Equal opportunities as a fundamental social value of the EU
Equality between women and men is one of the fundamental values of the EU. However, although gender equality has been a strong commitment of the EU, inequalities persist in several areas. Persistent barriers are often indirect, difficult to discern, caused and maintained by structural phenomena and social representations, particularly resistant to change.
Equal opportunities, as one of the objectives of gender equality, is based on the logic that a whole range of strategies, actions and measures are necessary to correct persistent and entrenched inequalities that undermine women’s opportunities and affect women’s rights the global society.
For this reason, the Women can Build project deploys various actions and tools aimed at intervening in the main actors involved in the integration of women in the sector, from the access gate (training) to the scope of activity development (the companies).
The main results of a study of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE, 2017) show that progress in equal opportunities has a positive impact on people and the economy in general.
In this sense, the study confirms that improvements to gender equality would generate up to 10.5 million additional jobs by 2050 and the EU employment rate would also be positively affected, reaching almost 80% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of the EU and could increase to almost 10% by 2050. This situation would be particularly significant in economic sectors that are overrepresented by men (such as the construction industry), who have much room to improve their current level of equality of gender and, therefore, have much to gain.
It is not the first time that it is intended to link women to the labor market in the construction sector, but it has usually been intervened at the local level.
The special relevance of this project comes from its scope of action, with the participation of six European countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. Despite the specificities of each country, the history of women in construction is similar. This project can be a great success story with an impact at European level, with the probability of being transferred to other countries and institutions regardless of whether they are or not linked to the project.
On the other hand, the training centers participating in the project belong to the European network REFORME, and are linked to public authorities and participated by social agents of the sector.
New gender-sensitive educational methods and approaches
The training methodology and the learning routes are reconfigured under the concept of gender equality, counting on women in the design, production and evaluation of Intellectual Products.
The VET centres will have new methods of education and training to address the inclusion of women and equal opportunities, through approaches, resources and training with a gender approach.
Companies can improve their internal training from a gender perspective, in order to welcome and integrate women into the work.
Availability of resources
As the public results of the different phases of the Women can Build project come to an end, they will be published in this section.