The Promotion of Gender Equality within Local Development ...

The Promotion of Gender Equality within Local Development ...

The Promotionof Gender EqualitywithinLocal DevelopmentProcesses in ItalyCase Studyfor the International ProjectW. In D.Women in DevelopmentDavide BarbieriBarbara BittarelliFlavia Pesce“With the support of the European Union - Programme concerning the Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005)”

The Promotionof Gender EqualitywithinLocal DevelopmentProcesses in ItalyCase Studyfor the International ProjectW. In D.Women in DevelopmentDavide BarbieriBarbara BittarelliFlavia PesceWith support from the European Community – Programme relating to the Community Framework Strategy onGender Equality (2001-2005). The information contained in this publication (or in other materials) does notnecessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

Case study report for theItalian Presidency of the Council of Ministers,Department for Rights and Equal OpportunitiesNot to be quoted without permissionSeptember 2007IRS - Institute for Social ResearchVia Castiglione, 440124 Bologna0039 051

INDEXPrefaceV1. Introduction 12. The socio-economic context 22.1 The population 22.2 The labour market 4The characteristics of female employment 6Female unemployment 9Female entrepreneurship 12Gender pay gap 142.3 Political participation and decision making 153. Institutions and regulation 173.1 Equal opportunities and local development 173.2 Equal opportunities in Italy: regulatory framework and bodies 193.3 Policies and tools for local development 23Negotiated programming, concertization and partnership 23The Integrated Project 25The Fund for Underused Areas and the Agreements for the Framework Programme 26Other tools 263.4 The community programming 2000-2006 273.5 The community programming 2007-2013 and the unitary regional policy 28III

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italy4. Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issues 304.1 The projects and initiatives aimed at supporting female participationin the local development processes 324.2 The projects and initiatives aimed at supporting the introductionof the gender mainstreaming principle in the local development processesand program 374.3 An integrated planning 425. Scenarios and perspectives 47Bibliography 49IV

PrefaceLocal development processes are not neutralfrom a gender point of view. There is now someinteresting theoretical and empirical evidence ofa strong correlation between Local Developmentand Gender Equal Opportunities.Numerous studies that have been carried outhighlight the strong correlation between economicgrowth and female presence in the labour market.There are also many studies that emphasize theinefficiency in various contexts where discriminationand segregation hinder a better use ofthe resources to re-launch competitiveness of thelocal systems through men’ as well as women’skills.These correlations most certainly have twoimplications:(a) Equal opportunities improve local development;(b) Local development improves the female positionin local contexts.Such a hypotheses is not based, obviously, on anethical principle (which would also have itsrelevancy), but on evidence of a very precise socioeconomicnature. The literature leaves little doubtregarding the growing role of women in socioeconomicgrowth processes, given the clearpositive correlation between growth and equalopportunities in the labour market. The countrieswith the highest growth rates and the highestlevels of pro-capita income, also have the highestfemale participation in the labour market.The cause-and-effect direction primarily goes fromgrowth to gender equality since higher levels ofdevelopment generally lead to higher levels ofeducation, democracy and equality between menand women (Lofstrom, 2001), but there is also apositive relationship between gender equality andsocio-economic growth. Greater female participationand employment imply greater currentproduction, but also a greater future growth,because of the effects on the new generations(higher family income, greater investment inhuman capital and health). According to recentestimates (Olsson, 2000), the growth in participationof women in the labour market wouldexplain, for the 20 years between 1980 and 1999,almost a fifth of the growth of the European GDPagainst a negative contribution from the maleworkforces. Even though this data could be anoverestimation because of the greater concentrationof women in part-time jobs and in sectorsof smaller scale production (for example, in PublicAdministration), in all the European countries, anever greater share of the wealth produced andsocial development is incontestably due to thecontribution of women.In a long-term perspective, the benefits to sup-V

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyporting participation in female employment becomeclear even in terms of an increase in developmentlevels given that, again from an economicperspective, some virtual circles become graftedand increase efficiency in resource use (Humphries,Rubery et al., 1999; Rubery et al., 1999).When female employment grows, for example,family incomes grow with a positive impact on thecollective demand and tax revenue. Another virtualcircle is the tie between the growth in educationallevels — and therefore the investment in humancapital — and the growth in female participationin training courses. Or, the support of femaleparticipation in the labour market makes itpossible to reduce the depreciation of investmentin female human capital that emerges followingan interruption in work activity for problemsrelated to reconciliation and/or problems ofoccupational and professional segregation of thefemale workforce. Again, to give another example,the support to participation and female employmentthrough reconciliation policies, insures,in the medium and long-term, adequate conditionsfor social reproduction, such as, for example thosetied to the growth of future generations.The benefit of Equal opportunity policies is alsoclear, both in the short and long-term, in the areathat is most concerned with social development ofa given territory because equality of the productiveand reproductive conditions of men and womenhave a positive impact on the quality of life,increasing women’s possibilities of choice; risks ofpoverty for the female population are reduced,working conditions of men and women and, moregenerally, life conditions are improved.Support for the participation of women in activeworking life is therefore a form of investment inthe female resource that has side effects forsociety on the whole and for its various components:there is a parallel improvement in lifeconditions of men and children. The attempts atanalyzing the efficiency of Equal opportunitypolicies conclude that this type of measure(Rubery et al., 1999) can be considered as a truefactor in productivity.The female world is a resource for Localdevelopment not only because it contributes toeconomic growth of the territory and its socialreproduction, but also because it promotes andconfirms alternative approaches to development.The experiences of micro credit for womenenduring extreme conditions of backwardness andpoverty in Southern areas of the world, thoughbeing distant experiences, are enlightening. Infact, the microcredit institutions recognize thesewomen as carriers of a more valid and effectivesocial promotion than men, finding one of thebasic motives for it in their ties with their childrenand, therefore, with the future generations.Beyond the growth of female awareness, theeffects of microcredit are reflected in the mostvaried environments of social and family life andemphasize women’s great attention to the future:from educational and instructional choices ofchildren (that favour education and oppose underagelabour) to planning procreation. Furthermore,the women show themselves to be more carefuladministrators than men regarding loans, apartfrom emphasizing, especially in some countrieswhere there is strong pressure to emigrate, thatthere is less of a propensity to leave the country(Yunus, 2003).The territorial and local dynamics confront eachother with various expectations from the femaleworld related to the configuration of thecombination of productive and reproductive rolesthat women play in a given territory. Theseelements must be made known (and shared) inorder to identify the possible solutions in termsof policy (and the participation of the territory intheir definition).The factors of the socio-economic context —therefore the local dimension — have a specialinfluence in determining the choices and theparticipational behaviours of women, then ofthose of men.If we take for granted the unequal distribution ofVI

Prefacecare roles between men and women as data, it isimpossible to ignore the differences in the femalecondition and problems of reconciliation that theydenote, for example, in urban and rural areas, bothin support for participation and in a perspective ofsupport for permanent employment. The elementsthat differentiate the female condition in the localdimension are related to a myriad of otherenvironmental factors: from the economic vocationof a territory (industrial, tertiary, tourist, agricultural,specialized, etc.), to the cultural andrelationship models of the community, from theavailable resources to redistribute care work,whether institutionalized (infancy services, largecompanies that more easily adopt reorganizationmodels for work schedules, roots in the thirdsector and the spread of practices such as TimeBanks) or other, (relationships with neighboursand exchange models, family structures andintergenerational solidarity) to policies on timesand transport.It is actually the context’s relevancy in designingthe terms by which women represent a resourcefor development that suggests that the localdimension is a resource for Equal opportunitypolicies.In fact, in the first place, like the developmentpolicies, the Equal opportunity policies have agreater probability of meeting the needs formeasures in as much as the more they are plannedand implemented “close” the population thatexpresses the need, the better. In the secondplace, the local dimension facilitates that policyintegration process that characterizes the essenceof gender mainstreaming. The labour and trainingpolicies often have a greater possibility of beingplanned and implemented in synergy with otherpolicies that support female inclusion in the labourmarket, such as care policies (children, the elderly,the infirm), transport policies, scheduling policiesand all those measures that have an impact onthe quality of life and the safety both of theworkplace, and more generally, the territory.Finally, the Equal opportunity policies promoted atthe local level have greater chances of involvingthe relevant actors (local authorities, enterprises,civil economy, management and labour, thepopulation). The question of capacity building andmobilization of local stakeholders is furthermorea central element in the implementation ofequality policies, and emphasizes the need topromote women in policymaking processes andat all decisional levels (empowerment), whetherwith the greater involvement of women in thedecision-making places or the involvement ofequality bodies and other women’s organizations.At the same time, the equality organizationsshould be involved in networking processes bothin terms of connection with other local actors aswell as connection with other levels of government.This could also take place through“concertation”* tables that deal with this issuesand/or protocols, for example, in the sphere ofterritorial pacts in order to provide openly forpromotion and gender mainstreaming in thechoices implemented to foster Local development(Campbell, 2003).Unfortunately, although the world of womenrepresents a resource for the territory and thelocal context, primarily when a medium to longtermperspective is adopted (Rubery, Fagan, 1999),this topic is rarely analyzed in its complexity andmultidimensional nature, from the gender pointof view. In this framework, a project such asW. In D., promoted by the Dipartimento per i Dirittie le Pari Opportunità (Italian Department for Rightsand Equal Opportunities) of the Presidenza delConsiglio dei Ministri (Presidency of the Councilof Ministers), seems important. The project’sambitious objective is, to define methodological* For “concertation” we intend activities in order to involve main stakeholders and reach consensus on a specific issue.VII

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italysteps for verifying the gender policies thatcontribute to Local development. This means, inother terms, verifying the hypothesis on thenegative influence which occurs when the Equalopportunity principle is not applied in the localdevelopment of a territory and, vice versa, towhich degree the lack of local development limitsimprovement in the position of women.The little involvement of women in local developmentprocesses, and the minimal attentionreserved for the gender principle in those samedevelopment policies, continue to be constant inmost European countries. The issue is at the centerof the V Program of community action for equalopportunity between men and women in theframework W. In D. was funded. The project goesfrom the conviction that it is necessary to promotea strong coordinated action at a European levelto support these issues and make the necessarycultural change in order to concretely apply thegender mainstreaming principle in local socioeconomicdevelopment processes.The transnational partnership of the project wasformed to include various cultural attitudes andvarious experiences in gender oriented equalopportunity throughout the European Union, aswell as different organizational-institutionalsystems found in the Member Countries. Thepartnership structure of W. In D. is as follows:• Promoter with the role of direction andcoordination of the project activities: Departmentfor Rights and Equal OpportunitiesPresidency of the Council of Ministers, Italy• Transnational partners:European Policies Research Centre (EPRC)University of Strathclyde, UKInstitut de Govern i Polítiques Públiques (IGOP)University of Barcellona, SpainNational Commission for the Promotion ofEquality (NCPE), Malta• National partner: Institute for Social Research(IRS), ItalyIncluding Spain and Italy in the project led to the“typical” problems of Mediterranean countries ontopics of gender oriented equal opportunity,although they were part of two rather differentpolitical institutional contexts, especially in thearea of administrative decentralization.The Maltese partner allowed for a perspective onthe experience of a small country that is stilldealing with numerous problems in the sphere ofequal opportunity. For this reason the recent entryinto the European Union represents, at the sametime, a challenge and a chance for rapid progress.The Scottish partner, finally, guarantees the Anglo-Saxon perspective, characterized by a moreadvanced situation in gender equality terms andtherefore working more on a gender mainstreamingapproach and on a wider concept ofequal opportunities, open to all forms of discrimination.Through a comparative research action, the projectproduced an Intervention model and Guidelinesfor introducing and strengthening the equalopportunity principles in the local developmentprocesses. This tool is intended to meet a doubleneed: to foster and consolidate local strategies thatfavour female participation in local developmentprocesses in the various localcontexts; to define an integrated approach for fosteringthe inclusion of gender mainstreaming in localdevelopment processes, shared by all theproject partners.The intervention model was outlined starting withthe results of the research and from thesolicitations and needs that emerged in the panelsorganized in each of the partner countries withthe participation of institutional stakeholders,VIII

Prefacerepresentatives of the socio-economic partnership,reference people of the best practices analyzedand represented a first step for the definition ofconcrete methods and tools for promoting gendermainstreaming as a constituent element in thelocal development processes, as declined in theGuidelines.This publication is one of the products of W. In D.listed below: Italian case study; Scottish case study; Spanish case study; Maltese case study; Final report of the comparative research study“Strategies and experiences carried out in thelocal development processes at a Europeanlevel” ; Model and Guidelines: “A gender oriented localdevelopment model”; Catalogue of best practices.Department for Rights and Equal OpportunitiesItalian Presidency of the Council of Ministers - ItalyIRS - Institute for Social Research - ItalyBibliography• Campbell M., Local Employment Development in the European Union. Acting Together at the Local Level: More and Better Jobs,Better Governance, Atti del Convegno European Forum on Local Development and Employment, Presidency of the European Unionin Rhodes, 16/17 maggio 2003.• Lofstrom A., A report on gender equality and economic growth, comm/employment_social/equ_opp/information_en.html#emp, 2001.• Olsson H., Social Security, Gender Equality and Economic Growth, mimeo, 2000.• Rubery J., Fagan C., Smith M., Women’s Employment in Europe. Trends and Prospects, Routledge, London, 1999.• Humphries J., Rubery J., Fagan C., Grimshaw D., Smith M., Equal Opportunities as a Productive Factor, Study for the Policy andPerspective Group of DG Employment and Social Affairs – European Commission, 1999.• Yunus M., Il banchiere dei poveri, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2003.IX

1.IntroductionThe following pages represent an analysis carriedout in Italy and briefly show the situation regardingaspects related to the socio-economic and theinstitutional and regulatory context. It alsosuggests a transversal interpretation of some“practices” that already exist in our Country, andthat are attempting to combine gender to the issueof local development under various aspects.1

