I Development and Promotion of the Gender Strategy of the Russian Federation (2003- 2004)Country: Russian Federation
Project beneficiaries:Federal and regional policy makers, ILO social partners, women’s NGOs, academic and research institutions working on gender issues.
Brief description: In 2002-03 the Ministry of Labour and Social Development of the Russian Federation developed the Gender Strategy of the RF. The development objective of the project was to make the Strategy operational at the federal and regional levels by having it endorsed by the government and approved by the President as a national strategy. The project focused on the promotion of the Strategy in the Russian regions, to harmonize it with the specifics of regional socio-economic development, to strengthen the institutional capacity of relevant regional institutions and to assist federal and regional bodies to integrate gender concerns in the areas crucial for gender equality, such as employment, education and vocational training, healthcare, social protection, decision-making. These objectives were implemented through the organization of regional discussions in 5 administrative okrugs ( Central, Siberian, Privolzhsky, Far-East and North-West), during which the Strategy was introduced and the regions were provided with technical assistance in developing their action plans on gender equality . The project also had a strong promotional component. Active involvement of mass media and a broad information campaign were seen as the important prerequisites for success in promoting the Strategy and changing societal stereotypes and national mentality in relation to gender equality. The work with the mass media was used for information dissemination and making the efforts of the ILO in promoting gender equality more visible in the most distant regions of Russia.
II. Promotion of Women’s Entrepreneurship Development (WED)Through Employers’ Organizations in the Caucasus (2003-2004)Countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia
Project beneficiaries:Employers’ organizations, women entrepreneurs, business support institutions and women associations in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Brief description: Employers’ organizations in Azerbaijan and Georgia were assisted to enhance gender-mainstreaming capacity within their organizations and to establish closer links with social partners, women associations and business development organizations that support women entrepreneurs. The project was also aimed at creating a regional network of women entrepreneurs, at increasing their representation in employers’ organizations and at ensuring that the strategic and practical needs of women entrepreneurs are included on the agenda of employers’ organizations. Capacity-building activities formed an important element of the project and specific training for women entrepreneurs and WED advisers were provided for both countries with inputs from Women Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality Team (WEDGE) in IFP/SEED and the ILO Turin Training Centre. National reports were prepared on the basis of desk research and field surveys in selected regions of both countries. The purpose of these reports was to assess the types and profiles of women entrepreneurship in the two countries and to analyze the problems/barriers women face when starting and developing their business. They also examined the available national legislation on SME development, national programmes and strategies, and the role of business support institutions in creating favourable conditions for SMEs in general and women entrepreneurship in particular. The reports served as a background for developing gender-mainstreaming strategies by employers’ organizations in Georgia and Azerbaijan aimed at providing more stable and long-term support to women entrepreneurs. The project was crowned by a final conference in Baku in October 2004 during which employers’ organizations exchanged best practices and shared the most effective approaches for mainstreaming concerns of women entrepreneurs in their policies.
III Promotion of Gender Equality in Trade Unions’ Organizations and Collective Bargaining in Georgia (2003-2005)Country: Georgia
Project beneficiaries:Women and men leaders and members of trade unions organizations in Georgia and workers at the workplace, Georgian population at large.
Brief description: This project focuses its activities on promoting working women rights at three levels: (i) in the society at large; (ii) at the work place; (iii) in the trade unions.
Component I concentrates on broadening the understanding of women workers’ rights in the society by expanding the trade unions’ network with selected NGOs and launching mass media campaign on the rights of working women. Component II is focused on activities at the workplace, by raising the awareness among the women workers themselves about their rights. Special efforts are made to secure a better representing of women in the collective bargaining process at the work place and to ensure that gender equality is part of the process. A model collective agreement will be developed. Component III is focused on identifying ways how women’s representation in the trade union leadership can be increased. Some women-specific activities (on modern trade union management) are implemented jointly with a Swedish union, which has good experience in increasing the number of women leaders at all levels.
End results: 1.Greater awareness among women trade union members about their rights at the workplace. 2.Women workers’ rights generally better known and accepted in society. 3. The role of women in collective bargaining process and decision making increased, gender equality principles implemented in the trade unions and at the workplace. 4. Women representation in trade unions’ leadership increased. 5. 50% of the women participating in the management training activities will have strengthened their decision-making position in the trade union. 6.Gender mainstreaming materials available and used by TU in Georgia.
IV. Dutch TC-RAM on Increasing Employability of Disadvantaged Young Women and Men and Other Marginalized Groups in the Caucasus and Central Asia Through Skills Development and Entrepreneurial Education (May 2004-February 2006)Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia; Russia; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
Project beneficiaries:direct -- employment services; vocational training institutions and secondary schools; teachers from public technical vocational institutions and private training providers; selected business development services’ (BDS) providers KAB. I ndirect --young women and men and other marginalized groups that need support in their transition into the labour market.
Brief description: The project represents an integrated approach built on three main components: (i) skills development (through vocational training and guidance); (ii) entrepreneurial education (consolidation and replication of the Dutch-funded programme on Youth and Adult Entrepreneurship Development) and (iii) gender equality. Project objectives are based on a strong gender component and gender mainstreaming applied to the technical work, training procedures and managerial approaches (equal participation and representation).
Skills development is addressed by improving vocational training through introducing ILO modular and community-based approaches into training programmes, and by improving career guidance through consolidating informational and institutional aspects of the work of employment services and vocational training institutions. Entrepreneurial education component is being implemented by introduction of the ILO SIYB and KAB programmes into curricular of vocational institutions and retraining programmes of employment services in order to familiarize and equip young men and women for self-employment career development. Activities thus directly contribute to increasing employability of the target groups. Interventions are made at both national and local levels through policy advice and building partnerships and participatory approaches in labour market, needs assessment and training provisions. The project activities are linked with other on-going projects implemented by ILO HQ and SRO Moscow, notably the DFID TC RAM on Reducing Poverty through Promoting Employment of Youth and other Vulnerable Groups in Informal Economies of Central Asia and the Caucasus.