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State Of Affairs In Relevant Sectors

Globalization, as well as changes in domestic and international economic conditions, results in workers with wanted skills and flexibility shifting to jobs with more potential for income growth. In the Arab world, however, women often remain behind due to their lack of skills, traditional gender norms, and household and family obligations that diminish their ability to take advantage of new opportunities.
In order for the proposed regional programme to have optimal impact, despite a relatively modest budget and a brief duration of three years, it is essential from the outset that activities under the programme are situated within the framework of related activities, ongoing at regional and at national levels. Specifically, programme activities need not only to be complementary to ongoing programmes of the EC in the region and in partner countries, but must also be designed with reference to other processes which have gender equality mainstreaming as their objective. This programme is a follow-up to a number of conferences on women, which had taken place few years ago and activities have been proposed in line with progress to reinforce as developed in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and priorities enounced in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW )

The purpose of the Euromed Women regional programme is focused also to the main lines developed in the toolkit delivered by the Relex family Gender Help Desk in September 2004 on mainstreaming gender equality in EC development co-operation delivered by the EC.

EC policy commitments to the integration of gender in development cooperation, before and subsequent to the Fourth World Conference on Women (F.W.C.W) held in Beijing in 1995, have stressed the importance of redressing gender disparities through development cooperation, as being crucial both to aid effectiveness and to the achievement of social justice. These policy statements also recognise that macro-economic policies are not gender-neutral in their effects, and that large macro-economic programmes, typically supported by the EC, provide opportunities for integrating gender equality measures on a large scale

In line with the global policy commitments and in order to address gender disparities in the Mediterranean region, the Barcelona Declaration of November 1995, recognises “the key role of women in development” and the need to promote their active participation in economic and social life, and in the creation of employment”. Both the 1996 MEDA Regulation (Council Regulation no EC/1488/96) and the subsequent amendment of November 2000 make reference to the need of recognizing and enhancing women’s social and economic roles, and to the importance of education and employment creation for women.

Last updated: November 13, 2007
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication is the sole responsibility of the British Council and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.