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italy2.The socio-economic context2.1. The populationIn recent years, the aging of the population andthe growing number of foreign citizens havecontributed more than anything else to ademographic and social change in Italy.On the 31st of December 2006, the total Italianpopulation was equal to 59,131,287 of which 51,4% are women, with an increase of 0.6% withrespect to 2005 1 . The increase in population is notuniform throughout the national territory due tohighly diversified natural and migratory balances.A migratory movement is also confirmed for 2006,both within the Country and abroad, primarilydirected toward Central and Northern regions,while only in the Southern regions and the Islandsa positive natural balance is recorded.The distribution of the resident population bygeographical division assigns the Northwest26.4% of the total, the Northeast 18.9% of thetotal, the Central area 19.5%, the South 23.8%and the Islands 11.3%.The estimate of the number of foreigners in thetotal population is equal to five foreigners for everyhundred residents, and appears to be growingwith respect to 2005 (4.5 foreigners for every 100residents).The incidence of foreigners it’s greatest in theNorth (respectively 7.2% and 6.8% of theNortheast and Northwest), high in the Central area(6.4%) while in the South the quota of foreignresidents is only 1.6%.Italy has one of the highest levels of aging in theworld thanks to progressive increases in lifeexpectancy.On the first of July 2006 2 the percentage of peopleaged 65 or over reached the significant numberof 19.9%, (it was 17% in 1996), while that of minorshas declined to 17.0% (18% in 1996). Young peopleup to 14 years of age make up 14.1% (15% in 1996),the population of an active age, 15 to 64 years, isequal to two thirds of the total (68% in 1996).The average age of the population reaches 43years, and the ratio between the older and theyounger generations reaches 141% against the1 ISTAT, National demographic balance, Year 2006, http://demo.stat.it2 ISTAT, Demographic indicators – Year 2006, note March 26 20072

The socio-economic context117% of 1996. There is also an increase in the ratiobetween the inactive generations (minors up to14 years old and the elderly of 65 or more) andgenerations of an active age (15 to 64 years), thatpasses for 46% to 51%. The structural weight ofthe over 64 -year-olds alone on the population ofactive age passes from 25% to 30%.Furthermore, this process regards an ever morefeminized segment of the population that, thanksto its greater longevity with respect to men,represents the most relevant quota of the growingcontingent of elderly. In Italy the quota stands at58.8%.The female population has greatly aged. In 2006,22.4% of the women were over 65 (16.9% for themen) and 6.7% were over 80 (3.5% for the men).TABLE 1Demographic and Structural Indicators for the Italian populationIndicators of the population structure ( July 1 2006, estimates)Italy%pop 0-14 14,1%pop 0-17 17,0% pop 15-64 66,1%pop>65 19,9Women 22,4Men 16,9Age index 141Structural dependency index 51Elderly dependency index 30Average age 42,8Demographic indicatorsLife expectancy at birthWomen 84,0Men 78,3Average number of children per woman 1,35Italian women (2004) 1,26Foreign women (2004) 2,61Source:ISTATThe aging of the population in relative terms canbe attributed to the exceptional longevity ofItalians even more than to fertility rates which arestill below the replacement level. Even in 2006,as in previous years, the population benefitedfrom further progress in survival. The estimate ofthe life expectancy at birth reached 78.3 yearsold for men and 84.0 years old for women, with agrowth of 0.5 and 0.6 years, respectively, incomparison to 2005.According to recent projections, the consequencesof the aging process for Italy could lead by 2050to a growth of up to 34% of individuals who are 65years old and more.The situation of progressive aging of thepopulation is obviously due to the lengthening ofthe average life of individuals but also dependson changes that have a strong demographic impacton reproductive behaviours. In fact, youngerwomen of reproductive age tend to delay maternityand have their first child at 30 if they live in theNorth of Italy and 28 if they live in the South.3

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyItaly is, therefore one of the countries with thelowest levels of fertility, although in the last 10years the trend finally seems to be reversing anddiminishing. In 2006, the estimate for the averagenumber of children per woman was equal to 1.35(1.34 in 2005). This is the highest level recordedin Italy in the last 15 years and is the result of agrowing trend begun in 1995, the year in whichItalian fertility touched the all-time minimum witha value of 1.19 children per woman.The recovery seen in the last few years is theproduct on the national scale of more similarreproductive behaviours between the variousareas of the country, in particular between theCentral Northern zone and the South. The resultobserved, in fact, can be attributed to the regionsof the North and the Central area, considering thatin the period between 1995 and 2005, the averagenumber of children per woman passed into thisdivision, respectively, from 1.05 to 1.34 and from1.07 to 1.29. In the same period, on the other hand,the Southern regions recorded a decrease: from1.41 to 1.35 children per woman.2.2. The labour marketSupport for participation, particularly femaleparticipation, in the labour market will haveto be one of Italy’s main focus points in the nearfuture.The activity rate was equal to 62.7% in 2006 anddividing the groups by gender, we can observethat the rate of female participation was muchlower (50.8%) with respect to the male rate(74.6%).The number of inactive women is still very highhowever, approximately half of the femalepopulation over 15 years of age, emphasizing astrong potential labour force pool that could beactivated to support employment levels and toanswer to the growing friction between laboursupply and demand, even from a merelyquantitative point of view.The gender gap is defined as a structuring elementin the profile of participation in the Italian labourmarket.FIGURE 1Italy - Activity rates 15-64Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour Forces4

The socio-economic contextDespite a strong growth in female participation inthe labour market that has taken place over thelast 10 years, the profile for participation by ageshows that the gender gap in the activity rates stillcorresponds to any age group, although withdifferent levels of intensity.The curve of activity rates by age has taken on atypical “bell” form similar to the male one, but atdecidedly lower levels.FIGURE 2Italy - Activity rates by sex and age - 2005Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesThe highest activity rates in women are found inthe groups of 25-34 and 35-44 years old, wherethey reach 66-67% approximately (data from2005), even though they are much lower than themale ones (for men in the groups between 35 and44 years old the activity rate, equal to 94.9%,reaches its maximum value i.e. 14 percentagepoints more with respect to the average rate andalmost 18 points more than the female rate).The rates of female participation begin to decreaseearlier with respect to male rates, that is theyalready start decreasing in the age group 30 to 34years old, and show signs relating to problems ofreconciliation, which become a deterrent toparticipating. The choice to leave the labourmarket, furthermore, tends to be irreversible, ifwe take into consideration that the femaleparticipation rates after 35 years old progressivelydecrease. However, it’s the women in their thirtieswho have a relatively higher participation level inthe labour market.Despite this, the temporary nature of the femalepresence tends to ease over time, inasmuch asthere is an increase in the number of women whoremain employed or who look for work aftermarriage and the birth of the children.5

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyIn terms of gender gap however, the mostsignificant differences can be seen in the moreadult age groups. In particular, in the age groupsover 30 the difference between the male andfemale activity rate is very high, while in the agegroups under 30, participation behaviours appearto be less differentiated (in as much as they aredifferentiated by gender).Among the younger people (females and males)a greater convergence of behaviours can beimagined also because the population is becomingincreasingly more educated, especially women,that, as noted, supports the choice to participate.The territorial differences for participation in thelabour market and search for employment are stillvery pronounced. In the Northern Central regions,the activity rate for women of 15-64 years of ageis lower than the male rate by about 20 points,against the 24 points of difference in the nationalaverage. In the South, the gender gap exceeds 30percentage points, emphasizing the significantlyhigh number of women who does not enter thelabour market.FIGURE 3Italy - Activity rates 15-64 by gender and geographic divisionSource: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesThe characteristics of female employmentIn the last few years women have given a strongpush to employment growth. The femaleemployment rate (15-64 years of age) has grownby eight percentage points in the last 10 yearsreaching 46.3% in 2006, but still 14 percentagepoints below the male rate. In the last five years,on the other hand, the female employment ratehas continued to grow against a substantialstability in the male rate.6

The socio-economic contextFIGURE 4Italy - Employment rates 15-64Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesThe increase in female employment has primarilyinterested the “service industry”. The increase infemale employment is in fact primarily concentratedin such sectors as health, education, andthe services sector in general. This can beexplained by the fact that a large part of the socialand personal services are nothing more than theprofessionalization of activities that were onceexclusively performed within the family and thattoday are performed, as paid employment, by thewomen themselves.Female employment is also characterized by agreater number of clerical work with respect tomanagerial positions, entrepreneurial positionsand the professions. There are still a high numberof women workers, although fewer with respectto men.The female population has, in general, a lessstable condition on the labour market. Thenumber of women employed on a short-termcontract with respect to full-time long-termemployment is equal to 14.7% against the 10.5%of men (2005).Female employment is also strongly characterizedby part-time forms of work. In 2006, the quota forpart-time female employment was equal to 26.4%of the total against 4% of males and the 13.5% asa whole. The use of this form of work allowswomen greater possibilities of reconciliationbetween work and family commitments. Applicationfor flexible work seems to have been aprivileged source of female recruitment in Italy,but with riskier job conditions and negligible jobquality in many cases, for example, where theduties require few qualifications, or sectors wherethe greatest risk is insecurity (for example,seasonal work).7

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyFIGURE 5Italy - Employment by sex and economic sector (services) - 2005Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesFIGURE 6Italy - Employment by sex and professional position - 2005Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour Forces8

The socio-economic contextFemale unemploymentThere are still pronounced gender differences inthe area of job hunting. The unemployment rate,though constantly decreasing in the last few yearsfor both sexes, is still 3.4 percentage points higherfor women than for men. In 2006 the femaleunemployment rate was equal to 8.8% againstthe 5.4% of men.FIGURE 7Italy - Unemployment rates 15-64Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesThe disaggregation of unemployment rates by age,shows that the greatest gaps are found in theyoung age groups. The gender gap between 15and 24 years of age is approximately six points,and four points between 25 and 34 years of age,and again in decline in the higher age groups.The growth of higher education was by far greateramong women than among men, and by now theyounger generations of women turn out to bemore educated than the men. This has had remarkableeffects in Italy inasmuch as it has been thisstrong increase in female educational levels tocause their increased presence in the labourmarket (see figure 8).However, there are still gender differences withrespect to the educational level between peoplelooking for work. The differences in the femaleand male unemployment rates are in fact greaterin the lower educational levels and ease off wherethere is an increase in the educational level. Eventhough the female component has greaterdifficulty than the male one despite higher educationalqualifications (see figure 9).9

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyFIGURE 8Italy – Unemployment rates by gender and education – 2005Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesFIGURE 9Italy – Unemployment rates by sex and age – 2006Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour Forces10

The socio-economic contextFurthermore, the rates of long-term unemploymentare higher for women with respect tomen, in particular in the younger age groups. Thereduction of the gender gap with the increase inthe age seems partly due to the fact that the olderwomen grow, the more they are inclined to giveup the job hunt.FIGURE 10Italy - Long-term unemployment rate by sex and age- 2006Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesUnemployment (above all among young people)is more concentrated in the Southern regions, andinvolves women to a greater degree than men.The female unemployment rate in the South is 6.6percentage points higher for women than for men,while in the Central regions the difference is 3.7points and in the North, 2.3 points.11

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyFIGURE 11Italy - Unemployment rates by sex and geographic division – 2006Source: ISTAT, Ongoing Survey on the Labour ForcesFinally, to complete the female unemploymentpicture, it should be added that many women arein the boundary between activity and inactivity.In fact, 67% of the inactive people (2005) arewomen seeking work even though non-actively,or women who are not seeking work but would bewilling to work. This is a particularly importantsegment of the population in the sphere of policiesintended to improve the female employmentsupply.Female entrepreneurshipIn Italy, there has been a significant change in theprofile of autonomous workers, and in particularamong women. In the 10 years between 1993-2003, in fact, the weight of the different positionswithin autonomous employment has shiftedsignificantly, particularly the female employment,adding new features to the profile of independentfemale workers.In the first place, the profile appears to be changedin its consistent increase in the number of femaleentrepreneurs (female entrepreneurs represent0.8% of total female employment against the 2.3%of men) 3 but also through a relevant increaseamong women professionals, more than doubledin the 10 years under consideration. There hasbeen a net decrease, on the other hand, of selfemployedfemale workers as well as assistingspouses.The image that emerged was one of a changewithin autonomous work, but that primarily3 This is a very meaningful period for the changes that have taken place in the labour market. The statistical data collected during the 10 years were discontinuous, there wasa change when the Istat trimester survey on the labor forces became “continuous.” On April 30, 2005, the time-series of data was reconstructed only by the main aggregates,without the groups being broken down by age and few of them by sex.12

The socio-economic contextinvolved the female component and ischaracterized by growth in the number of highlevelprofessionals, as shown by the increase inthe number of women in entrepreneurial roles andthe more highly qualified independent professions,as opposed to a net reduction of autonomoustraditional activities, of the manual typeand of a low professional level.Despite the interruption of the time-series by theintroduction of new methods for surveying labourforces, the trends appear to be confirmed,although between 2004 and 2005 a reduction inthe number of female entrepreneurs was recorded,as well as an overall reduction in independentfemale labour.TABLE 2Employed women by position in the profession - Average (in thousands )Positions in the profession 1993 2003 Var. % 2.004 2.005 Var. %1993-2003 2004-2005Entrepreneurs 50 140 180,0% 82 73 -11,2%Professionals 120 288 140,0% 301 305 1,3%Self-employed workers 906 775 -14,5% 931 905 -2,8%Associates in a cooperative 43 72 67,4% 23 17 -23,9%Assisting family member 596 486 -18,5% 325 250 -23,1%TOTALE 1.715 1.761 2,7% 1.662 1.550 -6,7%Source: Data processing by ISTATThe change is more extensive and deeper that theavailable Istat data on the labour forces outlines,especially for the fact that the work- and not onlyindependent work- comprises an ever lesshomogenous group that is in constant transformation.Although the autonomous job is not onthe increase, autonomy within the job isincreasing: with a general rise in educational levelsand skills comes a widespread professionalautonomy among workers.The increase in women who lead an enterprise ormanage an independent activity is a relevant andwidespread phenomenon that regards manycountries, even in less-developed areas of theworld.In Italy too, female entrepreneurial activity hasseen a visible increase in the last decades. Theprimarily used source for studying theentrepreneurial phenomenon is the databaseMovimprese managed by InfoCamere.The most recent data produced by the sourcerefers to enterprises enrolled in the Registry ofCompanies in the Chamber of Commerce in 2006 4 .The comparison between the Istat survey data onthe labour forces and those emerging from theChamber of Commerce enrolment- despitedifficulties in comparing information on supplyand demand- suggests some elements on theconsistency and nature of the phenomenon,beginning with the different meaning that we cangive to the entrepreneurial role, even leaving asidethe specific definitions used by the varioussources 5 .4 Press Release March 5 20075 An important step forward in the availability of more reliable data on enterprises led by women was completed with the creation of the Observatory on female entrepreneurship,promoted by Unioncamere at the end of 2002. The Observatory selected as “female enterprise” those in which the participation of women is greater than 50%. The femaleparticipation rate is deduced, according to the legal form, from the proportion of female owners of enterprises or capital shares, or that have the role of administrator. Thefemale presence is divided into three levels: majority (more than 50% of associates or administrators), strong (more than 60%), exclusive (100% of associates or administratorsor owners of enterprises as for individual companies).13

