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Gender Equality

Latent Potential: Tapping Human and Social Capital to promote and support Gender Equality in decision-making

Project objectives
Target Group

Rationale and Methodology

Expected Results and Outputs
Case Studies
Mentoring Network

Final Report


The last 14 years have seen a number of changes in relation to (urban) areas characterised by having high levels of diversity and social exclusion. In many such areas the general regeneration of cities in the 1990's has created an increasing investment in relation to physical regeneration - housing renewal/newbuild; transport infrastructure; economic infrastructure.

Areas of high deprivation have also been the subject of major regeneration interventions. These regeneration interventions have had Community and
National inputs. However, regeneration has always been a predominantly male affair. This is not surprising, as it has traditionally been about such things as derelict land, planning, property development, employment, labour markets, etc. - all male domains.

Alongside this, what is increasingly clear is that it is women who play a crucial role in supporting and developing social cohesion in such areas. The participation of women in political, economic, social and cultural fields in such areas is not adequately reflected in women being seen and heard in decision-making mechanisms and processes in such areas.

Encouraging and promoting women to become active in decision making bodies enables a more effective use of human and social capital in such areas. As such this proposal links the core goal of the Gender Equality Programme with the broader key strategic area of social cohesion (Lisbon 2000).

The project is supported financially by the "5th Community Action Program for Equality between Men and Women" of the European Union.


Project Objectives

The overall aim of this project is to promote gender equality in decision making in areas which experience high levels of social, economic and political exclusion.

The specific objectives that should generate positive short and long term results with regard to the promotion of gender equality for women in decision-making are:

  • to establish a network of men and women from 7 areas meeting the above criteria and who are active in decision making in the political/economic/social/cultural fields (see participants). Furthermore, the network members will all be committed to promoting gender equality in such decision making areas,
  • to improve and enhance capacity of this network through peer reviews and exchange workshops to promote the role of women in decision-making,
  • to gather good practices from the participating areas highlighting over 20 case studies that have been implemented in favour of the full integration of women in the decision-making process as well as the experiential input from the 84 participants in the capacity building exchange,
  • to disseminate the results to over 150 other similar areas via existing networks and websites and thus promote gender equality in decision making.


Target groups

This project has a number of target groups:

  • Men and Women active in decision-making mechanisms/processes in areas of high social/ economic/political exclusion.
  • Men and Women active or wishing to become active in decision-making mechanisms in other similar areas.
  • Professionals working to promote equal opportunities in such areas.
  • Projects operating in similar fields (e.g. Equal; URBAN).


Rationale and Methodology

In addition to the Rationale already outlined in the 'Background' section above, it needs to be clearly emphasised that promoting and developing gender equality in decision-making in such areas is not simply a matter of pursuing 'political correctness'. It is now widely accepted that regeneration in such areas will only work if local people are involved and have a sense of ownership. If women are not involved - at all levels - such 'ownership' will be impossible to achieve.

In respect to Methodology we use an Action learning methodology in structuring the exchange visits/peer reviews. The core aspect here is that the programme is structured around the use of experiential capital - that is to say that the participants are involved in the process of structuring the exchange programme so that it addresses their need. They are also actively involved in the evaluation process.

In relation to dissemination, given the resources and time-scale factors, the discrimination strategy would be to place links to the on-line Mentoring service and good practice guide on the sites of other strategic programmes (Equal; URBAN) and European networks (Eurocities; Quartiers en Crise; Telecities, etc.)

The Latent Potential Project is managed by the Qec-ERAN Management Team (QMT) and the Steering Group Members which will organise four Steering Group Meetings to discuss project implementation and organisation of specific activities.


Results and Outputs

The results and outputs of the project are as follows:

  • A capacity building exchange for 84 men and women active in decision-making processes-mechanisms. Go to participants>>
  • Establishment of an on-line mentoring network to support and promote gender equality in decision making.
  • To produce an on-line good practice guide which highlights over 20 case studies from the participating areas and the experiential input from the 84 participants in the capacity building exchange.
  • Disseminate the results to over 150 other similar areas via existing networks and websites and thus promote gender equality in decision making.



  • Comitato progetto Porta palazzo - The Gate, Turin
  • Amecoop , Madrid
  • EHSSB, Belfast
  • SIREN (Social Inclusion Race Empowerment Network), Birmingham
  • Northamptonshire County Council, Northampton
  • Rotterdam - Charlois District Council
  • FEMP-CLM, Toledo

Read more about the partners.

More information for the participants in the Information Pack.