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Km.dkMinister for Gender Equality’s
2002 Perspective and Action Plan
Edition, number printed:First edition 1,500 copies.
ISBN 87-87904-93-4 Lay-out/graphic design:Montagebureauet ApS Available while stocks last from:Department of Gender EqualitySkindergade 38, 2.
Postboks 40DK-1002 Copenhagen KTel. +45 33 92 33 11Fax 33 91 31 15E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The Minister for Gender Equality’s 2002 Perspective and Action Plan is also available at the Ministrywebsite: www.lige.dk Minister for Gender equality’s 2002 Perspective and Action Plan
The Government’s gender equality objectives
The Government wants to create equal opportunities for women and men. Its goal is that women andmen should be seen as equals and have equal opportunities for making their choices. With this in mind,the Government will strive to break down the barriers preventing individual women and men fromliving the life they want. The Government wants respect for diversity and respect for the individual’spersonal choice. Gender equality is an essential aspect of Denmark’s democracy.
Priority fields of action:
• Violence against women• Trafficking in women• Socially marginalised women and men• Women in politics and management• Gender and ethnic minorities• Gender and health• The gender-divided labour market and equal pay• Cohesion between working life and family life• Women and gender Gender equality in the third world• The gender mainstreaming strategy Gender equality in Denmark in the year 2002
Denmark at the forefront
Denmark is at the forefront of gender equality. The EU and the rest of the world have good reasons to
perceive us as a country that has advanced far towards the goal: equal opportunities for women and
men. Our high degree of gender equality gives the individual excellent opportunities for choosing the
life he or she wants to live.
Denmark enjoys a pre-eminent position in the area of gender equality because • Denmark has one of the world’s smallest pay differences between women and men,• Danish women are very active on the labour market and also give birth to relatively many • the share of women in the parliament is among the highest in the world, • Danish men shoulder many of the family’s responsibilities and duties, especially in relation to • Danish women and men attain about the same level of education,• Danish women are generally seen as independent individuals, respected on a par with their Current challenges
Denmark has progressed far down the road to gender equality, but we should not rest on our laurels.
We still face problems in need of solution, and have resources that could be put to better use.
• Violence against women in families constitutes a serious problem• We have increasing trafficking in women especially from Central and Eastern Europe for • In regional and local councils women only account for 27 percent of the members. Only one in • Only one in five executives on the labour market is a woman• Among ethnic minorities, young women and men are forced to marry against their will• Only 45 percent of ethnic minority women are active on the labour market• The Danish labour market is one of the most gender-divided in the EU• The average pay for women and men is still unequal Some problems are more serious than others. Some affect many people, others only special groups. Butthey all relate to lack of gender equality. In its action plan, the Government will outline variousinitiatives aimed at diminishing or solving gender equality problems by creating truly equalopportunities for women and men.
We know that women’s and men’s choices and conditions differ in other social areas, but we do notknow whether this is attributable to lack of gender equality. They differ in the health sector and in thefield of social marginalisation. The Government will take the initiative to compile the existing data ondifferences and equalities in women’s and men’s social and health conditions, with a view to ensuringmore effective activities targeted at counteracting social exclusion and health problems for both womenand men.
But we must not work solely to ensure gender equality in Denmark. In many third-world countries,women have no access to such democratic rights as education, jobs, the right to vote, right of control ofown body, etc. We have a responsibility to support these women in their struggle against discriminationand suppression. In international contexts, the Government will work to support gender equality in thethird world.
The Government accepts the gender equality-political challenges. We will focus on women’s andmen’s different choices and conditions. But we want to distinguish between the differences that simplyexpress women’s and men’s divergent needs and desires, and the differences engendered by Genderequality in the opportunities available to the two genders. Our aim is not to make women and men indistinguishable or to persuade them to make the same choices, but to give them an equal basis formaking those choices.
Gender equality - democracy, growth and welfare
The Government perceives gender equality as a pivot of Denmark’s democracy. On the one hand,
gender equality is an important precondition for allowing individual citizens - irrespective of gender -
to participate in democratic debates. On the other hand, gender equality is a precondition for ensuring
that both women and men influence society’s development.
