Capacity building on Gender Equality
The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and the Hungarian National Association of Local Authorities (TÖOZS) are collaborating in a project called ‘MANORKA’ aiming to strengthening capacities, overcoming social and economic disparities and reinforcing bilateral relations between Norway and Hungary in the most important areas of municipal operation.
The project, that started in September 2013 and will run until April 2016 is focusing on adapting the successful Norwegian ‘social dialogue model’ both on local and on national level and aims at creating effective cooperation at national level between local government associations, governmental organisations, trade unions and local stakeholders. The project involves the Hungarian and Norwegian Ministries with impact on local governmental operation: the Ministry of Interior, the Prime Ministers Office, Ministry of Human Resources from Hungary.
One of the main focus areas of the project is Equality between women and men at local level. This part of the project aims at supporting the implementation of gender policies at local level by learning from Norwegian experiences; with particular focus on supporting women in political decision-making positions at local level and improving work-life-balance initatives. This objectives goes in line with the National Social Inclusion Strategy recently adopted in Hungary, requiring municipalities to create new equality plans with more relevance in order to implement effective actions on local level.
The work package has included the following activities:
- Establishment of a working group of around 40 women elected representatives, to implement the activities of the project. Several meetings and workshops were organised with the working group during the project to exchange knowledge and experiences. At these meetings, participants got a glimpe into the local government systems in the two countries, the legislational framework and the practices in relation to gender equality and work-life balance at local level. In the presentations particular focus was put on the employment of women, reintegration of young mothers into the job market after maternity leave, analysis of the childcare systems and prevention against gender stereotypes.
- Exchange programe between municipalities (5 municipalities in Hungary and 5 municipalities in Norway) to identify examples of good practices and gathering information on the initaitives that were carried out in the field of gender equality.
- An exchange programme between women elected representatives from Hungarian and Norweigan municipalities to exchange experiences, including a preparatory training and a study trip to Norway. The representatives participating in the exchange programme were slected based on their level of Enhlish and dedication to gender equality issues.
- Based on the Norweigan examples, pilot projects to support work-life balance were implemented in the Hungarian municipalities. Results from these programmes will be presented in a study planned to be released in December.
- An awarness-raising campaign on national level on gender sterotypes; how to handle these by sharing knowledge on good governance and how to effectively include gender equality policies in decision-making and governmental functioning.
As a part of the MANORKA project examples of best practices will be collected and are planned to be presented in a final report. A conference presening the outcomes of the project will be organised in Budapest in the end of 2015 to reach more elected representatives and offer them an opportunity to gain better knowledge about strategic planning and policy making in equality policy.
For more information please visit: www.manorka.net