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyTABLE 3Active enterprises and female enterprises by region and geographical area on December 31 2006 - Absolute values and variations %2006-2005Active enterprises Balance of 2006 Var. % 2006-2005Region Total female % Total Female Total Femaleenterprises female enterprises enterprises enterprisestotal 2006NORTH-WEST 1.374.610 305.798 22,25% 13428 3936 0,99% 1,30%NORTH-EAST 1.091.809 229.207 20,99% 5.760 2.062 0,53% 0,91%CENTRAL 969.562 243.503 25,11% 11.950 3.986 1,25% 1,66%SOUTH AND ISLANDS 1.722.297 456.411 26,50% 8.642 5.823 0,50% 1,29%ITALY 5.158.278 1.234.919 23,94% 39.780 15.807 0,78% 1,30%Source: Retecamere processing on Observatory of female entrepreneurship, Unioncamere-InfoCamereThe main data from the Observatory makes itpossible to create a more precise profile of femaleenterprises, while little can be gleaned about thefemale entrepreneurs because the only genderinformation from this source refers to “positions.”According to more recent data (December 31,2006), the female enterprises in Italy number1,234,919 (15,807 more than in 2005), growing ata more consistent pace than the total of theenterprises (+1.30% the percentage variation2006-2005 against the +0.78% of the total). Theincidence of female enterprises on the total ofenterprises reaches the value of 23.94% in 2006.The average data always conceals territorialdifferences that cannot be ignored and in somecases are even unexpected: in fact, the highestincidence of female enterprises is in the south ofItaly, with more than 26% of the total, while in theNortheast these do not reach 21%.These initial statistics already supply a few cluesregarding the characteristics of the enterprisesled by women, more widespread in productiveareas where companies are, on the average, smalland concentrated in the more traditional sectors(Agriculture, trade), while there are fewer in themore heavily industrialized areas where small tomedium sized enterprises are more common.Confirmation on the legal nature of femaleenterprise is confirmed by the data: almost 70.9%are individual companies (66.6% altogether),therefore for the most part concentrated in theexclusive form, that is with a total coincidencebetween the enterprise and a female figurerunning it.Nonstock corporations too, appear to be morewidespread among enterprises led by women(19.6%, against the average of 17.5%), inasmuchas in their turn, they are a simple form of business,adapted to the practice of commercial activitiesor small-scale productive activities.Overall, 92% of the female enterprises are part ofthese two legal types, while capital corporationsmake up 8.2%, against the average of 13.8%.Gender pay gapA last analytical element related to women’spresence in the labour market is due to salaryconditions (gender pay gap).14

The socio-economic contextTABLE 4Active enterprises by gender and legal type and region on December 31 2006Capital Non-stock Individual Other formscorporations company enterprise% 13,8% 17,5% 66,6% 2,1%Total 710.445 905.044 3.436.245 106.544% 8,2% 19,6% 70,9% 1,3%Female 101.508 241.853 875.330 16.228Source: : Retecamere processing on Observatory of female entrepreneurship, Unioncamere-InfoCamereThe existence of a wage difference between menand women is a systematic characteristic of thelabour market in all countries.The pay gap 6 between men and women is due to,on the one hand, the composition of femaleemployment, more concentrated in workplaceswith low wages, and on the other hand, tounfavourable treatment of women even wherethere is job equality.Wages for Italian men in 2004 were greater thanthose of women by approximately 7%. The gap ishigher in the industrial sector, in the strict sense,and lower in the services sector.As regards white-collar work, female wages lackor have reduced benefits such as productivityawards and overtime.Among the more significant effects of suchdiscrimination is the so-called “glass ceiling”,where women can see high career positions but donot actually have access to them.The average European gender pay gap indicatesthat in the EU of 2004, employed women are paidapproximately 15% less than men.Italy with 7%, is at the lowest levels of theEuropean ranking together with Malta, Portugaland Belgium, showing that there is greater wageequality between women and men. An apparentlypositive sign is partly tied to the fact that in thelabour markets in which few women are employed,such as those in Mediterranean countries, womenwith low potential salaries choose not to work, aswe have already emphasized.For this reason, the European employmentstrategy introduced the objective of substantiallyreducing this difference by 2010 in all the MemberStates. In order to do this, the factors that createthis difference must be dealt with: employmentand sector segregation, differences in training andwage mechanisms.2.3 Political participationand decision-makingWomen are strongly underrepresented in thesphere of political, national and localrepresentation, and generally in decision-makingpositions both in the public and private sectors.The data on the presence of women in Italian6 ISTAT, Gender statistics, March 7 2007 – “The gender wage gap is the difference between the average earned per hour gross by a man and woman paid by the employer asa percentage of the average earned per hour gross by an employed dependent between 16 and 64 years of age who works for at least 15 hours a week-”.15

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyParliament (Chamber of Deputies) in present-daylegislature includes 108 women, equal to 17% ofthe total. The European average reachesapproximately 23% and Italy is in 18th place in theEurope of 27, while in the European Parliament,women account for 30% of the members.Women represent more than 21% of the membersof the present-day government (ministers, viceministers and undersecretaries), close to theaverage of European data (22%) but is in 12thplace in the Europe of 27.Furthermore, the women are not represented atall in the higher Central Administration roles, usingthe comparative indicator designated as “Proportionof women civil servants in the two highestranking positions (after the Minister) of theministries (appointed, elected or nominated) incentral government and the respective levels inthe European Institutions (Director General,Deputy Director General, Director, Principal Advisoror equivalent)”.The data does not improve at the lower territoriallevels. The presence of women involved in politics,in Public Administration, in the economy andprofessions in first level positions is very low atall territorial levels.On the other hand, the presence of women inwhite-collar positions increases, above all in PublicAdministration.FIGURA 12Proportion of women in the lower house/only house of the National/federal ParliamentMaltaHungaryRomaniaIrelandGreeceFranceSloveniaCzech RepublicCyprusItalyEstoniaLatviaUnited KingdomPolandSlovakiaBulgariaLithuaniaEU 27LuxembourgPortugalEuropean ParliamentAustriaGermanyBelgiumSpainNetherlandsFinlandDenmarkSweden0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%WomenSource: European Union, Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities16

3.Institutions and regulation3.1. Equal opportunitiesand local developmentThe possibility to integrate equal opportunitiesobjectives within local development issue iscomplicated by the difficult definition of this fieldof intervention, both because of the multiplemeanings that can be attributed to it, and to thevariety of policies that can contribute to constituteit. In fact, the design of local developmentinterventions, in the Italian tradition, presentsmany differences and it is the product of a varietyof pilot experiences, based on a bottom-upapproach, and this makes it difficult to reach aunique definition.The Italian economic development path isdistinguished by its territorial differences and byan idea of development strongly tied to a territory’sability to produce wealth.Several studies on the subject - from the analysisof the industrial districts to the more recent oneson the local productive systems- have underlinedhow the prosperity of an economy is tied, beyondthe competitiveness of the individual enterprises,to a more general competitiveness of the territory.This means that the socio-economic developmentdoes not exclusively depend on the availability ofmaterial factors (such as infrastructures) and theexistence of a competitive advantage for theproductive system, but also on the so-calledrelational factors which are part of local realities(trust in relationships between economic,institutional, social actors, shared regulations andvalues). These are summarized into the conceptof social capital 7 . The main dimensions which canqualify local development are:• the territorial nature of the process so thatrelationships between actors have spatialboundaries;• the capacity to mobilize the actors and all theeconomic, environmental, social and culturalresources existing on the territory;• the vertical integration (between the differentlevels of competency, both local, national, andcommunity) and horizontal integration (amongthe different institutional, economic, and socialtypes) among different involved actors;• the innovation and learning to assist the actorsinvolved;• the sustainability over time. The presence ofthe cultural dimension in the local development7 Social capital can be considered as a pattern of relationships between actors that facilitate the achievement of cooperative interactions, reducing opportunistic behaviorsand consolidating loyalty and trust in relationships.17

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyprocesses, in fact, requires more time foradapting to change.In practice, it is obviously more likely that a singlemeasure can only activate one of these variousdimensions, and that local development issustained by a number of actions and interventions,each one “belonging” to different areas ofpolicy that can be activated at local level 8 .The previous considerations allow us tounderstand what might be improperly defined asthe Italian approach to the integration of equalopportunities in local development processes,starting from an analysis of the tools and the mainpolicies that “intercept” the local developmentprocesses.Following such considerations, in Italy variouslocal development support tools have beendeveloped beginning with those activated in thenineties in the area of national policies for the socalleddepressed areas of the country and, alonggeneral lines, in the field of national regional policy(that is, the whole of public measures aimed atguaranteeing development and competitivenessin specific territories with economic and socialimbalances), and arriving at the integratedterritorial planning as an implementation tool forthe Community Cohesion Policy for 2000 - 2006.At the same time, a well-developed regulatorysystem was developed to protect equality and tosupport and foster equal opportunities policies:it provides the bases and useful tools to promotegender oriented integration in local developmentinitiatives and to support female participation inthe definition and implementation of theinterventions.Staring from the principle of equal opportunitiesbetween women and man stated by the italianConstitution, the evolution of the Italian legislativesystem is the consequence of the several changesthat have taken place in the country over femaleissues. It has gone from regulations aimed atremoving legal obstacles to the principle ofgender equality, to the definition of the existing“gender policies” to promote the full and effectiveparticipation of women in political, social andeconomic life. The institutionalisation of equalopportunities process during the nineties, hasalso led to the creation 9 of many bodies in thedifferent “fields” of equal opportunities, oftencreated ad hoc by the Italian government toanswer to the international and communitypressure and that have been slowly assimilatedinto the country’s government structures.Despite this, one of the distinctive features of thecountry, is the persistence of considerable gapbetween the presence of rich and progressiveregulations in the field of equal opportunities andthe real status of women in Italy - as profiled inthe previous chapter - especially in the gendercomposition of the different political andinstitutional levels and the quantity and qualityof the female presence in the economic andproductive life of the country.The current process of institutional decentralization,especially with reference to the reformof the Title V of the Italian Constitution, has helpedto define a governance model of development andgender policies focusing more and more on a locallevel. With the proclamation of the Law forconstitutional change number 3 of 2001, theopportunity for Region to manage the economicsystem was amplified, having their legislativeauthority on the great part of the territorialsystems governing issues. The subsidiarityprinciple, reaffirmed by the new constitutional8 IRS (Institute for Social Research) “The transversal priorities in the 2000-2006 programming analyzed with respect to gender: the experience of the Autonomous Provinceof Bolzano”, Franco Angeli 2004.9 Edited by Isabella Rauti, “Percorsi di parità”, Ufficio Nazionale Consigliera di Parità - ISFOL 2005.18

Institutions and regulationlaw, reinforces the role of the Regions asinstitutional leaders of economic and socialprogramming 10 . The new Article 117 also assignsto the Regions/Autonomous Provinces the taskof removing “every barrier that hinders full equalitybetween men and women in the social, culturaland economic life and fosters equal access forboth men and women to elective offices.” At thesame time the new division of competenciesbetween State and Regions assigns to the Regionsa complete “set” of matters regarding localdevelopment 11 . The new constitutional provisionalso influences the principle of male/femaleequality in the access to elective office, byassigning to the Regions the objective to rebalancefemale political representation.In this scenario the community programming2000-2006 became in Italy an opportunity toexperiment the integration between the policiessupporting local development and thosepromoting equal opportunities in a structuredprogrammed framework, having specificobjectives and intervention models. TheCommunity Regulations 2000-2006 foresee theintegration and promotion of “bottom-up”development as one of the main principles for theimplementation of the co-financed programmesand measures and the adoption of the equalopportunities principle as a transversal priority inthe programming cycle.Following is a brief description of the mainevolutional phases of the Italian equalopportunities regulation, the main institutionalorganizations which have been created to developthe current regulatory framework on equalopportunities and the main tools that could beimplemented.3.2. Equal opportunities in Italy:regulatory framework and bodiesThe Italian Constitution sanctions the principleof “gender equality” recognizing equal socialdignity for men and women in the face of the lawand points out that one of the Republic’s tasks isthe removal of economic and social barrierslimiting the freedom and equality of the citizensand hindering the full development of the humanperson (Article 3). In particular, recognizingequality between women and men in theworkplace (Articles 4 and 37), moral and legalequality of spouses within a marriage (Article 29)and equality of access to public office positionsand elective offices (article 51), the Constitutionhas set out important reference points for thedevelopment of future regulation.Up until the end of the ’70s, regulatory productionwas directed at the evolution from a “protectivelegislation” to “a legislation for equality” ensuringrespect for the “principle of non-discrimination.”In particular, during that decade, coinciding withthe massive entry of women into the labourmarket, a debate around Article 37 of theConstitution was developed: in addition to theequality principle in the workplace, it recognizedthe essential value of the family “role” of thewoman.With the law 903/1977, amending the law1204/1971 on the protection of maternity, and withthe set up of legislation on services for infancy, itbecomes clear that the balance between theequality principle and recognition of the specificneeds of women must take place throughmeasures fostering reconciliation between workand family life, without compromising orsubordinating the first to the family needs. The10 CNEL (National Council of Economy and Labour) “The social pacts and the local concertation experiences for development and employment in Italian regions”, 2004.11 ISAE (Studies and Economic Analysis Institute), Annual report 2004 on the implementation of federalism: The “double devolution”: supranationalization and internalfederalism, February 2004.12 Borgogelli F. “Female labour between the law and contract bargaining”, Edition Franco Angeli, 1987.19