Gender equality is therefore also a matter of resources. Every citizen has something unique to offer in
society’s development - if he or she gets the chance. We achieve better results, when all society’s
human resources are activated. This holds true for politics as well as for trade and industry. Therefore,
gender equality is also a precondition for continued economic growth and welfare.
Gender equality - a debate open to all
The Government finds it important that the debate on equal status is open to all and involves both
women and men. The Minister for Gender equality wants a dialogue with the population, to ensure that
the debate is anchored in people’s actual gender equality problems, whether related to the family, the
workplace or elsewhere in society. The gender equality debate should be perceived as relevant for all
and not just of interest to experts.
Employees in ministries and public authorities have gradually started making gender equality a naturalpart of their work. Increasingly, they realise that women and men sometimes have different needs anddesires when it comes to, e.g., service and public services.
If women and men are truly to have equal opportunities, we need to think such differences into bothservices and legislation. A great many of the mechanisms creating in gender equality between thegenders are unintended and can be avoided, if we analyse the consequences before decisions are taken.
The new public gender equality strategy, gender mainstreaming, incorporates the work on genderequality as a natural aspect of everyday tasks, where it belongs. We can save resources and optimisequality. Gender mainstreaming makes gender equality relevant for more people.
Jointly with the population, the Government will find new ways to ensure equal opportunities forwomen and men in Denmark. Together, we must break down the barriers today preventing women andmen from living the lives they want.
In 2002, the Government will focus on the areas described below, which will require attention not onlyin 2002 but also in the years to come.
Priority fields of action
Violence against women
Domestic violence against women is a crime punishable on a par with any other violent attack on
another person. But violence against women is also an attack on the individual woman’s freedom and
Violence has changed from being perceived as a private matter, enshrouded by silence and taboos, tobecoming a public problem that society is responsible for counteracting. Too many women are stillsubjected to violence in their homes at the hands of their own families, and the Government gives high-priority to combating this violence.
The Government’s activities will take a four-pronged approach: 1) Help the victims of violence,including children of violent families, 2) Prevention, through, e.g., treatment of perpetrators, 3)Tougher sentences for violence and rape, and 4) Training of experts of the area.
In 2000, former Minister for Gender Equality, Jytte Andersen, set up an inter-ministerial workinggroup on violence towards women and human trafficking. In November 2001, the working groupconcluded its work with a status on the scope of violence towards women and recommendations forinitiatives to combat violence. The current Government feels that the working group’s results constitutean excellent foundation for preparing an action plan against violence. In 2002, the Government willtherefore present a comprehensive national action plan that will bolster multi-agency activities in thearea, in both the short and the long term.
• Launching a national action plan targeted at combating violence towards women in the spring of 2002. The plan creates a basis for reinforcing multi-agency, holistic activities againstviolence, both vis-à-vis the victims, including children, and the perpetrators. (Minister forSocial Affairs and Gender Equality, Minister for Justice, Minister for Interior Affairs andHealth and Minister for Integration Affairs) • Realising two projects on the theme “Violent families”. The projects aim at strengthening regional and local activities targeted at violence. (Minister for Social Affairs) • During the Danish EU Presidency in the second half of 2002 and in cooperation with the preceding Spanish Presidency, Denmark will take charge of developing statistic indicators forviolence against women, so that developments in the scope of violence and initiatives targetedat it can be monitored. (Minister for Gender Equality) • Commencing comprehensive activities against violence under the heading “Stop violence” with focus on, e.g., greater maximum penalties for violence and rape. (Minister for Justice) Trafficking in women
The fall of the Wall and the economic situation in Central and Eastern Europe are some of the reasons
why women from these areas travel to Western Europe where they wind up in prostitution and other
areas of the sex industry. Many of these women are the victims of far-reaching trafficking in humans,
rooted in organised crime.
Trafficking in humans is a crime under Danish legislation. But the cross-border character of thephenomenon makes these cases very difficult to investigate and prevent. Both national andinternational efforts are needed. The Government has signed a UN additional protocol on humantrafficking, and the EU member states cooperate closely to ensure strengthened joint efforts againsttrafficking in humans. In addition, Denmark works together with authorities and NGOs in Scandinavia.
