Topic forums Gender Mainstreaming Coordination Unit (Workshop, 2004-2006)

The Coordination Unit for Gender Mainstreaming in the ESF ( has been offering topic-specific meetings on various labour market policy issues with view to the gender perspective since 2004. The objective of the topic forums is to exchange information on these topics with experts based on inputs.  For this purpose, experts with both theoretical as well as implementation-orientated experience are invited. Topic forums on 9 different topics have been organised up to now. These are briefly described below.

Since the topic "Disability and gender roles" has only been rarely discussed and treated up to now, it was an important concern of the GEM coordinators to address this issue. Two topic forums "Disability and gender roles – Expectations and reality" were therefore organised In July and in September 2004, at which experts and interested parties from Federal Disability Authorities, responsible Ministries, organisations carrying out projects, initiatives and social partners discussed the following issues:

  • Disability and gender on the labour market – Amplification of gender specific role ascriptions?
  • Conception and acquisition of (labour market policy) measures – Focus on men?
  • Parents of children with disabilities – only for women? 

The objective of the third topic forum "Evaluations and Gender Mainstreaming: Conditions, quality standards and perspectives" on 15 December 2004 was to exchange information on above topics with experts on the basis of inputs as regards contents as well as to discuss the common need-orientated development of quality standards for monitoring systems and evaluations with regard to the equal opportunity perspective.  Focus point were the experiences, which had been gained so far with monitoring systems and evaluations with regard to equal opportunity criteria, how minimum standards, necessary for monitoring and evaluation from the gender mainstreaming point of view can be formulated as well as the requirements for (future) monitoring systems and evaluations.    

The priority of the topic forum "Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity – Areas of conflict between theoretical pretences and actual implementation" on 10 March 2005, was to investigate, whether and how the labour market opportunities of discriminated groups have increased by the implementation of gender mainstreaming and diversity concepts.  The theoretical foundations of diversity and GM were presented, the practical experiences of companies/groups were recounted, and the benefits of gender mainstreaming and diversity for companies/groups were highlighted. 

The topic forum "Gender Budgeting – Status quo, Chances and Challenges" on 16 June 2005, concentrated on the theoretical foundation of gender budgeting, on the present situation in Austria and in the international context, on practical experiences currently gained during implementation of gender budgeting as well as the possibilities arising due to the implementation of gender budgeting with regard to equal opportunities on the labour market.   "Lifelong learning – Chances and challenges during the implementation of Gender Mainstreaming".  

The topic forum on 29 September 2005, addressed gender-typical structures in the concept of lifelong learning, the gender-specific organisation of training situations as well as the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the educational work of the educational bodies. 

The topic "Gender-typical segregation on the labour market – Chances and challenges for Gender Mainstreaming"  was dealt with on 15 December 2005 and addressed the causes and reasons of gender-typical segregation on the labour market, the associated phenomena, similarities, differences and stereotypes in traditionally male and women defined and/or gender-atypical occupations as well as the approaches offered by gender mainstreaming. 

On 30 March 2006 the topic forum "Gender Pay Gap – Approaches for the reduction of gender-specific income differences" addressed the gender-specific income situation on the Austrian labour market, the causes and reasons for gender-specific income differences, effective countermeasures and approaches offered by gender mainstreaming.  

The priority of the meeting "Gainful employment and care activities – An irresolvable conflict?" organised on 31 May 2006, was in particular the issue, which approaches can be found, in order to counteract the gender-specific allocation of gainful employment and care activities. How can gainful employment and unpaid care activities be divided more fairly between women and men?

The GeM topic forum "Woman's time – Men's time: Gender-specific differences in working time", organised on 4 October 2006, illustrated the actual working time situation of women and men in Austria and in an international perspective as well as possible approaches to achieve a fairer distribution of the working time between women and men.

Team: Nadja Bergmann, Claudia Sorger

External Team: Hedwig Hasil, Peter Prenner

Project: GeM Co-ordination Unit

Project description:

The GeM Coordination Unit was a comprehensive counselling, information and development project, which was conducted by the L&R Social Research on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour of the Republic of Austria (BMWA) from 2000-2007.

Key task of the GeM Coordination Unit was the support of the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the measures of the ESF (European Social Fund) and in a broader sense within the Austrian labour market policy.

Target groups of the GeM Coordination Unit amongst others were the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), the Federal Social Welfare Offices, the territorial employment pacts, the federal state authorities as well as the project executing organisations, which implement employment market and educational measures.

To support the implementation of gender mainstreaming a number of multifaceted activities have been developed and designed, which can be subsumed in following focal points:

  • Information and Knowledge
    (Amongst others development of the GeM website, GeM Info Letter is published four times a year)

  • Networking and Cooperation
    (Amongst others: GeM Roundtables as well as GeM Topic Forums in all federal states)

  • Counselling and Development  
    (Amongst others: development of the GeM 4-Step Method as well as thereon based guidelines for the implementation of GeM within the GeM Toolbox, organisation of GeM Workshops and creation of the GeM Practice-Guide as well as the GeM Field-Report)

Main publications:

Bergmann, Nadja / Sorger, Claudia: The implementation of gender mainstreaming in the Austrian employment market and policy. A field report of the gender mainstreaming coordination unit. Vienna 2007

Bergmann, Nadja / Pimminger, Irene: Practice Guide Gender Mainstreaming. Concept. Implementation. Experience. Vienna 2004

Bergmann, Nadja / Pimminger, Irene: The Toolbox Gender Mainstreaming. Vienna 2004

Austria’s Employment Pacts Gender Mainstreaming Platform (TEPGEM_Platform): Policy paper for the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the territorial employment pacts. Vienna 2004

2001-2006: GeM Info letter, published 4 times a year

Client: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Labour

Status: finished

Other projects:

Conference: Gender Mainstreaming in Austria - Equality policy between utopia and realisation (Conference, 2007)
GeM-InfoLetter "Time for Women - Time for Men" (Infoletter, 2006)
GeM-InfoLetter "Gender Pay Gap" (Infoletter, 2006)
GeM-InfoLetter "Gainful Employment and Caring" (Infoletter, 2006)
GeM-Infoletter "GeM Parting" (Infoletter, 2006)
GeM-InfoLetter "Diversity" (Infoletter, 2005)
GeM-InfoLetter "Gender Budgeting 2" (Infoletter, 2005)
GeM-InfoLetter "Lifelong Learning and GM" (Infoletter, 2005)
GeM-InfoLetter "Gender related segregation" (Infoletter, 2005)
Monitoring of the implementation of gender mainstreaming in Austria┬┤s Territorial Employment Pacts (Consulting, 2002-2005)
Practical Handbook Gender Mainstreaming (Book, 2004)
GeM-InfoLetter " Disability and Gender" (Infoletter, 2004)
GeM-InfoLetter "GM during award of contract" (Infoletter, 2004)
GeM-ToolBox (Book, 2004)
GeM-InfoLetter "Gender Budgeting 1" (Infoletter, 2004)
GeM-InfoLetter "Evaluation and GM" (Infoletter, 2004)
GeM-InfoLetter "Equal treatment in the EU" (Infoletter, 2003)
GeM-InfoLetter "GM & Equal" (Infoletter, 2003)
GeM-InfoLetter "GM Evaluation in ESF" (Infoletter, 2002)
GeM-InfoLetter "TEP-GeM Platform" (Infoletter, 2002)
GeM-InfoLetter "GeM ToolBox" (Infoletter, 2001)
GeM-InfoLetter "GeM Offer" (Infoletter, 2001)