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italycare role begins to be outsourced, based on therecognition of the social value of maternity 12 .Starting in the ’80s, in application of specificcommunity directives, and with the push from theUnited Nations World Conference on women 13 ,Italy sets up institutional equal opportunitiespolicies, promoting the creation of institutionalbodies in the field of equal opportunities. In 1983,within the Ministry of Labour, the first Nationalcommittee on equality and equal opportunities inthe workplace is instituted 14 , with the specific taskto formulate national laws in the field of labour,giving explicit attention to the application of thegender equality principles.In 1984, within the Presidency of the Council ofMinisters, the National Commission for equalitybetween men and women is instituted. Thisinstitutional consultancy body addresses issueson the female condition tout court, and not onlyin the field of labour. With the Law number 164/1990, establishing its tasks and composition, theCommission becomes a permanent body of thePresidency of the Council of Ministers. In 2003,the Commission is transformed into theCommission on equal opportunities between menand women and its composition is altered (themembers are chosen from women’s associations,trade unions, entrepreneurial organizations) 15 .The law 125/1991 “Positive actions for implementinggender equality in the workplace” marksa turning point for the Italian legislation on thissubject, establishing specific measures for theintroduction of equal opportunities principle alsoin the field of training and labour market. Suchlaw clearly defines the concept of discrimination,specifically taking in the concept of indirectdiscrimination, and legitimises recourse to the socalledpositive actions as tools to achieve genderequality between the sexes. To that end it providesfor the financing of specific projects presented bypublic and private employers, national andterritorial trade union organizations, andstimulates the implementation of positive actionplans in public and private companies. It alsoprovides that every two years the companies withmore than 100 employees must elaborate a reporton the situation of their own personnel.In order to achieve such objectives, the Law125/1991, Article 5, provides tasks and functionsof the National Committee for the implementationof principles of equal treatment, equal opportunitiesbetween male and female employees(within the Ministry of Labour) which have beenestablished to eliminate sexually discriminatorybehaviours and any barrier that hinders equalityof women in the workplace, as well as professionaladvancement and career. Such law also definesthe profile and the competences of the EqualityCouncillor 16 at a national, regional and provinciallevel, appointed in order to preside over the femalecondition in the labour market at territorial leveland delegated to foster and monitor theimplementation of principles of equality oftreatment between men and women in theworkplace.In this scenario, in 1992 the Law 215 is passed: inapplication of the principle of positive actions, itforesees measures and incentives to supportfemale entrepreneurship through periodicalpublic tenders addressed to all enterprisescomposed by women or where women make upthe greater part 17 . The same regulation institutesthe Committee for female entrepreneurship,13 Copenaghen, 1980.14 Thoroughly regulated by the Law 125/91.15 Currently presided over by the Ministry for Rights and Equal Opportunities and based at the Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities.16 Position already instituted in the eighties that was completely regulated by the following Legislative Decree number 196 of 2000, that broadens and reinforces its functions,instituting the national Network of Women Equality Councilors.17 The Law became operative only in 1997. Following the transfer of competences in this area to the Minister for Rights and Equal Opportunities, the committee is at presentin charge at the Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities.20

Institutions and regulationoperating within the Ministry of ProductiveActivities 18 , which coordinates the relationshipswith the Regions and monitors the implementedinterventions. Despite of some critical points andimperfections in such legislative provision, whichhave been underlined through the implementationof different public tenders, the law has helped todevote attention on the issue of autonomousfemale employment and the existing opportunitiesconnected to the enhancement of female talentin the fields of productive economic activities 19 .Behind the implementation of the national law,all the Italian Regions have developed regionallaws in order to provide incentive to femaleentrepreneurship.With reference to the local development dimension,the law was reviewed in the frameworkof the general rethinking of the whole system ofincentives in the face of the above-mentionedadministrative decentralization. In 2000, (throughthe Decree of the President of the Republic number314) some amendments were introduced to theimplementing mechanisms, but primarily provisionwas made aiming at involving the Regions in thedecision-making processes. The Regions weregiven the chance to choose criteria for theallowance of privileges aiming at adjusting all theinterventions to the programming and developmentneeds (indicating particular areas in theirown territories and/or specific economic activities)and providing an integration to the governmentalquotas resources, allotting funds to financeinitiatives eligible for tax privilege 20 .During the ’90s, a real proliferation of equalitybodies took place at all levels: such bodies, inparticular local bodies and administrations,played a primarily advisory role but with differentforms and methods considering their denomination,location, (Regional Committees orCouncils, Local authorities) and legislative sources(regional laws, regulations, etc.).In 1996, the Italian government appointed for thefirst time a female Minister for Equal Opportunities,and in 1997 formally instituted theDepartment of Equal Opportunities, within thePresidency of the Council of Ministers, with thepurpose of supporting the Minister’s activities.The institution of such a body represented theoutcome of the commitments made at the WorldConference in Beijing and the communityindications for the concrete implementation of thegender mainstreaming strategy. Among the firstmeasures adopted, the Internal GovernmentDirective (known as the Prodi-Finocchiaro directive7 th March 1997) was aimed at “fostering theacquisition of powers and responsibility by womenand integrating the gender oriented issue in allthe general and sector policies.” Even today theDirective is the only regulatory institutional actadopted in Italy in which the gender mainstreamingprinciple is expressly recalled.Again over the course of the nineties, the issuesof equality and equal opportunities shift everfurther towards reconciliation between professionallife and family life. In this field the EuropeanUnion measure with specific gender orientedprogramming and measures, turns out to becrucial. The community perspective moves from18 Following the transfer of competency to the Minister for Rights and Equal Opportunities, the Committee is currently established in the Department for Rights and EqualOpportunities.19 Beyond the Committee for Female Entrepreneurship following the activation of the Law, the Observatory for female entrepreneurship at the Department for Rights and EqualOpportunities was instituted, as well as the Committees for the promotion of female entrepreneurship in all the provincial seats of the Chamber of Commerce; at a nationallevel the National Observatory for female entrepreneurship and female agricultural work is active and presided over by the Ministry for Agricultural Policies.20 Recently, in the new government legislature, the competences in the field of female entrepreneurship have been transferred to the Department for Rights and EqualOpportunities: it has started to strategically rethink the regulations on the basis of the experiences carried out durig i the implementation years and considering every changeof the institutional and social economic context.21

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italythe idea that work-family reconciliation is importantnot exclusively for women but, generically,for the quality of life of male and female workersand the well-being of the community.At national level a decisive step is taken with thelaunching of the Law 53 of March 8, 2000“provisions for supporting maternity and paternityand for harmonizing work, care and family times,”that emphasizes the need to share the father andmother’s choice to suspend work, and underlinesan approach aimed at improving quality of life foremployed men and women.The same law provides for the concession ofcontributions to companies that carry out positiveaction programmes to develop forms of flexibilityin organizing their activities to foster schedulingflexibility that reconciles working and living times.The law also governs the tasks of local administrationson city schedules, instituting a NationalFund to finance and assigning specific roles toRegions and Municipalities for defining a“Territorial Scheduling Plan.” The importance ofsuch provisions lies in the idea that schedulingpolicies for reconciliation within the broadest citytimesrelated policies can act to improve localservices. The entire group of regulations governingsupport measures for maternity and paternity wasreordered and reorganized according to theLegislative Decree of March 26, 2001, number 151“Consolidation act on the legislative provisionson the protection and support of maternity andpaternity.“Besides these measures, the above mentionedreform of the Public Administration gains groundintroducing, among others, the concept of “genderpolicies” with the Legislative Decree of 30 March,2001, number 165 (general regulations onOrganization of work for employees in publicadministration). The deal provides that “publicadministration guarantees equality and equalopportunities between men and women for accessto work and treatment on the job, handles thetraining and upgrading of personnel, ensuring theadjustment of training programmes, to contributeto the development of the gender culture in PublicAdministration 21 .”The last years were distinguished by twoimportant constitutional reforms containingimportant implications for equal opportunities,and in particular in regard to female representationin public life. On March 8, 2002 an amendment ismade to the Article 51 of the Constitution,providing for the adoption of suitable provisionsaimed at implementing equal opportunitiesbetween men and women in institutional positions.The amendment provides for a constitutionalcoverage for all those provisions aimedat the integration of quota mechanisms for fosteringaccess of women to public and electiveoffices, and completes the state legislative coursethat already began for the system of ordinary andspecial statute Regions 22 .The Second amendment, reforming the Italianregionalism (see paragraph 3.1) amended Article117 of the Constitution, stating at paragraph 7 that“the regional laws remove all barrier hindering fullequality between men and women in social,cultural and economic life, and promote equalityof access between men and women to electiveoffices.” The principle of equal access for men andwomen to elective offices becomes a bindingfactor for regional legislation. This provisionpushed regional legislators to introduce into the21 Last May, the Minister for Rights and Equal Opportunities and the Minister for Reform and Innovation in Public Administration, issued a directive to promote the EqualOpportunities principle in Public Administration, with the objective of fully bringing into force provisions governing equality in the public sector, and to bridge the gap betweenthe considerable number of women in the public sector and their limited professional progress.22 The Constitutional Law 2/2001 on the direct election of the Presidents of the Regions with a special statute and the Autonomous Provinces have introduced provisionsaimed at promoting equality between the sexes in the access to the electoral consultations to rebalance the representation among the sexes.22

Institutions and regulationRegional Statutes, provisions on equalityprinciples and institute specific equality bodies.The overall reach of the constitutional amendmentgoes beyond the issue of female representationand has contributed to the definition of a modelof gender governance - as well as developmentpolicies - increasingly centered on the local level.As far as the assignment of tasks to the Regionsin terms of training and active employment/workpolicies, the amendment also identifies particularlyimportant actions for the complete achievementof equality between genders.Considering the subsidiarity principle, the Regionsalso have to implement a substantial equality bytaking measures at the local level on the basis ofthe various contexts that configure differentbarriers to achieve such an objective.3.3. Policies and toolsfor local developmentNegotiated programming, concertation andpartnershipAttention to local development issues in Italy, andtherefore to the territory as a central element indevelopment processes, goes back to theexperience of the industrial districts. In theseventies in fact we saw the spontaneousemerging on the Italian productive scene of a“district production mode” which economicvalidity derives not only from the features of theenterprises that make it up but also from thepeculiarities of the local system hosting them 23 .This phenomenon opened the road to a neweconomic policy directed not only at theproductive apparatus but also at the social andhuman environment where these were located,even though the public measure came much later.The main supporting tools for local developmentin Italy were in fact developed starting at thebeginning of the nineties in the context of the socalledparticipative planning, initially intended forthe implementation of extra measures for theSouth of Italy (with the Law 64/86) and with theLaw 142/90 on the local Autonomies thatintroduced the tool of Framework PlanningAgreements (APQ – Framework PlanningAgreement). The detailed definition of participativeplanning comes from the Law 662/96, and is “theagreed regulation between public subjects orbetween the public body in charge and the publicor private parties to implement various measures,referring to a single scope of development, thatrequires an overall evaluation of their activities.”The same law foresees the following tools:• The Institutional Planning Agreement betweenCentral Government and Regional Councilaiming at executing a multi-year programmeof common measures.• The Framework Planning Agreement, on theimplementation of the institutional planningagreement, defines an executive programmeof common interest or related measures,indicating the activities and measures to beimplemented as well as the durations andimplementation methods; it also indicatespeople in charge of the implementation of theindividual activities and measures, thenecessary procedures for implementing theagreement, the tasks of each subject and thenecessary financial resources for the differenttypes of measure.• The Territorial Pact is an agreement promotedby the local bodies, the social partners or otherpublic or private subjects for the implementationof a programme of measurescharacterized by specific local developmentpromotion objectives.23 Giacomo Becattini, “From the industrial district to local development”, 2000.23

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italy• The Planning Contract is stipulated betweenpublic administration and entrepreneurs,including large enterprises, consortia ofmedium and small sized enterprises, representativesof industrial districts, in order tocarry out participative planning measuresthrough the mobilization, and the territoriallocalization of the relevant investments.• The Area Contract, operative tool, agreed uponbetween the administrations including localones, the representatives of male and femaleworkers and employers, as well as otherpossible stakeholders, for the implementationof actions aimed at speeding up developmentand at creating new employment in areas withcrisis situations 24 .In the framework of the decentralization processand the transfer of roles to the Regions and LocalBodies, begun in 1997 with the so-called“Bassanini Reform” 25 , the process begins for theregionalization of participative planning tools.With the CIPE Resolution of July 25 2003, theTerritorial Pacts become part of the regionalplanning and provision is made for coordinationbetween Government and Autonomous Regions/Provinces for the Planning Contracts.The basic idea of participative planning is toinfluence development, starting with the concreteneeds of the community by giving an active role tothe social and economic forces in the developmentprojects of the territory, using a bottom-upapproach.The “concertation” 26 procedures with the socialpartners are further enforced and legitimized withthe structural funds programming up until QCS(Community Support Framework) 2000-2006,which indicates the social partnership as aregional development “concertation“ methodusing structural funds, thus reinforcing, thoughin a different way, the Italian experience ofdecentralized “concertation“.It should also be emphasized that by changingthe national experience of 1998 (the so-calledChristmas Pact 27 ) the tool “Pacts for developmentand employment” was disseminated at local level.With these pacts, both at regional and provinciallevel, the subscribing parties (social parties,functional economies and public institutions) worktogether in order to define real medium termdevelopment programmes and commit themselvesto concertizing the development, through theprogramming of the available resources, in orderto achieve pre-established development andemployment goals. In the different Italian regionsthere is no uniform Pact scheme for developmentand employment, but it is possible to find somemore or less structured schemes, as well asdifferences in the subdivision of territorial“concertation“ practices.The involvement of the social partnership basedon a concertative approach is particularlyinteresting in order to integrate gendermainstreaming into the development initiatives,in as much as it opens the road for an activeinvolvement of subjects/bodies representative of“gender interests” in the partnership. In fact, aclose partnership between the Public Authorities,of which the Equality Institutions are part, and thesocio-economic and representative groups, inwhich women’s associations must be included,24 With the CIPE (Interdepartmental Council for Economic Plannig) Resolution of March 21, 1997, detailed provision was provided for the individual tools selecting the goals,the territorial areas and the implementation methods.25 These are some regulatory measures of the years 1997 and 1998, known as the Bassanini Reform: the Mother Law is number 59/97 (Bassanini 1), amended and integratedby the Laws 127/97 (Bassanini 2) and 191/98 (Bassanini 3) put into force with various legislative decrees. The Bassanini laws are based on the subsidiarity principle, thatimplies the attribution of the generalities of the administrative tasks and roles to the municipalities, the provinces and the mountain communities, with the only exclusion ofthe roles that are incompatible with the local dimension.26 by “concertation” we intend activities in order to involve main stakeholders and reach consensus on specific issue.27 National pact for development and employment.24