In the Baltic region, the police network ”Baltic Sea Task Force”, which Denmark currently chairs, isthe focus of efforts targeted against trafficking in women.
The Government’s activities for combating human trafficking are based on a three-pronged approach:1) Prosecution of trafficking kingpins, 2) Prevention of trafficking, and 3) Support to victims oftrafficking in women.
The inter-ministerial working group on violence against women and human trafficking has compiledstudies and experience in combating trafficking in women. This year, operating on the working group’sactivities and recommendations, the Minister for Gender Equality will, together with the otherministers involved, present a national action plan setting out concrete proposals for the continuedefforts in the area.
• Launching the Government’s action plan on combating trafficking in women, based on the three-pronged approach and the inter-ministerial working group’s recommendations. (Ministerfor Social Affairs and Gender Equality, Minister for Justice, Minister for Interior Affairs andHealth and Minister for Integration Affairs) • Nordic-Baltic information campaign on trafficking in women, aimed at prostitution clients and women involved in trafficking. (Minister for Gender Equality together with ministerialcolleagues in the Nordic and Baltic countries) • Continuation of activities of inter-ministerial working group focusing on ethical guidelines for public servants on business travels (“Business with trousers on”). (Minister for GenderEquality, Minister for Financial Affairs, Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs) • A study to determine whether pornography influences young people’s perception of sex, social relations and gender roles. (Minister for Gender Equality) Socially marginalised women and men
Denmark is a rich country with a high level of welfare. Still, some people tumble through the social
safety net to end up at the bottom of society. Too many people are lonely and poor with no hope of a
There is much to indicate that social exclusion strikes women and men in different ways. Sociallymarginalised men are often visible on the street, where they inspire contempt or pity, whereas sociallymarginalised women typically stay at home, thus failing to attract the same public attention. Eightypercent of the homeless and ninety percent of beggars are male. We do not know the number of womenleading a miserable life behind the four walls of their homes. Old, single women, especially, seem to besocially isolated.
The Government wants to bolster the activities targeted at socially marginalised people. The more weknow about gender differences among the socially exposed, the better we can target our efforts. Do the‘invisible’ women, for example, need special efforts? Government initiatives:
• Holding a conference during the EU Presidency on the theme “Gender and marginalisation”.
The conference should lay the groundwork for preparing recommendations and conclusions forthe council meeting of ministers for social affairs and employment in Copenhagen, December2002.
(Minister for Gender Equality) • As a prelude to the conference, Denmark will initiate a study of gender and marginalisation, including “invisible” women. (Minister for Gender Equality) • Holding a conference during the EU Presidency on the theme: “Social inclusion - through social dialogue”. A special workshop will discuss how to integrate gender equality in the strategy forsocial inclusion. (Minister for Gender Equality and Social Affairs and Minister forEmployment) Women in politics and management
For almost 100 years, women have had the right to vote and stand for election to local councils. Even
so, women only account for about 25 percent of the elected members of regional and local councils,
and only one mayor in thirteen is a woman. In the last election in November 2001, the share of women
in regional councils even fell from 29 to 27 percent.
Fortunately, this decline was not visible across the board. In the local councils, the share of womenincreased slightly from 26 to 27 percent, and in the parliament from 37 to 38 percent. The share ofwomen in the parliament is among the highest in the world.
The labour market faces a greater challenge. Only one in five executives is a woman. In associationsand organisations women also find it hard to gain influence on executive decisions. Recently, focus fellon the representation of women in the world of sports.
The Sports Confederation of Denmark only seats one woman among its ten board members - eventhough 40 percent of the members are women.
The Government laments the low representation of women in politics, trade and industry and sports.
Resources are lost when gender distribution is too lopsided. What is more, because the experience andinterests of women and men differ, we preclude essential aspects of social life when women are absentfrom the decision-making process.
The Government wants to improve the framework for women’s active participation in decisionprocesses and will therefore initiate a wide debate and dialogue with organisations, associations andcompanies on the subject.
To carry on the debate and efforts, we must first obtain an overview of the mechanisms that debarwomen from decisions. Do these mechanisms pertain to practical matters such as meeting hours, arethey rooted in women’s own psychological barriers, are they a repercussion of a prevailing male cultureor something else? The Government will take the initiative to compile existing knowledge on genderand management.
