthen gender expertise in the Commission by establishing a permanent official as a specialist ‘gender desk’ with clearly defined responsibilities, in each Delegation and in each of the services responsible for foreign relations (DG Development, DG External Relations, DG Trade, ECHO and EuropeAid Cooperation Office) and by incorporating specialist gender staff in the Inter-service Quality Support Group and in project evaluation teams;

11.   Calls for Commission Heads of Unit and Heads of Delegations to be made responsible for the elaboration and implementation of sector and geographical gender guidelines and follow up and also for ensuring effective coordination between different Commission services on gender issues;

12.   Demands that sufficient financial and human resources be made available to support the actions outlined, noting that in 2001 only €2.02 million was allocated for integrating gender issues in development cooperation(6), compared with €5 million in 1998(7);

13.   Welcomes the inclusion of reporting on implementation of the Programme of Action as an integral part of the Report from the Commission to the Council and Parliament on Implementation of Community Development Policy and requests that the mid-term and end-term evaluations also be sent to Parliament; with the mid-term evaluation being sent before the end of Parliament's fifth legislature;

14.   Appreciates the provision of an indicative timetable showing when actions are to be implemented and giving indicators by which they may be evaluated, but calls for strengthening of these indicators to include qualitative and especially quantitative targets for results;

15.   Calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible a formal proposal with a work programme, specific operational modalities and financial details to allow the Programme of Action to be put into effect without delay;

16.   Observes that gender disparity is not always exclusively linked to poverty but also to cultural, religious and socio-economic practices which should, however, never be considered an acceptable excuse for obstructing progress in the area of gender rights;

17.   Stresses that redressing gender disparities and enhancing the role of women are crucial for social justice and the effectiveness of development efforts but insists that gender mainstreaming should not only be viewed as a tool to promote the effectiveness of development cooperation interventions but as part of the much wider struggle for respect for human rights and for the personal value of women and men, whose differences must be recognised but whose rights must be equal.

(1)Junker Report A4-0318/97 PE 223.525
(2)Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 of 22.12.1998
(3)COM(2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000
(4)Council Resolution of 20.12.1995 on Integrating Gender Issues in Development Cooperation
(5)Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 of 22.12.1998
(6)Budget line B7-6220
(7)Budget line B7-6110

Last updated: 7 March 2002Legal notice