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Gender analysis in EU political economy


A new research agenda?

Aiming to bridge the gap between gender-sensitive and feminist research, and the mainstream of EU studies and political economy, this workshop addresses questions concerning gender parity in politics and gender analysis of policy and policy–making within the EU.

Many studies have addressed the political inclusion of women in the EU, but the role of women politicians in implementing gender-sensitive policies and the impact of strands of EU policy, other than social policy, in terms of enhancing and closing gender inequalities is still under-researched. Within the framework of NextGenerationEU, the EU became a sponsor of gender-sensitive policy toolkits, including gender budgeting and gender impact assessment. This has coincided with the advent of some more women in EU top jobs, despite significant representation gaps remaining at all levels.

This workshop pursues three main objectives: first, further the understanding of the dynamics affecting the representation of women in key decision-making positions within the EU. For instance, the timing of the recent appointments of women at the top of EU institutions could be seen as either a sign of irreversible progress in parity, or as a confirmation of the ‘glass cliff’ tendency to put women in power during times of downturn, when the chance of failure is more likely. A second objective is to gender the EU policymaking itself, considering differences across institutions and within them as well as learning from the comparison of success and failure in gender mainstreaming across policy areas. In this respect, we especially seek to learn from the experience of the pandemic response and recovery: whereas the 2008 financial crisis mainly hit a male labour market, many have defined the economic impact of COVID-19 a she-cession, i.e., a recession that has mainly affected women. In response, however, most resources of Next Generation EU went to domains characterised by male-intensive workforces such as energy, construction, infrastructures, and IT.

A last domain of interest is therefore the implementation of new tools and methodologies at the forefront of promoting gender equality in funding and investment programmes across all policy domains, such as gender-sensitive context analysis, impact assessment, auditing, and budgeting, vis-à-vis traditional gender-blind policies.

18 - 19 Jun 2024 Fiesole, Italy