Institutions and regulationcan foster a balanced local development from thegender point of view 28 . During the last years,several concertation initiatives have beendeveloped in Italy, but most of them didn’t targetthe gender mainstreaming objective. In the generalframework, the exception is the experience of theProvince of Turin, which through the setting up ofterritorial Pacts constituted the “local developmentEquality Network” to influence thepolitical agendas on development (see Chapter 4dedicated to the identification of the bestpractices).The Integrated PlanningThe Territorial Pacts and the Planning Contractsare part of the so-called “integrated” programmes,taking place in Italy. They have two commoncharacteristics: the local orientation and theterritory as a reference for the developmentcontext. In addition to the participative territorialplanning tools, in the ’90s some other communitybased local development integrated programmeshave been activated, the Territorial Pacts forEmployment and the actions of the CommunityProgramme Leader. Around the same period, arelevant number of actions for regenerating andrequalifying the urban areas were developed, bothat national (as Urban Recovery Programmes andNeighbourhood Contracts) and communitarianlevel, such as the community initiative Urban andthe urban pilot projects (funds allocated by theFESR, European Fund for Regional Development).According to the equal opportunities objectives,the programme Leader emphasizes the role ofwomen in the development of the rural zoneswhile Urban, beyond general attention to lifequality, promotes “actions to combat alienationand discrimination through the promotion of equalopportunities particularly aimed at women.”An important turning point came with theintroduction of the Integrated Territorial Projects(ITP) as an implementation method of measuresco-financed under the Operational Programmes(OP) Objective 1 in line with the 2000-2006programming, integration, “concertation“ andpartnership guidelines. In the Central Northernregions, where the Programmes for variouscommunity funds are promoted in a disjointedfashion and without the co-ordination activitiestied to the adoption of the Community SupportFramework, models similar to the ITP were widelyadopted through autonomous choices of theRegions for the implementation of the DocUP(Single Programming Document) Objective 2,creating a much more heterogeneous and complexsituation than that of Objective 1.In this context, the integrated territorialprogramming takes on a methodological approachwhose characteristics can be identified by somespecific features found in the territorial andintegrated approach: the specific nature of theoperational reference context (small and systemicrather than vast and sector oriented) and theparticipational, decentralized approach involvingthe partnership (the priority need to involve andhand responsibility over to the final beneficiariesof the policies).On the basis of the dual approach principle, someinteresting experiences have been started tointegrate the equal opportunities principle intothe initiatives activated by the ITP, also thanks tothe support of the Department for Rights andEqual Opportunities that assisted and supportedthe Managing Authorities in the implementationof the transversal priority in the integratedterritorial projects. The most significant experience,documented in the chapter regarding bestpractices, made it clear that integrating equalopportunities into the political agenda of the localdevelopment initiatives is an element of28 Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities, “A key to the success of local development: Gender mainstreaming” Paper presented at the Workshop on the 2007-2013programming, September 2005.25

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyimprovement, modernization, and equality, and atool for creating an environment dedicated tosocially responsible competitiveness.The Fund for Underused Areas and theAgreements for the Framework ProgrammeThe Financial Law of 2003 instituted the Fund forthe Underused Areas (FAS) in order to implementthe national regional policy devoted to the socalledunderused areas 29 . The main tools of thatpolicy are the Institutional Programme Agreementsand the relative Framework Planning Agreements(already introduced with the Law 142/90).With the stipulation of the Institutional ProgrammeAgreements the Central Government and theRegions have selected common interest sectors,making an exploration of the available resourcesand sharing programming regulations for themanagement and implementation of publicfunding. The Framework Planning Agreement isthe implementation tool of the InstitutionalProgramme Agreement in the intervention sectorsthat it covers. The promoters of the FrameworkPlanning Agreements are the national State, theRegions and the Public bodies. Such administrations,having sometimes the support ofprivate intervention, also deal with the implementationof those measures. The measuresintegrated into the Framework Planning Agreementsare financed by different types of resources:ordinary, communitarian and private resources,additional national funds for underused areas.The Department for Rights and Equal Opportunitieshas recently promoted a pilot action aimedat integrating gender dimensions into themeasures implemented by the Framework PlanningAgreements’ tool. The DDPO (Departmentfor Rights and Equal Opportunities) has providedthe Regions and the Autonomous Provinces witha specialized assistance and technical support inorder to include gender perspective both in theexisting programming documents and in the oneswhich have to be drafted; as consequent, genderperspective has been introduced also in theactions resulting from those programmingdocuments, including activities for monitoring andevaluating the intervention 30 .Other toolsAmong the main gender oriented local developmenttools, the strategic planning should alsobe included as a key element. It can be consideredas an evolution/implementation of theparticipative territorial planning and integratedplanning. The Strategic Plan is a complex experimentin local and urban mobilization, withinwhich the subjects involved in various roles in thedecision-making processes, attempt to achieve asynthesis of the needs and objectives to bepursued in the territory. This essentially happensthrough overcoming the fragmentation of therepresented interests within the planning process.The Strategic Planning “can be defined as thecollective building of a shared vision of the futureof a territory, through participation processes,discussion and listening. It is a pact betweenadministrators, actors, citizens and variouspartners to translate this vision into a strategyand a subsequent series of projects, variouslyinterconnected, justified, evaluated and shared.Strategic Planning can be finally considered asthe coordination of the various responsibilities of29 Such Italian areas are included in the Objective 1 and Objective 2 and the areas that benefit from the State Aids, according to article 87.3.c of the EC Treaty.30 The homogenous productive sphere is the priority tool for implementing the unitary programming provided for in Italy in the period 2007-2013 and based on provisions ofthe unitary programming of the national regional policy and the community regional policy (see paragraph 3.5)26

Institutions and regulationthe different actors in carrying out the abovementioned projects” 31 .Therefore it represents an original form of localgovernance, considering that in Italy there is noregulatory direction binding local bodies toundertake any strategic planning process nor isthere any indication regarding the relativemethods for getting third parties involved withlocal administration.Finally, other existing institutes regarding sectorpolicies have detected in the “concertation“ andin the public-public and public-private cooperationas a distinctive element and a successful strategiclever. Among these are the sustainable developmentpolicies related to the elaboration of thelocal Agenda 21 and the programming of welfarepolicies related to the elaboration of the ZoneSocial Plans 32 for which participation and discussioncan be a method for including equalitycriteria as economic and social security, socialinclusion and gender mainstreaming.3.4. The community programming2000-2006The elaboration of the current Structural FundsProgramming, which established the dualapproach as a priority, has proved to beparticularly functional for the Italian territory,above all for the Objective 1 territoriescorresponding to the South of Italy, for which theCommunity Support Framework (CSF) Objective 1hoped to determine significant economic growthin the reference territories “to reduce theeconomic-social gap of the areas of the South ina sustainable way, or increasing competitivenessover a long period, creating conditions for full andfree access to employment, as well as protectingand using as leverage environmental and equalopportunities values.”The CSF Objective 1 was subdivided into six largeintervention areas (Priority Axes): natural, culturaland human resources, local development systems,cities, networks and service links. In such acontext, even indirect policies have a particularrelevance and equal opportunities become apriority resource to foster local territorial development.The direct policies are included in the“Policy field E”, aimed at promoting femaleparticipation in the labour market, in the field ofAxis III – Human Resources. 10% of the EuropeanSocial Fund resources of that Axis was reservedto that policy (it makes up the largest part of thetotal ESF resources). The mainstreaming approach(indirect policies) was carried forward with regardto the other types of measure, in whoseimplementation, special attention was given tothe promotion of equal opportunities as a“transversal principle” of the CSF. This point wasrecalled both within the Axis III, for the actionsaimed at human resources, as well as withreference to the other Axes, given the importancethat the CSF Objective 1 gives to integration ofequal opportunities in all aspects of thedevelopment strategy.At national level, the dual approach strategy waspromoted through the adoption of a generalmethodology, the VISPO Guidelines ( Evaluationof the Strategic Impact of Equal Opportunities,1999), offering support both in terms of definitionof the Programmes and in terms of an evaluationapproach for all the phases of the community31 Roberto Carmagni, Strategic Planning for the cities: considerations from the practices, page 8332 The goal of the plans was to define local systems of network social services that guarantee the essential levels of social service.27

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyprogramming: such guidelines made it possibleto stimulate the inclusion of gender orientationand to make the gender mainstreaming principlemore effective at all levels and in all the policyfields. Overall, the VISPO Guidelines are areference framework of contents, methodologiesand operative tools, and a support for theprogramming and evaluation tasks of theStructural Funds 2000-2006.The European Social Fund also finances thecommunity Initiative EQUAL which is an experimentallaboratory of the European Strategy forEmployment and another opportunity given byEuropean programming to innovate the system ofsocio-vocational integration of men and women.To that end, the Initiative reflects in its contentsthe same duel approach in terms of equalopportunities, with the combined definition ofspecific and transversal actions. In the first case,the Initiative provides for a dedicated Pillar, Axis4 - Equal opportunities; in the second one, itprovides for gender mainstreaming in all the otherPillars, as indicated in the same Single ItalianProgramming Document of Initiatives (DOCUP).The mission of Equal in relation to the Equalopportunities Axis as an experimental initiative,it’s not the creation of employment for women,such as the ordinary European Social Fund as wellas the various national and regional laws: it aimsto improve the quality of the existing occupation,with particular attention to the discriminationfactors creating participation and permanencegaps in the labour market. The experimentalnature of Equal has allowed the conception andfinancing of innovative project proposals on thistopic, centered on the following three macro areas:a) enhancement of the female resource in theentrepreneurial and organizational contexts; b)promotion of measures aimed at opposing formsof horizontal segregation in professionalenvironments both of women and men; c)improvement in working conditions and reconciliationwith the nonworking life. At national level,in the area of the Equal phase II, five sectorialDevelopment Partnerships (DS) and 29 geographicalpartnerships were selected, many of whichincluding the integration of gender mainstreamingin the local development processes and initiativesas a supporting element in the project initiatives.3.5. The community programming 2007-2013 and the unitary regional policyThe Italian proposal of National StrategicFramework (NSF) for the regional developmentpolicy 2007-2013 was approved by the EuropeanCommission with the decision of 13 th July 2007.TheNSFdefines10prioritiesrelativetothegrowthof human capital, to the research and theinnovation, to the recovery of the productivity, tothe improvement of the quality of life and to theattraction of resources and international openness.The territorial dimension of the regionalpolicy 2007-2013 finds its execution withinindividual priorities, with close attention on theconstruction of a territorial programming andproject planning, based on the enhancement ofspecific identities and potentials, found in theurban areas, the rural areas and the localproductive systems.The NSF declares equal opportunities (togetherwith the human factor, the quality of life, socialinclusion, the environment) as “essential componentsand activators of potential developmentand decisive innovation factors.” The respect forthe principle of equality between men and women(and for the principleofpreventionofeverydiscrimination) is integrated in theimplementation of measures in the mainstreamingapproach that also leaves space for dedicatedmeasures, with specific reference to some of thepriorities highlighted by the Framework. Amongthe components of the socio-economicpartnership, “organizations to promote equalopportunities” are expressly recalled.The real novelty of NSF lies in the prevision forunitary programming of the regional, national andcommunity policy and the subsequent temporal28

Institutions and regulationsynchronization of the programming andresources of the national regional policy (Fund forthe Underused Areas) with the community regionalpolicy (Structural funds and national resources).The “seven years period” of the budgetcommitment, with funds allocated by the Fund forthe Underused Areas makes it possible toharmonize the programming of national resourceswith community resources to foster more strategiclong-term investment projects. The unification ofthe tools and procedures offers interestingopportunities to integrate gender mainstreaminginto the whole group of measures aimed ateconomic development of the country, using as alever the new community provisions on equalopportunities and the non-discriminationprinciple, according to the experiences gatheredover the course of the past programming.29

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italy4.Local development and gender:“best practices” intersecting those issuesIn this section, some considerations arepresented on some projects/initiatives that havealready been experimented with or are in theprocess of experimenting with practices that joingender aspects and local development 33 . Obviouslythe chosen practices will not be and cannotbe exhaustive examples of the vast number ofprojects taking place in Italy in the last few years;over the course of the entire project, a much largernumber of practices and initiatives have beenfound.According to the objectives of the project W. In D.,the initiatives were selected in order to representthe “efforts” which have been activated in Italyin these last few years to make gender mainstreamingtruly effective in all the policies, even insuch policies considered apparently more neutralthe local development policies as could seem, tothose who do not deal with such issues.Such initiatives have extremely interesting andinnovative characteristics, above all from the pointof view of experimenting with new governancemodels and integrated services for the social andeconomic development of the territory and itspopulation, composed of men and women.The chosen initiatives, furthermore, reflect awidespread and intricate reality throughout thewhole territory, homogeneously involving localrealities in the North, the Center and the South ofItaly. The great contribution to the planning andimplementation of such initiatives was suppliedby the community programming that, primarilythrough the ESF, stimulated, as we saw in theprevious chapter, integrated forms of planning fordevelopment and close attention to the processesand policies of gender and equal opportunities.The selected initiatives are presented in the tablethat follows, with the reference to the two macrotypologies, that are strictly related to the two keysto interpretation that the project W. In D. provides.These are:• the participation of women in local developmentprocesses, also including thoseprocesses that foster female political participationat various levels, the participationwithin structures/institutions formally delegatedto activate development actions in theterritory;• the presence of gender orientation withinprojects and initiatives that, at various degreesand levels, can foster a gender oriented localdevelopment.26 For each project/initiative, an explanatory interpretation chart was drafted as part of the Catalogue of Best practices. See this product for further and specific details.30

