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October 29, 2014

Gender Action Plan to guide SEiSMiC work

Gender Action Plan to guide SEiSMiC work

As Seismic’s 10 national networks embark on two years of work in the field of social innovation, they’ve committed to a gender-balanced approach. To guide them, the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) has drafted a Gender Action Plan and Toolkit, due for publication by the end of the year.

The action plan arrives at a time of contradictory trends and developments: although equal opportunity laws have been adopted in many realms of social and political life across Europe, gender equality is far from settled. Research shows that gender remains a key variable in employment, work-life balance, care for children and the aged, and urban safety at night. It’s even an issue in urban transport, with men and women having different habits and needs in relation to accessibility and use of cars and public transport.

Gender inequality interconnect with other levels of diversity and discrimination, such as class, age, culture, sexual orientation and disability.

The challenges arising from these issues inspire many socially innovative grassroots experiments, and are therefore of interest to the Seismic project. Urban innovation can either reinforce existing gender stereotypes or foster more equal gender relations.

The SeiSMiC partnership has started an internal mutual learning process to ensure that gender is taken into account in social innovation networks, starting with its own national networks. As one of the project’s partners, ECWT is drafting the Gender Action Plan with input from the rest of the consortium.

The plan will include up-to-date facts and figures concerning gender issues in Europe, and a theoretical section presenting interconnections between gender equality and social innovation. The document includes input from several areas of gender studies and policies, and a number of case studies of social innovation.

Moreover, the action plan presents indicators and recommended actions to expand social innovation practices and networks and make them more gender inclusive. It’s hoped the guide will be used not only in SEiSMiC but in other initiatives regarding social innovation.

The action plan arrives at a time of contradictory trends and developments: although equal opportunity laws have been adopted in many realms of social and political life across Europe, gender equality is far from settled. Research shows that gender remains a key variable in employment, work-life balance, care for children and the aged, and urban safety at night. It’s even an issue in urban transport, with men and women having different habits and needs in relation to accessibility and use of cars and public transport.

Gender inequalities interconnect with other levels of diversity and discrimination, such as class, age, culture, sexual orientation and disability.

The challenges arising from these issues inspire many socially innovative grassroots experiments, and are therefore of interest to the Seismic project. Urban innovation can either reinforce existing gender stereotypes or foster more equal gender relations.

The SeiSMiC partnership has started an internal mutual learning process to ensure that gender is taken into account in social innovation networks, starting with its own national networks. As one of the project’s partners, European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) is drafting the Gender Action Plan with input from the rest of the consortium.

The plan will include up-to-date facts and figures concerning gender issues in Europe, and a theoretical section presenting interconnections between gender equality and social innovation. The document includes input from several areas of gender studies and policies, and a number of case studies of social innovation.

Moreover, the action plan presents indicators and recommended actions to expand social innovation practices and networks and make them more gender inclusive. It’s hoped the guide will be used not only in SEiSMiC but in other initiatives regarding social innovation.