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Gender in EU Projects

Since the Treaty of Rome (1957), the European Union has been committed to gender equality as a core issue. Since then, 13 directives relating to gender justice have been adopted. However, the control and evaluation studies of the 5th and 6th FP have shown that despite efforts to promote gender in research, women are still under-represented and the gender issue continues to receive no systematic attention in research projects.

In the resolution on FP7 it was stated that "the integration of the gender dimension and gender equality will be addressed in all areas of research" (Decision no. 1982/2006/EC of 18/12/2006, OJ L 412, 30/12/2006, p.1).

Gender equality in research and innovation will be further specified within the 9th EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027). Having a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) in place becomes an eligibility criterion in 2022 for institutions* applying for EU funding. Furthermore the appropriate consideration of the gender dimension in innovation and research projects may be take into account under the excellence criterion (unless otherwise stated). And a gender balance within the research teams as well as in boards (experts groups and evaluation committees) is intended by increasing the participation of women.

Further information

Fact Sheet Gender Equality in Horizon Europe

Gender Equality in Academia and Research (European Institute for Gender Equality, EIGE)

Gender Equality in Horizon Europe (European Commission)


* The GEP is a precondition for certain types of institutions (universities, research institutions, public institutions).



Gender refers to the social constructions of women and men, femininity and masculinity, which vary in different times, different places, different age groups and different religions and cultures.


Gender equality:


This term refers to the desirable situation in which individuals are free to develop their abilities and make decisions without being subject to restrictions caused by defined gender roles.


Gender-sensible        research:


In gender-sensitive research, gender is considered along the entire research cycle, including the research question itself.

Gender-specific research:


Gender itself is the object of research.



Gender-blind research:


Gender is not taken into account. This is based on the erroneous assumption that any differences between men and women are not relevant to research per se.


Gender bias:


Gender bias is a hierarchical distinction between men and women that usually favours the possibilities and abilities of men.


Source: "Toolkit Gender in EU-Funded Research" of the European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation together with Yellow Window Management Consultants, Chapter 2.1 "How to Make Research Gender-Sensitive", 2011.

Last Modification: 10.05.2022 - Contact Person: Webmaster