Gender equality in the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Briefing 26-10-2021

The extent of the negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the social and economic situation of women has triggered a debate on the urgent need to take a gender-sensitive approach to the policy response to the pandemic. In this context, the establishment of the EU's biggest financial instrument supporting recovery in the Member States – the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) – is an opportunity to channel the extraordinary resources to the measures that take into account the principles of gender equality. It is also a chance to put in practice the EU's long-standing commitments regarding the need to mainstream gender across different policies and apply gender budgeting principles to EU spending. Offering an overview of how gender equality has been built into the RRF Regulation, this briefing explains what was expected from the Member States when they were preparing their national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs) as regards gender equality. It also provides practical examples of reforms and investments where gender equality has been taken into account, from the approved NRRPs of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal and Slovakia. In keeping with the RRF Regulation, all the NRRPs analysed declare gender equality to be a horizontal objective, to be given consideration in all measures. However, not all Member States have included dedicated reforms or investments addressing gender-related challenges explicitly, or indicating women as the main beneficiaries.