GENDER GAP can be defined “as the differences between women and men, especially as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes” (dictionary.com) or as “the discrepancy in opportunities, status, attitudes, etc., between men and women” (Oxford dictionary). Despite a general trend towards more equality in society and the labour market, progress remains slow and significant gender gaps persist. Economic independence is a prerequisite for enabling both women and men to exercise control over their lives. Gender mainstreaming can make make a real difference in closing gender gaps by integrating the gender perspective into all policy areas and identifying, addressing and monitoring impacts on inequalities. However, and after several strategic attempts to overcome the gender gap, the different between men and women persist. Global Gender Gap Report (WEF, 2014) analyzed gender gap in 142 countries, through the assessment of 4 variable related to the women participation and visibility in the society. Economic participation and opportunity; Educational Attainment; Health and Survival; and political empowerment. According to the results, disparity between European countries is too great. Five European countries (Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark) lead the ranking. On the contrary,other five European countries are in bottom of the ranking (Slovakia, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus and Czech Republic). But, if we analyze more in detail each variable,gender gap in Economic participation and opportunity in some European countries is higher than in others, meaning that those countries theoretically don’t spend too many resources to promote the gender equality.
Having said that, European countries countries have achieved gender parity in education attainment, but women remain severely under-represented in key, growth-enhancing fields of education such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Labour markets also exhibit many “gender gaps”. Women are less likely to work for pay, and are more likely to have lower hourly earnings, do more unpaid housework than men. The proportion of female entrepreneurs, at 33% (Labour Survey 2013) (30% in start-ups), is some way short of optimum and most women still do not consider entrepreneurship as a relevant career option. The implementation of European directive on self-employed women should remove a major barrier to female entrepreneurship. But the difference still. In this sense, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 proposed:
Support the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of all aspects and flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy; and promote female entrepreneurship and self-employment.
Fostering entrepreneurship is a key policy goal for governments of all countries which share the expectation that high rates of entrepreneurial activity will bring sustained job creation and boost the development of new products, processes, and organisational innovation. The report “ENHANCING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP” (OECD 2014) highlighted the importance to train women on entrepreneurship to empower collective and help overcome unbalance of gender gap in Europe.
Thus, TRAIN THE GAP is aimed TO DEFINE AN EUROPEAN LEARNING PATHWAY ON RURAL WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS THAT IMPROVES ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPETENCES AND SKILLS EMPOWERING WOMEN OF RURAL AREAS. In order to obtain this main objective, project sets the following operational objectives:
To define a European learning pathway on rural women entrepreneurship according to EFQ;
To develop a course for women to promote basic and transversal skills to be entrepreneur;
To define a training methodology that improve the learning process;
To develop facilitators teaching skills to motivate women’s participation;
To involve trainees and trainers in learning process;
To provide an environment that promotes the knowledge management, exchange and creation on social entrepreneurship.
TRAIN THE GAP partnership is formed by five different institutions coming from four European countries (Spain, Ireland, Lithuania and Sweden) and each of them representing different actors in the project: women association, training providers, university and innovative social research.
Train the Gap project duration will be of 24 months, starting in October 2015 and ending in September 2017.