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Equality of women and men in local life

Gender equality - 07.03.2023

From toddlers to adults: municipalities embrace intersectionality at all ages
Intersectionality and diversity are at the heart of gender equality. As identities and lived experiences of people are not merely additive but intersecting and complex, it is necessary to include these dimensions in public policies in order to build a more equal society. In France and Italy, two municipalities are already working on it. From a multi format help desk to representative toys, they show us that intersectionality is a concrete and transversal matter.

Creating an anti-discrimination help desk in Bologna

The municipality of Bologna is committed and active in its pursuit of equality and justice for all, both within its own administration as well as in service of its residents.

The city created a multi-annual positive action plan to implement its equal opportunities objectives and to address inequalities linked to gender, disability, age and sexual orientation. The plan includes measures to ensure accessible documents and websites, to provide training courses, and to organise exchanges of experience.
Since 2021, Bologna is part of a campaign promoted by Period Think TankData to Count --  to allow open and public access to data measuring the impact of public policies on gender dimensions.

Bologna, in cooperation with the Regional network against discrimination of the Emilia Romagna Region, offers residents an anti-discrimination help desk service. Its purpose is to welcome, listen, guide and support victims, direct and indirect witnesses of discriminations on racial, ethnic, or religious basis.

The help desk offers three formats to make reports and obtain advice: a permanent office is open in the Intercultural Centre Zonarelli; a telephone number is serviced during weekdays and a WhatsApp number is available to leave vocal messages at any time; finally, an online form can be filled out to make reports.

Promoting understanding and acceptance through play in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles

As part of their commitment to the European Charter for Equality, the French municipality of Saint-Médard-en-Jalles has drafted a 2022-2024 Equality action plan. The plan includes an objective to raise awareness among staff working with children, youth, and adults about non-stereotyped education.

In addition to providing trainings to staff and encouraging them to reflect on inequalities within the municipal structure itself, they take action to present models of girls, boys, women, and men that go outside the stereotyped roles children are so frequently presented with.

For example, in the structures welcoming young children, the municipality is rethinking the types of toys that are purchased to include dolls with varying skin tones, characters with disabilities, and games representing people from all walks of life.

Additional resources

2023 International Women’s Rights Day series: “Five new Charter articles illustrated through local actions”

This article is part of a series published by CEMR to celebrate 2023 International Women’s Rights Day. This series informs on impactful initiatives carried out by local and regional governments to promote gender justice.

These projects embody the updated European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life as they show how five of its nine new articles can be put into practice. Together, they represent an inspiring step towards a more gender-equal Europe.

The updated Charter is available currently in English, French and easy-to-read English versions.
Any questions regarding the update or the actions highlighted in this series can be directed to or the relevant national coordinator for the Charter in your country.


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