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesThe practices detected and chosen cover both ofthese two aspects, bringing to light particularlysignificant experiences and emphasizing thepresence in Italy of a particularly rich “humus” forinitiatives of this type.Special importance should be given to projectsand experiences that combine both of these keysto interpretation supplying examples of how tointegrate mainstreaming strategies, policies anddifferent tools despite a legislative directionalframework not always moving in an interconnectedway between local development and genderissues (on this topic see Chapter 3).Many experiences have already successfully beencarried out in the continuous understanding andprogress on a path towards gender equality evenif there are still considerable problems andbarriers.To help the interpretation of the transversalanlaysis that is presented in this case study, apartfrom referring to the Catalogue of best practices,which includes an analysis and interpretation chartfor each best practice, in the following paragraphsthere is also a synthesis of some salient featuresrelative to objectives and strategies activated byprojects and selected initiatives. To the same end,common as well as, positive and critical elementsthat could be common features are alsohighlighted.31

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyProject name Macro type: Projects Macro type: Localthat foster female participationdevelopment projectsin local developmentthat includegender mainstreamingRETE DELLE RETILOCAL DEVELOPMENT EQUALITY NETWORKWOMEN-ALPnetWOMEN-ALPnet – 1° PILOT ACTIONWOMEN-ALPnet – 2 ° PILOT ACTIONWOMEN AGREEMENTESS.ER.CI. Rewritten Social ContractGender Friendly SystemXXXXXXXXWage analysis project aimedXat wage equalityCReOinRete X XGuiding act on gender equalityin appointed positions in the Regional CouncilXReconciliation actions in the sphere of ZoneSocial Plans according to Law 328/2000XThe experience of applying the equal opportunitiesand gender mainstreaming principlein the area of Integrated Planning in SardiniaXNetwork of Departmental Women ReferentsXIntegrated Regional Programme (ITP) Minor Islands X XRegional Law “Regulations for the gender policiesand life-work reconciliation service in Puglia” X X4.1. The projects and initiatives aimed at supporting female participationin local development processesRETE DELLE RETIThe Rete delle Reti (Network of the Networks) isan initiative started in the framework of the Equalopportunities Advisory consult, within the Unionof Italian Provinces (UPI).The Advisory consult works at national level, incollaboration with the Ministry for Rights andEqual Opportunities and the other bodiespromoting gender policies, in order to ensure anintegrated programme throughout the Countryand, at a local level, to bring national debate intothe territories.Among the Advisory’s committee main objectivesare those of fostering an increase in the numberof women candidates and nominees in politicalelections.The Rete delle Reti aims to:• develop synergy of actions between theProvinces on gender policies;• support and assist the realities that are not yet32

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesactive in this area;• speed up and make visible the gendermainstreaming processes within the individualadministrations, in the provincial system andthe Union of Italian Provinces.The Rete delle Reti represents the first opportunityto survey provincial projects dealing with genderpolicies that will be used as a basis of a permanentObservatory on best gender practices, with theaim of:• enhancing and disserminate the initiatives ongender policies implemented by differentprovincial administrations;• fostering the transfer and circulation ofexperiences and skills among the differentadministrations;• improving the capacity for action of the maleand female functionaries and administrators,through the emulative circulation of knowledge;• beginning the construction of a “community ofpractices” on gender mainstreaming issues.The most important product was the Web portalRete delle Reti, aiming to disseminate anddevelop knowledges on the experiences and theprojects going on throughout the country.LOCAL DEVELOPMENT EQUALITY NETWORK“Local Development Equality Network“ isaproject started in 2002 in the Province of Turin topromote and disseminate knowledges on theissues of equal opportunities and gendermainstreaming techniques among localdevelopment actors.The Equality Network brings together in theequality tables of the territorial pacts, bodies,institutions and organizations, and proposes asa model of intervention to systematically integratethe situations, priorities and needs of women andmen in all the decisions regarding socio-economicterritorial development.The objectives of the project were formalized withthe constitution of the Equality Tables includedin the eight Territorial Pacts of the Province of Turinand in the promotion of the work strategy thatselected a representative for each Pact, with aservice role in the action of building the network.Thanks to the Equality Tables, the goals and someguidelines for structuring and positioning thegroup in the area of participative planningexperiences were defined. To push the initiative,the project proposed that each workgroup:• interprets the Equality Table as a new collectiveactor, in which all the organizations, bodies andinstitutions are represented. Active localdevelopment and promotion of equality andequal opportunities policies are recognized.The strategic objective of the table is to systematicallyintegrate the situations, priorities andneeds of men and women in all the policies(gender mainstreaming);• selects a reference person/delegate to participatein the “concertation“ table meetings topromote the adoption of the perspectiveexpressed by the Equality Table in all the decisions/discussionson local developmentprojects and sustainable development of theterritory;• becomes catalysts for project initiatives onequality and equal opportunities issue at thelocal level, not to nullify them in a commonproject, but to emphasize their characteristics,peculiar aspects, methodologies and contributeto capitalizing and disseminating the bestpractices experimented and the know-howacquired;• plays a key role in the construction of theEquality Network at provincial level.WOMEN AGREEMENTThe project Women Agreement moves from thedual difficulty of the female resource, on the onehand, to participate in the labour market (if not inthose traditional feminine sectors) and, on theother hand, of the poor representation in thedecision-making places and the places of power.Both of these problems are closely connected tothe problem of reconciling the working dimensionwith the family one.33

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyThe project intends to create and developconditions to concretely implementing the equalityprinciple in treatment between men and women inthe access to work and training to remove thebarriers hindering entry and permanence ofwomen in the labour market or reconciliationbetween family needs and professionalaspirations.The project objectives are:• to combat all forms of direct and/or indirectdiscrimination, toward the entry or re-entry ofwomen into the labour market;• to enhance the female resource in all of itspeculiarities, in particular in the cultural andsocial sector;• to experiment (with the local bodies, femaleworkers and the enterprises) new services andmethods to organize work and schedulesfostering employability of female workers inlocal enterprises and the “reconciliation“ of thefamily and working times;• to raise awareness of local public and privateactors, with the goal of removing prejudicesrelegate women in jobs requiring littlequalification and jobs with low wages;• to improve working conditions and reconcilabilityof working and nonworking life.The project is therefore based on two broad linesof action:1) The experimentation of territorial governingtools aiming to create a network of local actors(Employment Centres, Equal opportunitiesCommissions, Local Bodies, Enterprises, cooperatives,Provinces, services for the people) thatallows a gender approach and to define innovativeequal opportunities models in the governing ofthe territory and the programming of measures(methodological and operative tools for a stablenetwork of local services oriented to integrationand subsidiarity);2) Experimentation with equality tools aimed atmaking it possible for women to enter the labourmarket and remain in the “active life.” Theobjective is to experiment evaluation andcertification models of the informal skills of womenaiming to enhance, reinforce, and re-qualify - interms of employment supply - the wealth ofinformal skills, at times untapped, that womenpossess, in particular in the social, humanisticand cultural area. The experimentation alsoresponds the implementation of ad hoc measuresfor the support, motivation and orientation ofwomen in the selection phase of their professionallife, aimed at self-esteem and personal empowermentin close synergy with the EmploymentCentres and the local network of services to fosterthe activation of new employability circuits forwomen.Network of DepartmentalWomen RepresentativesThe Network of departmental women representatives,grows out of the initiative of the SecretaryGeneral of the Presidency of the Region of Sicilythat, in April 2002 asked the various Councils andDepartments to select a departmental representativein order to exchange experiences,initiatives and proposals pertinent to thehorizontal principle of equal opportunities,constituting a network.The network of representatives is a circuit throughwhich the principle of equal opportunities can beconcretely implemented in the measures financedby the structural funds.The initiative provides for the integration of theDepartmental Women Representatives Networkwith:- the broadening of the territorial network, to theProvinces and Local Bodies, aimed at improvingthe policies and actions whose goal is an equalsupportive local development;- the creation of an “Equal opportunities RegionalResource Centre” Portal including a database ofinformation, tools, data, best practices, methodologiesexperimented in the territory and34

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesselected on the basis of qualitative criteria.The equal opportunities representatives are areference point in the individual RegionalDepartments for the following activities:The Council of Equal Opportunities of the Regionof Campania widely circulated the approved textthrough the organization of meetings androundtables, both at regional and territorial level.• the analysis of implementation tenders for themeasures of the Operational Programme Sicily;• the drafting of proposals for the integration ofintervention guidelines and award guidelines infavour of women and underprivileged subjects,with specific attention to the tools for thereconciliation between professional and privatelife, with a view to sustainable socio-economicdevelopment and attention to the gender andthe removal of every form of discrimination.Guiding act on gender equality in politicalappointments in the Regional CouncilThe Regional Council of Campania approved(Resolution number 1368) a “Guiding act ongender equality in political appointments in theRegional Council” that provides for the applicationof the equality principle between men and womenin the composition of the administrative, managementand control organs of the regional publicor semi-public companies or bodies, with majorityor minority share, when the Regional Council ischarged of making appointments.The inclusion of the principles announced in theguiding Act provides for the removal of every formof barrier such as behaviour, practices, criteria,provisions and pacts, that can hinder or slow downthe equal participation within the decision-makingprocesses of the above cited organs. The act alsoinvites the competent organs to integrate into thebody’s and company’s statutes, provisions aimedat ensuring an equal presence of women and menand to provide a monitoring report on theconditions of the gender presence in the bodies ofadministration, management and control of thosebodies, and the effects deriving from theapplication of this Resolution.Among the best practices gathered in this macrotype, many refer to projects and experienceswhose primary objective is to reinforce the femalepresence in decision-making administrative,political and economic bodies.Such experiences for the most part make itpossible or have made it possible to experimentwith models for governing the territory that havestrongly contributed to the constitution ofnetworks of local actors, where the femalepresence enters not as a minor variable, but askey element to foster and accelerate both theprocesses of including gender perspective in thepractices and projects being planned or still to beplanned.That is the case of the “Local development equalitynetwork“ which has constituted, within the eightTerritorial Pacts in the Province of Turin, just asmany Equality Tables that are characterized as a“new collective actor” in the territorial developmentpolicies that are capable of catalysing allthe subjects that, for various reasons and atvarious levels, support gender oriented equalopportunities in a given territory.The creation of a “collective actor” able torepresent those who strive for gender policies andequal opportunities in a defined territory,represents an undeniably important element,considering also the presence of many institutions/figures(advisers, women promoters,equality offices, etc.) who, often when meetingwith each other, find it difficult to petition thesubjects that, at a technical and political level,decide on the territorial development policies.Moreover, the possibility to have various gender35

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyreference experts in a network for each specificterritory involved in the Pacts, is significant also interms of the reproducibility and sustainability ofthe experiences planned and implemented,activating a gender reasoning within.The other experiences found in this category arecharacterized in just the same way by having“brought to the network” women operating in thedifferent territories increasing the possibility todevelop synergic actions, to promote the femaleparticipation in decision-making processes andto speed up and give visibility to the gendermainstreaming processes.In particular, we refer to the project “Rete delleReti” and to the project “Women agreement”.In the first case, the most innovative element isthe formalization, within the Union of ItalianProvinces (UPI), of the Equal opportunitiesConsult constituted by all the women elected tothe Italian Provincial Councils. The formalizationof such body at a provincial level is positive initself because it promotes gender sensitive actionsin favour of local development in each territory.The provinces represent, in Italy, the territorieswhere the possibilities are the greatest (also at alevel of competency) for taking measures on thevarious policies (territorial, environmental, etc.)that together influence local development.However, the Advisory also made it possible toconstitute the Rete delle Reti internally (and theWeb portal Rete delle Reti, used to disseminateand increase knowledge on experiences andprojects going on in the national territory) whichrepresents the construction of a permanentadvisory structure for consulting equalopportunities networks started on the Italianterritory at the provincial level.Women agreement, promoted by the cooperativeFIDET, also manages a network of local actorsdistributed both at a provincial level andmunicipal, with the involvement of differentmunicipalities on issues such as the relaunchingof female employment in the Centre-South of Italy(Lazio, Marche and Calabria are the Regionsinvolved in this project) and the reconciliationbetween family and working life.Finally, there are two extremely interestinginitiatives (both undertaken in Southern Italy) tofoster the female presence within the regionalorganizational structures.We refer, in this case, to the guiding act on genderequality in the election of political positions in theCouncil of the Region of Campania and theconstitution of the network of departmentalwomen representatives in the Region of Sicily.In the first case, the initiative, if opportunelyimplemented, could prove to be extremely importantfor fostering the female presence in allthe decision-making fields, even where there is alack of the national legislation that explicitlypromotes the principle of 50-50 in therepresentation of the two genders.In the second case, the creation of a network ofgender representatives within each Departmentin the Region of Sicily, allows it to preside from agender point to view over the decisions inherentto the policies to be implemented in all theregional intervention sectors, thus contributing,to the increase in the female presence within thestructure. The network will only be able to acteffectively once some barriers in the functioningmethods are overcome.The lessons that can be learned from projects suchas these are various and bring to light bothpositive and critical elements that could benefitfrom careful monitoring:1) above all they demonstrate the need to “createnetworks,” to get people “around a table” thatoperate at various levels and can benefit fromexchange experiences by developing stronglearning processes. This is extremely importantin a territory like Italy where there is a stronglack of homogeneity between the territoriesthat, in the case of gender themes, takes on36

