Workshop: Gender Sensitivity – More Options, not Obligations

An increase of gender sensitivity in employment and training policies should bring more options for self-management of our lives. It is not about putting pressure on people and not about forcing them to change their cultural traditions. Instead of it, gender-sensitive policies create a friendly environment for the personal liberty of women to manage their working lives in common interest and for the common benefit of their husbands and families.

Technical assistance to the Sector reform contract ‘EU for Youth’ started the implementation of gender analysis and gender impact assessment of Macedonian training and employment policies. An introductory workshop for experts from national institutions related to education, training and employment held on Tuesday, 14th June, has defined the mission of this job. The main aim is to open trainings and other active employment measures to women more than today. Better education and/or training as well as counseling and traineeship should make women in North Macedonia freer to manage their working lives.

Up to now our expert Branka Mincheva found national strategic development documents to be gender-sensitive. On the other hand, it is not clear whether there is the synchronization of development documents. Even more, there are not enough gender-sensitive indicators to measure the results. This problem will be addressed by our forthcoming assessment because even good ideas miss targets if credible measurement is missing.

Better qualifications, richer practical (working) experiences and larger skills should be delivered through many tools of employment policy. This is true for every person – men and women, as well. Therefore, it is important to ensure that each of these tools is available for women equallity to men. The national system of education and training, as well as the system of employment services, must be designed in order to ensure the proper participation of women. Additionally, systems must provide credible information and data to show, how successful this mission they are.

Recommendations for such design of Macedonian national system of training and employment services are expected output of our current activity.
Gender sensitivity doesn’t force women to take jobs that are not suitable for them. Still, there will exist jobs requiring e.g. physical power which can not be expected from women. The gender balance policy doesn’t require a ‘physical transition’ of women to men and is not under threat if there still will exist predominantly ‘male jobs’. And definitely, gender-sensitive policy doesn’t force women to stop being mothers and wives.

It just makes sure that society through public institution creates a fair and friendly environment that offer women real choices. To be a mother first in some periods of life, but not to lose a chance to become good and successful specialist or entrepreneur in others. To allow couples to make free common decisions in the balanced interest of woman, man, and their family.