EU regional policy supports equal opportunities
(08 March 2011)
EU regional funding helps to promote equal opportunities between women and men.
The rules underpinning the EU's Cohesion Funds include a clause on gender equality and non-discrimination, as well as a requirement that Member States should involve bodies responsible for promoting equality between women and men in the programming of the funds.
Support is available, for example, for projects that support female entrepreneurship. Several EU countries are using EU regional funding to improve the availability of childcare, in order to make it easier for women to access the labour market.
Here are some examples of projects that receive EU funding:
Micro-Finance Institute (Sweden)
Set up in 2008, this project focuses on improving access to finance for migrant women who often face difficulties in trying to secure capital to start-up or develop their own business. The main aim of the project was to establish a permanent micro-finance institute to help overcome these barriers. So far the project has supported 80 new female entrepreneurs and contributed to the start-up of 15 micro-enterprises, creating 20 jobs.
Launch pad for successful women entrepreneurs (Romania)
A multi-regional Romanian project aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills of 400 women and enhance their employability. Women from Bucharest, Giurgiu, Oradea and Slatina will undergo an intensive course to facilitate their insertion, maintenance and progress on the labour market in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities for men and women.
Women in business (Denmark, Sweden, Norway)
Female entrepreneurs in three Nordic countries have joined forces to boost women-led small and medium-sized companies. Their aim is to strengthen the competitive conditions for the Kattegat/Skagerrak region through innovation, development and viable growth.
All-day child care facilities (Austria)
The “Pfifferlingsplatz” Association was established in 2005 with the aim of implementing an all-day childcare facility in the rural area of Salzburg. In association with the company “Sport & more Unterwurzacher GmbH”, a small-sized company in the tourist sector and mainly employing women, Pfifferlingsplatz provides childcare for the mothers employed in the company.