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issueseven more meaning;2) the capillarity of the experiences and theinitiatives implemented (that even reach amunicipal level in some cases) is a hugelypositive element if we consider the extremeimportance of the theme of “micro-territoriality”in the sphere of supportive project planning forlocal development;3) the “network” makes it possible to berecognized and recognizable as a “politicalsubject” that as such, has more credibility andimmediacy. This is to say, a united front isstronger;4) working in “concertation”, furthermore, is oneof the primary characteristics of the measuresthat promote local development in our Country(think for example, of the participative orintegrated planning tools). Activating“concertation” for women becomes a way todirectly appropriate the most suitablemethodologies for fostering a gender sensitivedevelopment;5) at the same time, the effective functioningcapabilities must be carefully evaluated, alongwith the real strength and incisiveness of thenetworks promoted and implemented toactually govern and take decisions regardingterritorial development.The last element, in particular, unfortunatelyclashes with a gender culture that has not yetspread through the territory and that, despite themany efforts and undeniable results achieved,could slow down the process of a real equalopportunities governance at the local level andmore.4.2. The projects and initiatives aimedat supporting the introductionof the gender mainstreaming principlein the local development processesand programsWOMEN-ALPnetThe Women-ALPnet Project is based on the ideathat an active participation of women in the localdevelopment processes depends on at least fourbasic conditions:• being able to have access to information;• being able to have access to resources;• the chance for real professional individualgrowth (thus broadening the chances for apersonal career overcoming stereotypes anddiscrimination factors);• the construction of a strong cooperationnetwork to develop gender mainstreamingactions at institutional, social and economiclevel.The condition of women living in the Alpine Areasinfluenced by the economic and territorial disparitythat characterizes the zone, and becomes evenmore pronounced and noticeable on a reducedscale. This is especially clear in the peri-Alpineand more underprivileged mountain areas, thatare barely connected to urban centers, riskdepopulation, suffer from a lack of services, havea restricted labour market- often tied to seasonaljobs- and where the economic power of thepopulation is weak. The female employment ratein these areas is lower than the male rate and thewomen are less integrated into the classiceconomic sectors, and when they do work, for themost part they work part time and for poor pay.To change the situation and promote thedevelopment of women’s skills and potentials,many regions in the Alpine Area have developed,in recent years: the «Women Resource Centres».The Women ALP-net project promotescollaboration between the different «WomenResource Centres» operating in rural areas foreconomic and social life.37

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyThe final objective is to supply women withtechnical assistance and quality support, in orderto offer them equal opportunities of access toregional and local resources. At the same time theproject intends to promote gender orientedcooperation, between the local public and privateactors.To foster active female participation in localdevelopment processes and reinforce cooperationbetween the main actors, public and private, oflocal development, the partnership of Women-ALPnet has implemented a series of activities anddeveloped various tools, such as:• Italy-Lecco - “Development of a network for thepromotion of employment and femaleentrepreneurship”• Italy-Trento - “A model of «Virtual ResourceCentre» to promote female participation in localdevelopment”• Development of a network of services betweenthe “Women Resource Centres”ESS.ER.CI. Rewritten Social ContractThe strategy of the project ESS.ER.CI. is to rewritethe “social contract” currently in use, a sharedsupport tool to implement project actions aimedat achieving effective equality between men andwomen for the promotion of equal conditions insociety.The main objective of the project is to disseminatethe gender approach and culture in privateenterprise, social enterprises and PublicAdministration.As regards the intermediate beneficiaries, the aimis to improve the human resource heads’capacities in the so-called diversity managementand increase the offer of services for socialenterprises.The objectives for the final beneficiaries are:• to improve the availability of family-friendlyservices;• to favor professional growth of women in smallto medium-sized enterprise and in publicadministration;• to increase their presence in political decisionmakingplaces and create flexibility in theavailable services.The project is subdivided into the following MacroPhases:• AWARENESS-RAISING: gender studies events;• REWRITTEN SOCIAL CONTRACT: formal joiningto Ess.Er.Ci.;• EXPERIMENTATION: gender workshops;• TRAINING: paths for gender democracy;• DISSEMINATION: gender events.Gender Friendly SystemThe Gender Friendly System project intends todeal with the little influence that the genderperspective has in the trade union activities andabove all in collective bargaining. Consequently,after a preliminary analysis of the problemperformed by the trade union representing thedifferent professional associations and by theresearch and training body, the strategy led to thechoice of the which follow partners.In particular, the decision to directly involveemployers from the labour market in thepartnership, with an active role, was a concretefield choice, inasmuch as to make a difference tocollective bargaining it requires that the twoparties necessarily share problems and planoperative tools that meet the real needs.The enterprises will therefore be the concreteobject of experimentation. In particular, a bodythat nationally represents a high percentage ofcooperatives, as well as small and medium-sizedenterprises, the most widespread size of38

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesenterprise in the territory, was chosen as employercounterpart.The project objectives are the following:• to select the training mechanisms in genderstereotypes in the trade union;• to experiment and disseminate at a nationallevel survey tools, tools for analysis andmonitoring of the gender mainstreamingprinciple;• to create professional coordination roles in thegender mainstreaming process such as:“Gender Mainstreaming Expert” and the tradeunionist ”Head of Gender oriented Contractbargaining”;• to promote gender mainstreaming in tradeunion contract bargaining;• to open front office facilities for equalopportunities;• to spread information on services and opportunitiesfor reconciliation to promote agender friendly image of the trade union.Wage analysis project aimed at wage equalityThe Province of Bologna, in the Triennial Plan ofPositive Actions 2004-2006, selected wageequality as one of the strategic elements toimplement positive actions. The actions are aimedat bringing about change and innovative solutionsthat can radically alter some presuppositions thatcondition the respect for the principles containedin the community regulations, as well as thenational ones.The implementation of this project in ahomogenous territorial context, such as theProvince of Bologna, has the objective of supplyinglocal Public Administration and the Equalopportunities Councillor with the followingopportunities:• to have a homogenous overview of the genderimbalances within the Public Administration;• to make available a tool that allows for a deeperexamination of each Body;• to systematically make available a monitoringof the current wage situation of the body thathighlights, by each profile or category, oraggregation of homogenous profiles, theaverage wage level and the shifts from it, withstress on the wage items that condition suchdifference (for example, discomfort allowance,danger money);• to promote positive actions to support wageand presence in the organization rebalancing,through direct actions within the Body(decentralized contract bargaining);• to make available information in trade unionnegotiation, in the decentralized and first level,with the objective of promoting actions torebalance the disparity or contain an increasein the existing ones;• creation of a network of Bodies that throughhomogenous analyses can perform benchmarkson the qualities of the personnel andtheir wage levels (analyses both by gender andby whole organization);• to make available a system that enablessimulations of the economic impact that thevariation in the established salaries produceson the budget of the body.Following this research, the ProvincialAdministration, in order to promote equalitypolicies on these issues, started a strategy aimedat fostering internal actions to reduce disparity orstart up corrective policies, and start an awarenesscampaign on the subject that has been implemented,to promote research in other nationaladministrations and, through direct financing fromthe Province, to carry out research for highlightinghomogenous elements with other bodies.39

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyReconciliation actions in the Zone Social Plans(Law 328/2000)The project starts from the idea of the issue ofreconciliation between living and working times,as a central element in the context of equalopportunities policies. In particular, closely relatedto the problem of women and work are policiesfor infancy, that can more or less facilitatereconciliation between living and working times.In fact, often an important factor in work decisionsby women when they are also mothers is thewidespread presence of care services.In this light, a recent reconciliation measure wasprogrammed and is being implemented, financedwith the measure 3.14 of the Operational Programme(OP) Campania 2000-2006 in synergywith the measure 3.21 again of the OperationalProgramme (OP) Campania 2000-2006, aimed atintegrating the resources of the Zone Social Planswith resources of the Measure 3.14 to be destinedfor the various Leading Bodies in the territorialareas on the basis of three criteria: the residentpopulation, the population of minors between theages of zero and five years, the family nuclei.This action aims at activating child care and/orfamily services, allowing families to bettermanage living and working times (includingsupport services and orientation for women whocare for disabled, Social educational services forearly infancy, Home help services, Playschools).The project represents an effective and concreteintroduction to gender mainstreaming through aspecific planning and implementation tool forsocial policy at the local level.The experiences are examined considering theintroduction of the gender mainstreamingprinciple within Programmes and projectssupporting Local Development: they arecharacterized by the presence of particularlyinteresting practices.The practices that promote the planning,implementation and dissemination of physicalstructures to support gender oriented equalopportunities in the individual territories(Resource centers, conciliation agencies, etc.)should be immediately pointed out. In this casetoo, as was previously emphasized with regard tothe Networks, these are experiences that increasethe visibility and recognizability in the territoryand operate directly and locally with thepopulation around specific themes.In the Italian case, these are for the most part theincrease in female employability, support forfemale entrepreneurship, comments and actionson specific themes such as reconciliationbetween family and working life and cityschedule issues.In the case of the WOMEN-ALPnet project(promoted by the Province of Lecco and by theAutonomous Province of Trento), for example, thecreation of an Equal opportunities Resource Centreoffers the chance to plan and implement actionsthat support female employability in places likethe Mountain Municipalities and the Alpine Zonesdeeply affected by problems of development andin which the female contribution (above all interms of occupation and creation of services) canrepresent a high added value. Furthermore, itshould not be neglected the approach to sectors,policies and themes which have been, up to now,scarcely touched by gender issues, but whichpresent a series of elements in which genderbecomes particularly important. We must think,for example, of tourism and sustainabledevelopment that combine extremely well withnew employability and female entrepreneurship.The reference in this case is also to the projectpromoted by the Region of Campania: thatintroduces equal opportunities actions (in thisspecific case, of reconciliation) within the ZoneSocial Plans. Given the importance of those plansfor local development of a territory, above all fromthe social point of view and that of quality of life40

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesof the men and women, this is most certainly avery interesting “experiment” that provides thebasis for a “contamination” between the variouspolicies that can equally contribute todevelopment.It is as important to emphasize that these practicesprovoke reflection in specific fields (such as forexample, private industry or trade unionconfederations) on specific themes (for example,career progress, wage or reconciliation). In thiscase we refer to the project ESS.ER.CI, totheproject “Gender Friendly System” and to theproject Wage analysis aimed at wage equality.The first, promoted by the cooperative CRAMARS,focuses on the most suitable actions to fosterprofessional growth of women in small to mediumsizedenterprises and in Public Administrationthrough the activation of the various workshopsaimed at examining and analysing a specificmatter among those that most influence femalepresence (in terms of both quantity and quality) inthe workplace. Particularly interesting are theworkshops dealing with women’s career paths andthe difficulties women have to face when theyintend to actively participate in public life, suchas the workshop that deals with gender budgettool as an essential element for (re)orientingcompany policies (and not only) with a view togender. A new and interesting element to note isthat the male component of the companies is alsoinvolved in promoting and establishing a new“social contract” between men and women andfostering the gender culture within the company.The second project promoted by the UGL – GeneralLabour Union, focuses on including gendermainstreaming in trade union organizations. Inthis case too, it is an extremely interesting project,considering the importance of the trade unionorganizations for the introduction of gendermainstreaming aspects into collective bargaining.In this sense, one of the objectives of the projectis to provide a gender contract bargaining kit, aparticularly innovative tool that makes it possibleto reveal and oppose gender stereotypes and allthose elements that objectively hinder/slow downthe achievement of equal opportunities in theworkplace. In addition to the planning of the kit,is the creation of professional coordinating rolesfor the gender mainstreaming processes (the maleor female trade unionist “responsible for gendersensitive contract bargaining”) within the tradeunion organizations that will be able to experimentwith the project in sample enterprises. There willalso be the opening of physical and Telematic frontoffices in various branches of the trade union,dealing with gender sensitive contract bargaining,segregation and life-work reconciliation, actingas an information and advisory point, also for thesocial economic actors in the territory. Particularlyinnovative and positive is the collaboration withthe public institutions, and in specific with the CityHall - Municipio XX in Rome.The project on Wage analysis for wage equalitypromoted by the Province of Bologna also movesin this direction. In this case the innovation andinterest essentially lies in having analysed the socalled“gender pay gap” particularly relevant inour Country as it is with the rest of the countriesin Europe.In this case too there are light and shadows amongthese practices:1) From a positive point of view, there is theattention given by the selected projects onparticularly important topics, which haverecived much attention even at a Europeanlevel, such as trade union contract bargainingor the gender pay gap;2) it should be noted however that most of thesemeasures operate on policies and strategiesthat regard human capital and the labourmarket. If it is true that this is definitely apositive element, above all in a country likeItaly where the gender gap in terms of accessand permanence in the labour market is stillvery high and far from European standards, itshould also be said that it limits the realapplication of mainstreaming to specific41

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italypolicies without intervening or, intervening ina minor way, in other aspects that broadlycontribute to fostering development in a localterritory;3) Finally, in this case too, it should be pointedout how the Italian reality shows numerousinitiatives that struggle to become establishedrealities in the territories and to be reallyeffective and long-lasting over time. Almost allthe projects and initiatives selected werefinanced with the contribution of communityfunds that, once terminated, often result inproblems of financial sustainability.4.3. An integrated planningCReOinReteThe initiative was implemented within TheOperational Programme of Campania 2000-2006(Equal opportunities Council - Equal opportunitiesService) through Measure 3.14 “Promotion offemale participation in the labour market”.The project, directed by the Region, had theobjective of promoting female employability byactivating specific territorial services, at the sametime triggering a cultural change throughexperimentation of innovative procedures, tofoster female participation in all of local developmentprocesses. The initiative, within a singlestrategic framework, joins different types ofactions that all have strong adherence to thespecific natures of the territory. The mobilizationof a broad number of actors represents the maininnovative element through the widespread useof network methodology.The project began with the definition of anexperimental Protocol of Understanding betweenthe Region, Provinces and Municipalities thatmade it possible to implement Resource andFemale Employability Centres, start up thepartnership networks and institute a team ofwomen promoters of Equal opportunities.Specialized centers in the economic, agricultural,and environmental sectors were alsoimplemented, as well as tourism and crafts,science and technology, and territorial Workshopsfor experimenting the local strategies for femaleemployability.A regional Network was also activated and theTable of social parties makes part of it (this is agender “interpretation” of the regional Table ofthe social parties, and also include employers’and trade union organizations), the Forum ofFemale Administrators (an organization made upof women holding political positions in theterritories), the Committee of experts formainstreaming and empowerment in educationaland training processes, 10 partnership Networksat a municipal and provincial level, together withthe local systems (economic, trade union, politicalassociations and women’s associations).The experience of the application of the equalopportunities principle and gendermainstreaming within the Integrated Planningin SardiniaThe basic idea that led the Region of Sardinia,thanks to the support of the Department for Rightsand Equal Opportunities, to promote and experimentwith the application of the equalopportunities principle in local development, inparticular through the tool of Integrated Planning,was the awareness that territorial development,understood as a process to increase well-beingfor the community, could be promoted only bytaking measures on the main aspects of economic,social, cultural and environmental life, and thatthese could not happen without integration of thegender perspective that took into account therespective needs of men and women.The process of Integrated Planning was supportedat territorial level through the constitution of atechnical assistance unit, the TerritorialWorkshops of the Integrated Planning, activated42