• Revealing the barriers to women’s active participation at executive levels in politics, trade and industry and associations. The aim is to provide a basis for a strengthened public debate on howto boost women’s influence on decisions in society. (Minister for Gender Equality) • Urging companies, associations and organisations to increase the share of women in decision processes. (Minister for Gender Equality) Gender and ethnic minorities
People other than ethnic Danes also have the right freely to decide how they want to live their lives.
The Government’s objective of creating equal opportunities for women and men also covers womenand men from ethnic minorities. This includes the right to decide which education they want as well aswhere they want to live, who they want to marry, etc.
In some ethnic groups, traditions still allow the parents to decide whom their children should marry -even though the child may contest the choice of spouse. Both women and men are forced intomarriages, but women often suffer more far-reaching consequences.
The Government objects to forced marriages as an attack on young people’s personal integrity. Bycurbing the right of family reunification we have created new tools for counteracting the problem. Butlegislation alone will not bring about a change. We have to follow up with concrete initiatives, focusing on prevention as well as support to the young. This applies both to the young who must marry againsttheir will and the young who resist forced marriages. The Minister for Gender Equality will join theMinister for Integration in launching various similar initiatives aimed at forced marriages.
The Government also guarantees that its “aliens package” will not force family-reunified women tostay with violent spouses because the women fear expulsion, if the couple divorces within seven yearsfrom the date of the marriage. Human considerations will still figure in the administration of the alienslegislation.
The Government also wants to heighten ethnic minorities’ labour market affiliation. This applies to thewomen, in particular, as only 45 percent of them are in active employment. Education and jobs are keypaths to integration into Danish society. At the same time, Denmark needs everybody’s resources -both in trade and business and in the political democracy.
In 2001, former Minister for Gender Equality, Lotte Bundsgaard, set up an ethnic minority network, inwhich the Minister discusses matters of gender and ethnic minorities with, e.g., scientists andrepresentatives of the ethnic minority associations. The new Minister for Gender Equality, HenrietteKjær, wants to strengthen the ties to the network, to underline the intention of strengthening theMinister’s direct contact to the groups affected by the political decisions.
• Initiatives against forced marriages with focus on prevention and support to young immigrants.
(Minister for Gender Equality and Minister for Integration) • Strengthening the network focusing on gender and ethnic minorities to bring it closer to the Minister and the decisions. (Minister for Gender Equality) Gender and health
Men’s average life expectancy is shorter than women’s, but the gap is narrowing. At the same time,
Danish women and men have relatively short life expectancy rates compared with the rates in other
Western countries. Particularly in relation to women, life expectancy rates have failed to rise in the last
decades as they have in other countries. Women in other EU member states live longer than women in
We are unsure of all the reasons for this development. But one explanation could be that Danishwomen have assumed men’s life style while still having to cope with the bulk of domestic work.
Studies show that while men’s stress levels drop by the end of their working days, women’s increase.
Stress can be dangerous; it can lower life quality and increase the risk for developing serious diseases.
Other surveys show that, on average, general practitioners know too little about how diseasedevelopment differs between the two sexes. Beyond the biological differences, women and men havedifferent dietary and exercise habits, and the two sexes also deal with their diseases differently.
The Government believes that we need to know more about gender and health, and wants to see theexisting knowledge on the subject put to better use in relation to, e.g., preventing, diagnosing andcuring diseases. Our objective is a general improvement in the health of both women and men.
• Launching an inter-ministerial initiative on gender and health. Its aim should be to compile existing knowledge on gender and health, so that health-policy efforts can be better targeted atwomen and men. (Minister for Gender Equality, Minister for Interior Affairs and Health andMinister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries) • As an aspect of a major dietary survey, a study will be made to reveal the differences in women’s and men’s dietary habits as well as their attitudes to and knowledge about healthyfood. The study is also to encompass a time perspective. We need to follow developments inthis area to enable us to target and prioritise future work on dietary information effectively. Thesurvey will become the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries’ contribution to the inter-ministerial initiative on gender and health. (As an aspect of the Ministry of Food, Agricultureand Fisheries’ gender mainstreaming strategy) The gender-segregated labour market and equal pay
Statistics prove that women’s and men’s average pays still differ. But opinions proliferate on the
segregated magnitude and causes of the pay differences. In contrast, most seem to agree that an
unacceptable pay gap exists between female and male jobs. On average, male jobs are higher paid than
The Government perceives the gender-segregated labour market as the chief reason why the averagesegregated pay for women and men differs. Despite the high degree of gender equality, Denmark hasone of the most gender- segregated labour markets in the EU. Ministerial gender equality reports show,e.g., that women segregated constitute more than 90 percent of office staff in certain ministries.
