Whatever happened to gender mainstreaming? Lessons for the 2014-20 European structural and investment funds

Leaza McSorley, James Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Gender mainstreaming was adopted by the EU in the mid-1990s and became a requirement for European Cohesion Policy delivered through the Structural Funds programme. Gender mainstreaming implied that it was no longer acceptable to assume that additional resources targeted at stimulating economic development and growth benefited men and women equally. In other words, that the intervention was gender neutral. The rationale for pursuing gender mainstreaming via the Structural Funds was as much about promoting economic efficiency as it was about promoting equity. If the poorer regions are to improve their economic performance then they have to make more efficient use of the resources available to them, particularly human resources; within the EU, women account for the majority of the labour market that is economically inactive and unemployed. The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have been designed to support the Europe 2020 targets and therefore will have an important role to play in encouraging an increase in the female employment rate from its current level of 62.5% (European Commission 2014) and in reducing significant regional variations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges for the New Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020: An Academic and Policy Debate
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd EU Cohesion Policy Conference
PublisherEuropean Commission
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • gender mainstreaming
  • investment funds
  • economics


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