EQUALABEL and the Gharb Local Council
EQUALABEL and the Gharb Local Council
Equalabel is a European project which essentially, is a cooperation action among several organizations from different European countries supported by the EU Institution/s according to the EU policies.
What does the European Union aim to achieve through European projects?
Exchange of experience and knowledge
Promotion of mobility and language learning
Construction of European Identity
Validation of experimental / innovative actions
Policy design (bottom-up approach)
ABOUT THE EQUALABEL PROJECT
The end objective of EQUALABEL is to encourage a change in culture and attitude within the European Society in order to achieve material and formal gender equality. The principal field of action will be the local environment. To that end, a stable network of cities will design integral policies at local level with which to qualify a local public service as a Gender Equality Promoter with the label EQUALABEL. The main actions of this network will be the design of local strategies to eliminate the barriers of gender equality in the local public services, awareness raising of the population and the introduction of innovative tools based on non formal education in gender equality.
The project will count also on the skills and the experience of its partners belonging to the network of Cities Patrimony of the Humanity, in order to promote a new city denomination, a social quality label in the public services: EQUALABEL.
Objectives of the EQUALABEL Project
EQUALABEL project objectives are:
1. Analysis of the interaction between the local public services and gender equality.
2. Re-define the role of the local public services to promote gender equality.
3. Contribute to the necessary change of mentalities which allows the construction of a new culture of equality not determinated by gender stereotypes by means of the revision of the local socialisation process.
4. Establish the stable transnational network, manage and evaluate its actions.
The results to be achieved through EQUALABEL project are:
Increase the capability of the local services to remove barriers for gender equality as well as to promote gender equality.
Provide the citizens with a quality label to identify those services that thoroughly respect as well as promote the gender equality.
Incorporate a new tool for European city councils to adapt their local public services to the gender equality prescriptions.
Raise awareness of local technicians and politicians in terms of gender equality and also the ways for GE promotion.
Incorporate a new tool for European city councils to raise awareness in the society about gender equality through non-formal education.
Dissemination of project results and EU gender policy.
Knowledge about the possibilities to promote gender equality while organizing leisure events.
The improvement the efficiency of local public services for the elimination of formal and material barriers in gender equality issues.
The consolidation of the the netwprk of Cities patrimony of the Humanity: EQUALABEL
Introduction of new ways for education in a gender equality perspective in the present educational system
Improvement of the no formal education tools in the orienting department of educational centers.
The creation of a sustainable working, exchange and collaboration platform of social agent and stakeholder at political, social and economic level.
Visibility and awareness raising for the social, political and economical actors and the citizenship in general about the barriers and the limits exiting in gender equality issues
Involvement of the GHARB Local Council
The Gharb Local Council is a partner for the implementation of the European Pilot Experience of Equalabel.
Through participation in this project the Council became more aware of the need for a more equal community, and the Council’s motivations for requiring the Equalabel derive from the Council’s Mission Statement:- ‘To enhance the quality of living of the residents in the environment in which they live’. The Council aims to learn from other larger scale Local Councils abroad and to adapt good practices at local level.
The main objectives are:-
To understand gender equality and its implications
To integrate the gender aspect in the thinking of the decision makers (that is the Local Councillors)
To create awareness on the equality measures being undertaken by the Maltese Government centrally and apply them at local level
To gender mainstream in every aspect of the daily implementation of the Council Functions.
Therefore the expected results would be:-
To set up a formal Equality policy at the Local Council
To apply this policy into plans and actions to ensure equality in all Local Services
To have a balanced participation of both sexes in the community
To transfer good practices to other Local Councils and encourage them to apply for the label
Equalabel is the first formal experience of Gharb Local Council in Gender Equality. Since we are now in the European Union the Gharb Local Council has felt the need to adapt European policies and standards at local level and this also reflects the decision taken to participate in Equalabel.
The Council is keeping in touch with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to learn more about the measures that could be adopted in the field of gender equality to ensure gender mainstreaming in the execution of all the Council’s functions and also to enable the Council to transfer these tips and encourage local organisations to adapt gender equality friendly measures within their structures.
To date through the Council’s participation in Equalabel a link has been made at the Council’s website to the Equalabel site. The Council also used its annual newsletter Lehen il-Punent and other local newsletters as a medium to dissimenate information about the project and its objectives. The Council is in the process of creating distribution material in the form of leaflets about Equalabel project and the measures which will be taken at local level.
The Council will be also committed to:-
Give the necessary training to its members and employees in the field of gender equality.
Transfer this knowledge to local organisations and support them to create an equality policy and subsequent follow up to see how this is being put into practice.
Launch an awareness campaign through non formal education in social activities organized by the Council throughout the year such as sports events, cultural events ecc.
Involve school children through various activitities such as talks, games with equal participation and art and poem/essay writing competitions with the subject gender equality.
Organise meetings for the residents to make them aware of the measures being undertaken by the Government as regards Equal opportunities and how these could be applied to make one’s life better.
As a long term objective the Council plans also to set up a child care centre.
The European Partners involved in this project are:
Segovia City Council Spain
West Sweden Sweden
Women Connect UK
Municipality of Verona Italy
Gharb City Council Malta
Vocational training center (Rhodes) Greece
City Council of Sintra Portugal
University of Valladolid Spain
Gharb Local Council
9th October, 2007
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