The Government will strive to soften the gender segregation. Not by forcing women to move intomen’s jobs or vice versa, but by breaking down the barriers that apparently prevent individual womenand men from choosing an education and profession freely. A person’s desires and qualificationsshould guide his or her choice of profession rather than prejudice and expectations.
But a softening of the gender- segregated labour market is not only a matter of equal pay and more joboptions for individuals. It is also a matter of making the labour market more flexible. If companies onlywant one gender, they miss out on qualified applicants of the other gender. This also occurs wherecompanies prefer people in a certain age group or of a certain ethnic background. It raises the risk ofrecruitment problems and bottlenecks, which may, ultimately, undermine Denmark’s economy.
At the same time, experience shows that creativity and job satisfaction increase when people ofdifferent gender, age, ethnic background, education, etc. work together. The result is better productsand service. Differences are a resource, not a problem.
• Establishing an equal pay network of companies interested in exchanging experience on the reasons for labour gender segregation and pay differences as well as methods aimed at ensuringequal pay. (Minister for Gender Equality and Minister for Employment) • Equal-pay project financed by the EU in cooperation with Sweden and Austria, focusing on the impact of introducing decentralised and individualised pay systems. Conference to be held inNovember. Final report to be presented January/February 2003. (Minister for Gender Equalityand Minister for Employment) • Implementing the gender mainstreaming strategy in all core services in the Public Employment Service. Our objective is to promote a flexible, efficient labour market by increasing jobopportunities for unemployed people across the gender-segregated labour market, thus offeringcompanies a wider supply of labour. The project will, particularly, focus on jobcentreemployees’ own attitudes and actions. (As an aspect of the gender mainstreaming strategy in theNational Labour Market Authority, Ministry of Employment) • A study to determine whether the Army’s new staff development and appraisal system offers equal opportunities to women and men. The objective is to ensure quality in the Army’s taskperformance and future development. (As an aspect of the gender mainstreaming strategy in theMinistry of Defence) Cohesion between working life and family life
Most Danish women and men have full-time jobs. This fact makes it difficult for many families to
strike a reasonable balance between working life and family life. Most men make great efforts on the
home front, especially towards their children, but women still invest more time in making their
families’ daily lives function.
Greater flexibility is the Government’s answer to families’ problems of balancing jobs and family. Forinstance, through an increased supply of flexible options offered by family-friendly companies to theiremployees: part-time jobs, flexible working hours, pay compensation during maternity leaves, etc.
The Government does not want to force a specific family type or specific family-policy solutions on thepopulation. But we do want to provide better opportunities for women and men in individual familiesto make their own decisions on how to plan their lives. The Government has already taken severalinitiatives aimed at making it easier to balance jobs and family - also for men. The new part-time joblegislation will enable more men to opt for part-time jobs. The flexibility and higher pay compensationof the new maternity/paternity leave is expected to increase the male share of leave-takers.
Finally, the Minister for Gender Equality will look into the possibilities of developing models for aflexible life working time, e.g. in the form of an individual time account. Different life phases give riseto different working-hour needs. In some periods, people have time to work longer hours, e.g. whilethey are young and without obligations or when they no longer have small children. In other periods,they would appreciate shorter hours, typically while their children are small or if they as older peoplewant to leave the labour market gradually. The Government wants to promote the opportunities forsuch flexible life working time.