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesin each of the Provinces of Sardinia, made up of:experts in local development policy, Provincialfunctionaries and specialists, experts from GAL -Local Action Group - (Leader+), experts in equalopportunities policies and gender mainstreamingand specialists from Ersat (Regional Body forAgricultural Development). The main activitiescarried out were:1. Social economic analysis of the 8 Provinces toreveal territorial characteristics and form thefirst hypotheses for possible measures to beimplemented integrated by a comparative genderanalysis.2. Survey of the existing projects, to fosterintegration between the existing interventionsand the initiatives of the integrated planning.Special provision was made for involving somedevelopment partnerships already in theterritory, made up within the EQUAL project (2°phase) with the objective of fully takingadvantage of the experience already acquiredby these partnerships in equal opportunitiesto promote similar actions.3. Listening to the territory, through interviews,territorial forums, focus groups, that were afunctional activity for defining and sharingintervention strategies and conceiving projectinitiatives. From a gender point of view this stepwas fundamental primarily for understandingwhether there was a female identity in theterritory, and to bring it out and, point out the“perception” of the needs of the population,in particular the female population.4. Definition of a reference framework for theprovincial integrated planning, that providedfor the definition of integrated project proposals.In the full application of the dualapproach of the equal opportunities principle,in those projects, that were concerned withvarious economic development themes (e.g.development of rural areas, fishing, participativeplanning and requalification of urbancenters, relaunch of the productive system,tourism, etc.) some positive gender orientedactions were provided for.An important element for sustainability was thesignature, by the project partner within theIntegrated Planning, of a Protocol of Agreementwith which they committed themselves toguarantee the full involvement of women in thedevelopment of the territory. New networks ofactors active in equality issues were then createdand/or the already existing ones were reinforced.Integrated Territorial Program (ITP)Minor IslandsThe general objective of the ITP “Minor Islands” isto transform the minor Islands from marginal andperipheral communities of Sicily into a “network”system capable of fostering opportunities foreconomic and social development, focusing onthe recovery and enhancement of environmentaland cultural, economic and social resourcesexisting in the various territories, giving priorityto improve the quality of life of the local populations.One of the project’s transversal priorities issupport in achieving equal opportunities betweenmen and women through the integration ofspecific indicators aimed at evaluating theenhancement of the local female resource.In the ITP for the first time, experimentation wasdone with a model of integration of themainstreaming principle right from the planningstage through the involvement and participationof the Department to the “concertation“ tables,as Integrated Project partner. The aim was that ofdrafting a ITP in which the gender point of view isa constituent element of the Project itself rightfrom its strategic set-up. Through the task forceactivated locally by the Department of Equalopportunities, some ad hoc tools were drafted forthe definition, from the gender point of view, ofpreliminary activities for designing the Project:context analysis and SWOT analysis.43

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: ItalyAmong the types of actions, the ITP provides forsystem actions (that involve all the territories ofthe Sicilian minor Islands aimed at implementingintegration and systemic development actionswith a supraterritorial value). In this intervention,an assistance regime was activated, to supportthe birth of female entrepreneurship through theconcession of financial aid for initiatives carriedout in the territory of the minor Islands thatprovide for development of activities in typicalcraft sectors, infancy care, catering, hospitalityand tourist services. In this field a specificterritorial promotion action was activated, handledby the Region with the support of the local TaskForce, on the opportunities offered by theprogramme on the promotion of femaleentrepreneurship.Regional law “Regulations for gender policiesand life-work reconciliation services in Puglia”The regional Law, proclaimed in March 2007 anddirected at fostering the ”affirmation of a newsolidarity among citizens that enhances the genderdifferences” was formulated through a participationprocess by way of a territorial “listeningcampaign” carried out through various forums,on a provincial basis, and in which took partrepresentatives, in particular women, of institutions,trade unions, and associations.The law introduces specific provisions in thefollowing areas:• policies to coordinate times city lifeto define them, an inter-council work group wasinstituted, with the participation of the Equalopportunities Commission and the RegionalFemale Advisory and, in concert with the RegionalEquality Woman Advisor, a permanent partnershiptable on gender policies, which was a place ofconfrontation between the Region and therepresentatives of trade union organizations,professional associations, employer associations,regional equality institutions, associations of localautonomies and the third sector.• Measures to support equal distribution of carework and the social value of maternity andpaternityin particular through the promotion during theprocess of drafting and approving the zone socialplan, the stipulation of territorial agreements,named “gender social pacts”, among provinces,municipalities, trade union organizations andentrepreneurial organizations, the school system,local health agencies and family units for actionsto support maternity and paternity and forexperimenting formulas to organize workingschedules in public administration and in privateenterprise.The law institutes a gender controlling office withthe role of integrating the gender dimension andsupplying an assessment of the programme andthe regional guiding acts, with references to theapplication of the equal opportunities principlesand the gender dimension in all the main regionalacts. The gender budget is introduced, and theadjustment of the gender oriented regionalstatistics, and the definition of an annual reportedited by the Region, on the female condition inPuglia.• Representation and participation of womenThe law promotes the adoption by political partiesof plans of action to respect the equalopportunities principle, with the aim of electingregional government bodies. There is alsoprovision for the constitution of the regionalNetwork of female elected members and theinstitution of a databank of women’s curricula.Along with the projects that were presented withthe two lines characterizing the project W. In D., itis interesting to note this further category ofexperiences characterized by the strong interconnectionof both the aspects. Ifontheonehand, they activated actions to reinforce thepresence of women in government processes andto give decisional strength and visibility to genderissues (out of all of them, the institution of theGender Authority in Sardinia comes to mind), atthe same time they enabled the introduction ofspecific support actions for female employabilityor, for example, the issues of reconciliation by44

Local development and gender: “best practices” intersecting those issuesincluding gender perspective in developmentprogrammes and projects.In this case, more than the single projects, theseare complex and structured experiences that weredeveloped together and by degree in specificterritories with the aim of fostering the femalepresence in territorial decision-making bodies, bybringing attention to the introduction of genderelements in specific projects at the same time.In this case we are referring to experiences carriedout in some Regions of Southern Italy (preciselySardinia and Sicily) that, over the course of the2000-2006 community programming, activated aseries of broad actions that cover a number ofyears and show a constant commitment not onlyin terms of gender issues, but also in the possibleinterconnections between these and aspects thatare greatly dedicated to territorial development.One interesting element to be emphasized is, inboth the cases, the use of specific tools forpromoting/activating local development actionsin territories, like integrated and participativeplanning with close attention to the possibleimpacts and possible methods with which tointroduce gender principles into these tools aswell.In the case of the Region of Sardinia, thecommunity programming in particular made itpossible to experiment, in a concertative andparticipative way, with forms of integration ofgender and equal opportunities policies in localdevelopment policies and practices both throughthe introduction of specific professionals (expertsin equal opportunities policies and gendermainstreaming within the Territorial workshopsof integrated planning) and through a series ofgender analyses and interpretations in the variousintervention areas in which local developmentpolicies were to be activated.In this sense, this is an experiment of undoubtedinterest in approaching specific territorialdevelopment scenarios with gender orientation,using the existing tools available today to thepublic administration, in a different way, to“promote local development.” The implementationof such an important intervention was madepossible by the presence in the regional administrationof the Authority for Gender Policies forconsultancy and promotion of equal opportunitiesand gender mainstreaming in the ManagingAuthority of the Regional Operative Programme.The case of the ITP Minor Islands of the SicilianRegion made it possible to activate localdevelopment actions at a micro level (themunicipalities of the Sicilian Minor Islands) witha strong involvement of the population in theterritory through an intense promoting activity ongender issues as a development tool. Above all,the contribution that female employment (in thiscase in forms of entrepreneurship) can give tothese territories in the form of an environmentallysensitivedevelopment and eco-sustainabletourism, is considered to be an element that,especially in the South of Italy, could have verypositive outcomes.The project CreOinRete of the Region of Campaniaalso moves along these lines. Once again in thenetwork approach, the objective is to stimulatethe female contribution to the socio-economicdevelopment of the territory through WomenResource and Employability Centres and territorialworkshops, where the needs of the population(men and women) are intercepted, anddevelopment routes and social and economicparticipation are promoted. In this case too, andthis is definitely a recurring and importantelement, these initiatives are carried out in theterritories, even at a micro level, and this is anessential factor for development, in gender termsas well. From here, the creation of partnershipnetworks not only at the provincial level, but alsomunicipal, and the ties with the local territorialsystems both at an economic level and tradeunion, political and association level.A further element to point out regarding thesurveyed initiatives is the attempt to join actions45

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyto foster female employability with actions aimedat supporting female employability even throughinfrastructures, by the creation and/or theenlargement of public utility services for citizensin the territory. These attempts have beenpromoted in the Southern Italian Regions not bychange. Here the community programming allowsthe use of ESF and EFRD (European Fund forRegional Development) in a single OperationalProgramme that enables those actions andinitiatives that can have a greater effect on thosefronts.At the same time, the presence in decisionmakingplaces is seen as an essential element forcontinuing these experiments and contributing tothe spread of a gender culture within PublicAdministrations, without which such initiativeswould have difficulty in being implemented andsustained over time.In this sense, the Regional law of the Region ofPuglia is significant, and poses the generalobjective of “create a system” and making thegender and equal opportunities measure wholeand not fragmented in the regional territory byactivating permanent participative advisory groupscapable of taking in and gathering all the needsthat, different actors, at a different level, takeforward in the territory.46

5.Scenarios and perspectivesThe analyses presented in this case study,whether related to the socio-economic andinstitutional-political context or to the surveyedinitiatives and practices, outline an extremelyinteresting scenario that, though lacking in ad hocregulations and provisions that provide for theintersection between gender policies and localdevelopment issues, have made it possible to givelife to consistent experimentations.As can be noticed by the various socio-economicdata, there are still problems that the femalepopulation encounters above all when it intendsto integrate with and stay on the labour market.In fact, these are problems related to being ableto find a job that in terms of quality as well (see thestrong wage gap or employment stability thatpresents substantial differentiation between menand women) is adequate and equal.Many considerable results have been achieved,even though a real situation of gender equalopportunities in every day life is still threatenedby the fact that men and women cannot, inpractice, take advantage of these same rights. Thepersistent under representation of women in manydifferent areas, from the labour market to thesocial and political field, shows how structuralgender inequities still persist in Italy.Precisely for this reason, the Italian commitmentto act on those fronts has been strong andconstant, helped by the European Community that,through its own programming strategies, hasstrongly stimulated attention towards some keyconcepts for encouraging development with agender point of view. Above all, the concept ofgender mainstreaming, i.e. the integration ofgender equal opportunities in the design,implementation and evaluation of all the policiesthat allows a gender perspective to become anormal condition and not an exceptional one. And,at the same time, there is the dual approach thathas made it possible to continue to accompanypolicies explicitly aimed at dealing with problemsof gender inequality, through positive actionsspecifically directed at women.Undeniably, developing such strategies requirestime, but the past programming period (as can beseen from the collected practices) was particularlycrucial for the evolution of policies and genderapproaches and for the removal of numerousbarriers that still exist in their implementation.This was, in fact, characterized by high number ofpossibilities both in the programming as well asin the implementation of policies to promotegender Equal opportunities, thanks also to thelarge push from the Structural Funds and theagreed emphasis, both at European and nationallevels, on the concept of good governance, inwhich the decentralization of policies and theconcept of subsidiarity take on an ever moreimportant role. In this framework the objectives47

The promotion of gender equality within local development processes: Italyof equality between men and women can bepursued through an effective integration ofpolicies activated at the central level withregional/local policies.Certainly, it is still necessary that these practicesbecome institutionalized also through regulation,both procedural and administrative, and above alleffective governance tools need to be selected,from the State-Regions institutional “concertation“practices, to the meeting and confrontationbetween institutions and social parties.Despite the undeniable evolution, there are stillbarriers both in the design/programming phaseof the policies and in their real implementation.In fact there are still major difficulties incontextualization. The passage from a more simpleanalysis approach on “female conditions” to amore complex “gender perspective” in all theaspects and in all the policies, implies, in fact, thepassage from a specific and defined study objectto a different form of approach for the programmesand policies where gender aspects become anessential element. The very large difficulties inprogramming outside of the specific Axes andMeasures aimed at improving female employment,in fact represent a tangible sign of this lack ofcontextualization together with the still existentdifficulties in programming actions or policiesaimed at systems rather than at individual andspecific beneficiaries. In this case the closeattention paid by almost all the projects andinitiatives analyzed to the concept of network andthe creation of profiles and structures that allowfor a gender oriented presence and incisiveness indecision-making places, turns out to be, in fact,strategic. The promotion of a “gender sensitive”economic development strongly depends on theadoption of integrated territorial strategies aimedat promoting employment, production andterritorial services that increase well-being andthe quality of life for men and women. The“networks” within the partnership processestranslate into a tool that insures a broad andbalanced participation of women in all levels andin all the partnership bodies inside which,specularly, the active participation of all the local,institutional and non-institutional bodies,representatives of “gender interests” tied to thewell-being of the community and the quality oflife of men and women, can be a reality.Programming with a gender orientation, as wellas using specific methods and tools, requiresgrowth in awareness and capability in theadministrative culture and specific positioningalso of the political type. The lack of sensitivity ofthe local actors on gender themes is oftensummed up by the lack of a strategic vision of localdevelopment processes.The general feeling towards gender is,unfortunately, skepticism, over the idea that publicpolicies including a gender perspective approachcan be effective and important. Those that work onthese themes often feel a sense of alienation or,in the worst cases, the imposition of “somethingthat must be done.” And this, in fact, is one of thestrongest critical points the projects that wereanalysed clash with.The challenge for the future is therefore tocontinue on the way undertaken so that thegender mainstreaming strategies can be furtherdeveloped and appreciated in an overall socialgender oriented development.48

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