Talks and Poster Presentations (with Proceedings-Entry):
"Gender issues in regional development: a "new" approach or just changing the perspective";
Talk: International Conference "New concepts and approaches for Urban and Regional Policy and Planning?",
- 04-03-2007; in: "New concepts and approaches for urban and regional policy and planning?",
Paper ID 92,
In 1999 the European Union declared with the treaty of Amsterdam gender mainstreaming as a main goal of
their politics. Furthermore this cross-sectional matter was implemented in the structural funds for regional
development (ERDF) - a major field for financing projects in all fields of regional development. Endogenous
regional development includes also the gender perspective by definition. But history showed that taking into
account the gender perspectives in regional development practice is far off mainstream. Women´s contribution to
regional development is significant, but they are a minority in decision-making and planning so their influence is
Basically gender issues in regional development are manifold and should be taken into account in all actions. Of
course some fields of interventions are easy to spot and very well analyzed like the labour market, education or
settlements. But also in the case of environment, water and waste management inequalities can occur. The
question is how to implement the cross-sectional matter of gender mainstreaming in regional development
projects and decision making as gender mainstreaming is a strategy and there is no universal recipe for
implementation. The principle of "mainstreaming", which consists of taking systematic account of the
differences between the conditions, situations and needs of women and men, needs to be applied in all policies
Achieving equality for women and men in regional development will take some effort. The society should
continue to initiate activities to empower women to become active in the socio-economic development (e. g. by
participation, projects, expertise and assistance). Some projects in Austria showed how gender mainstreaming
works in practice for example a project manager for gender mainstreaming in the Lungau or the project "GEKO
- gender sensible cooperation" in the EUREGIO Weinviertel-South Moravia-West Slovakia. A sustained effort
by all actors in all fields to integrate equal opportunities into regional development will bring major benefits not
only to lives of individual women, men and children, but also to the viability and sustainability of local
economies and communities throughout Europe.
Concluding the integration of gender issues in regional development is no new approach in planning, but
nevertheless it changed the perspective of regional development policies in Austria. To ensure a "more"
endogenous regional development planners as well as decision-makers need to observe the different needs and
expectations of people and to secure equality in all their concepts and policies.
regional development, gender mainstreaming
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