Women’s empowerment through gender mainstreaming and gender certification of businesses
The Commission supports the implementation of two key reforms foreseen by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the first Italian National Strategy for Gender Equality, namely (1) the creation and implementation of the National System of Gender Equality Certification for private companies and (2) the implementation of gender-responsive programming and evaluation plan applied to investments funded by the RRP.
Following the Italian RRP and the first Italian National Strategy for Gender Equality 2021-2025 the Italian Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (DEO) is to implement two reforms. First reform is the creation of National System of Gender Equality Certification by the end of 2022 for private enterprises, including incentive mechanism for the enterprises to join the system. The second reform would be to design and test a gender-responsive programming and evaluation plan to be applied to the investment funded by the Italian RRP.
The need for such reform has become more and more evident following the international health crisis which, at the beginning of 2020, led to dramatic economic and social consequences for most of the population. In these circumstances, the risks associated with exacerbating of the existing gender gaps have been aggravated.
The Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) ranks Italy at the 14thplace with a score of 63 points compared to a European average of 67,4 points.
Gender equality conditions have worsened significantly, resulting in increased discrimination in the workplace. In the first half of 2020, women’s employment rate fell below 49% due to the break imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic to productive activities, which severely affected the sectors with the highest female presence.
The project has been requested by the Italian Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (DEO).
The objective of the project is to follow the Italian RRP and firstly, create a National System of Gender Equality Certification (“Sistema nazionale di certificazione della parità di genere”) to improve the working conditions of women in terms of quality, remuneration and their roles in SMEs and micro-enterprises, while promoting transparency in work processes in enterprises and secondly to implement gender mainstreaming into investments funded by RRP.
The National System of Gender Equality Certification was planned in RRP to be introduced by the end of 2022.
Given the relatively low score of EIGE’s Gender Equality Index for Italy, together with the aggravated, especially after COVID-19 crisis, situation of women in Italy on the labour market and in the workplace, followed by the first Italian National Strategy for Gender Equality 2021 – 2025, the Italian RRP calls directly for the creation of the “National System of Gender Equality Certification” (“Sistema nazionale di certificazione della parità di genere”) and for introducing gender mainstreaming for investment funded by RRP.
It is expected that the National System of Gender Equality Certification for private companies will have been created and successfully implemented. Moreover, there should be more inclusive and equal distribution of the benefits of national plans and strategies within the society, and between men and women in particular. That would also contribute towards reduced gender inequalities in the workplace, better performance of certified companies but also towards improved implementation of gender mainstreaming in public policies.