• Introduction of new, flexible maternity/paternity leave. (Minister for Employment) • New part-time job legislation offering increased access to part-time jobs. (Minister for • Amendment of the social service legislation to allow local authorities to subsidise parents who want to take care of their own children. (Minister for Social Affairs) • Analysis of the possibilities of introducing flexible life working time that allows individuals to adapt working hours to the changing needs of life. (Minister for Gender Equality and Ministerfor Employment) • A conference under the auspices of the EU Presidency on the interplay between child-care facilities and employment. A special workshop will focus on the interplay between family-friendly policies and equal opportunities on the labour market. (Minister for Social Affairs andfor Gender Equality) • Gender-segregation of data with a view to analysing flexibility between working life and family life among female and male state employees. To be realised in the contexts of an evaluation ofterminating the provision of access to dismissal after 120 sickness days, of the distance-workingagreement, of the use of governmental educational leave, of the ongoing pay monitoring, etc.
(As an aspect of the gender mainstreaming strategy in the human resource agency of theMinistry of Finance) Women and gender equality in the third world
Denmark’s gender equality problems may appear slight when we look at other places in the world. In
many third-world countries, women have been deprived of such completely elementary rights as
education, employment, the right to vote, right of ownership and the right to control their own bodies.
Women constitute the majority of the poor people. Every day, women are suppressed and discriminated
against. They are exposed to violence, not just in the family but also in public actions condoned by the
authorities. We see this in the grotesque situations where, having breached prevailing moral codes,
women are punished by public stoning.
The Government believes that as a highly developed democratic country, Denmark holds a specialresponsibility for supporting women in the third world in attaining the same rights and opportunitiesthat women have in Denmark. We strive to foster this support in international forums such as the EUand the UN as well as through Danish development assistance policy.
Danish development assistance should continue to involve a high degree of gender mainstreaming. Wemust study how individual projects impact on both women and men. We must realise more projectstargeted specifically at women. The Government sees women’s active participation in socialdevelopments as an essential precondition for developing democracy, halting population growth andalleviating poverty.
• Targeted assistance to third-world women as a conscious strategy to promote democracy and alleviate poverty. (Minister for Foreign Affairs) • Development of strong and strategically focused framework for future Danish gender and development strategy. To be based on experience reaped in Denmark, in partner countries andin multilateral organisations. The objective is to achieve a feasible policy that promotes equalitybetween women and men and contributes to alleviating poverty. (As a part of the gendermainstreaming strategy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Gender Mainstreaming – a novel strategy
The Gender Equality Act of May 2000 provided that public authorities must, within their areas, strive
to establish equal opportunities and incorporate gender equality in all planning and administration. The
Minister for Gender Equality launched and today coordinates this work, and all ministries sit on a
steering committee charged with ensuring that the strategy is being realised. Concurrently, the Minister
set up an inter-ministerial network to support and train the employees selected to work for gender
equality according to the new procedures.
The new strategy has proven to inspire many employees, because it puts the drive for gender equalityinto a new perspective. Gender equality no longer focuses merely on staff-policy measures, but also onmaking the gender and gender equality perspective a natural part of the daily work in publicadministrations.
Many of the mechanisms creating in Gender equality between women and men are unintended and canbe counteracted with increased knowledge and attention. Thus, the public strategy for gendermainstreaming aims to eliminate inequalities between genders while also heightening the quality ofpublic services offered to citizens.
The gender mainstreaming project in the Ministry of Social Affairs stipulates that the legislation-quality control must also ensure that the relevant division has not overlooked gender-specific problems.
The objective of the project is to integrate gender aspects into existing quality-criteria for legislation.
The Ministry of Education will focus on gender and gender equality aspects in five of its core areas:educational standards and content, social inclusion and cohesion, teaching and exam types, teacher andmanager competencies and quality and supervision. The Ministry will review all bills to determine theirimplications for gender equality, and, finally, the Ministry will seek to work gender equality aspectsinto the layout of the National Competence Account.
The supreme challenge for gender mainstreaming will now be to develop the strategy from anindividual project tool into an integrated management principle. The strategy calls for an increasingnumber of projects to be realised so that gender mainstreaming gradually spreads to greater and greaterparts of the individual ministries’ areas. It also demands gender mainstreaming results to be continuallycommunicated to all parts of the organisation.
• Coordination of the ongoing gender mainstreaming activities in the ministries. Compilation of experience and communication of the initial results of the strategy to the ministries and thesurrounding world. (Minister for Gender Equality) • Organisation of a conference in the autumn of 2002 to launch a widespread public debate on the strategy‘s potential for improving quality in public-sector work.
