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March 2, 2015

SEiSMiC Releases Gender Action Plan

SEiSMiC Releases Gender Action Plan To promote a gender-balanced approach in the field of social innovation, the project has released the SEiSMiC Gender Action Plan and Toolkit. The 62-page document describes the current state of the gender-equality movement in Europe, gives examples of how social innovation furthers gender equality and recommends best practice in the field. It is available for download here.

The new document was researched and written by the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), a partner in the SEiSMiC consortium. The report argues that gender equality is as important now as ever, and should be a priority for social innovation in cities. Its opening section gives recent facts and figures on how gender issues permeate urban life, from local politics and civic participation, to employment and care, digital start-up ecosystems, health, urban safety and local transport.  

Women and men have different needs and patterns of behavior, and these need to be addressed in policies on social innovation, the report argues. Moreover, women often drive social innovation initiatives in their communities. A section of the report presents good practices in this vein and another part proposes ways to assess social innovation policies and initiatives from a gender perspective.

Finally, the gender action plan offers concrete suggestions to the SEiSMiC implementers in the project’s 10 counties on how to make plan their activities in a gender-sensitive way. Some of the country partners have already taken concrete steps to follow this guidance, including in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Sweden in particular.

The Gender Action Plan and Toolkit was presented in a dedicated session of the SEiSMiC International Launch in Brussels this past November. The resulting discussion and debate are summarized in the Launch Event Report.

The GAP will be also be discussed in Budapest within the next workshop of the Hungarian National Network, with ECWT participation. Gender issues and their importance in SEiSMiC are being discussed on an ongoing basis in an open-invitation LinkedIn Group.

The Gender Action Plan and Toolkit has can be useful within other initiatives promoting responsible research and innovation with focus on cities. This point was highlighted  at the Citizens’ Cluster of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities on 12 February.