(Minister for Gender Equality) The Danish EU Presidency, second half of 2002
As one of the EU’s vanguards of gender equality, Denmark holds a great responsibility in ensuring thatthe Danish EU Presidency attains a clear gender equality profile. The Presidency provides a palpableopportunity to communicate some of the many positive gender equality results that Denmark hasgenerated. But it also represents a chance to learn from the experience of other EU member states.
Gender equality will be an integral aspect of the initiatives Denmark launches during its Presidency.
The Minister for Social Affairs and Gender Equality is in charge of several initiatives: • A conference on “Gender and marginalisation” (10-11 October 2002). The main subject is gender patterns of marginalised groups with focuson, e.g., socially marginalised men, non-conforming young men and poor older women. Theconference should culminate in a range of recommendations and conclusions to be presented atthe council meeting of social and employment ministers in December 2002.
• A conference on the theme: “Social inclusion - through social dialogue” (4-6 September 2002). A special workshop will discuss how gender equality can be integratedinto the strategy for social inclusion.
• A conference on disabled people, including a workshop on gender and disablement (31 October - 1 November 2002). The workshop will allow participants to exchange experiencefrom and methods of mainstreaming in activities targeted at disabled people in individualmember states.
• A conference on the interplay between child-care facilities and employment (25-26 November 2002). A special workshop will focus on the interplay between family-friendly policies and equal opportunities on the labour market.
• An expert conference on equal pay with focus on the impact of decentralised and individualised pay schemes(29 November 2002) The conference concludes an EU-financed equal pay project, involvingDenmark, Sweden and Austria.
• Traditionally, the Presidency is responsible for gender mainstreaming one or two fields. The Minister for gender equality has chosen to mainstream the social and employment areas.
• Another tradition calls for the Presidency to prepare indicators for one of the 12 areas in the “Platform for Action” - as a follow up on the final document of the UN’s Fourth WorldConference on Women “Platform for Action”. In cooperation with the preceding SpanishPresidency, the Minister for Gender Equality will head up the development of indicators forviolence against women. The indicators will figure in a council conclusion to be adopted at thecouncil meeting for social and employment ministers in December.
• During the Danish Presidency, the EU Commission will present a new directive on Gender equality between women and men outside the labour market. Jointly with the EU Commission,Denmark will be responsible for the practical contents of the directive.
• In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Gender Equality will be responsible for an EU paper on gender equality, to be presented at the UN General Meeting andECOSOC’s (the UN Economic and Social Council) official session in the autumn.
The Minister for Gender Equality’s 2001 initiatives
The Minister for Gender Equality submitted her first report and perspective and action plan entitled“Gender equality - a precondition for welfare, sustainability and democracy”, to the Danish parliament2 March 2001.
All ministries have launched the gender mainstreaming strategy. A steering group and an employeenetwork were set up in January 2001.
The Minister officially opened the national Knowledge Centre for Gender Equality at a conference heldat the National Museum in February 2001.
A campaign to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Equaly Pay Act, in cooperation with the Ministerfor Employment. Conference held at Børsen, Copenhagen, in February 2001.
As a follow-up to the equal pay campaign, the Ministry of Gender Equality and the Ministry ofEmployment have visited the companies that joined the equal pay network.
Establishment of network on gender and ethnic minorities with participation of scientists andrepresentatives of ethnic minority organisations.
A campaign against forced marriages, in cooperation with the Minister for Interior Affairs, includingthe Minister’s visits to language schools and girls’ clubs.
Head of the delegation to the conference on “WoMen and Democracy” and chairman of workshop onGender equality and diversity, Vilnius, June 2001.
Workshop on diversity with participation of companies, associations and scientists, October 2001.
Hearing on working life and family life, entitled “Dad, mom, jobs - and CHILDREN”, held at ParkCafé, Copenhagen, in August 2001.
A leaflet entitled “Family-friendly workplaces in 2001”, published in connection with the hearing onworking life and family life.
Establishment of an inter-ministerial working group to evaluate the ethical guidelines for civil servantsstationed outside Denmark (“Business with trousers on”).
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