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CCEG SOCIAL VALUE & INTANGIBLES REVIEW

SEiSMiC

Gender and Social Innovation in Cities

by Maria Sangiuliano Deputy Director and Senior Researcher European Centre for Women and Technology- ECWT, Norway

Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology-ECWT, Norway

Hard facts do not support a gender equal Europe

A

t a time of contradictory trends and developments, although equal opportunity laws have been adopted in many realms of social and political life across Europe, gender equality is far from settled. Women s emancipation and liberation have started and the relation between sexes has undergone substantial transformations, most often in cities as the main places of change. Still, these developments are unevenly spread and new inequalities between women are emerging along class, culture, age and sexual orientation dimensions, as statistics and research show. Looking at women in local politics in 2014, the large majority of EU countries had no main cities with a woman as a mayor and only 5 of the 28 EU capitals had a female leader (Paris, Warsaw, Madrid, Luxembourg and So a). In Europe, women represent on average just 27% of the elected municipality councillors (Sundstrรถm, 2013). The employment rate of women is set at 63.8%, almost 14 points lower than men, although female employment was affected by the nancial crisis to a lesser extent than men s due to greater stability of the service sector compared to manufacturing and construction. At the same time, however, in the EU 28 the gender pay gap1 is a reality with women earning 16.4% less than men (Eurostat, 2010).

Women outnumber men in the share of the EU28 population at risk of poverty (24.5% vs 22.3%) and are particularly overrepresented within the elderly population living in poverty, due to combined effects of higher life expectancy rates and reduced pensions caused by more discontinued careers and the gender pay gap. (European Parliament, 2012a). Societal and economic structures seem to be so much stuck to traditional gendered division of roles that the technology and innovation sectors make no exception, so one could ask is it realistic to think that technical solutions and design for smart cities will be sensitive to womens needs when only 29 out of every 1,000 female graduates have a degree in computer sciences/ICT and women constitute only 19% of digital entrepreneurs in Europe, compared to an average 33% in the USA? Gender based violence is widespread in Europe, as 45 to 55% of women in EU28 have experienced sexual harassment (including cyber harassment) since the age of 15. It mostly takes the form of domestic or intimate violence but research shows connections between sexual harassment and public space, in both workplaces and urban space (Fundamental Rights Agency

For working women and families in general, there is still not suf cient coverage of childcare services; the Barcelona 2 objectives are not met yet as a recent review clearly showed and this is particularly problematic in urban contexts where support from extended family relations are less available to couples and single parents, especially in view of gures showing how the care and domestic work burden is still predominantly born by women (Eurofund, Third EQL Survey, 2012). 1 2

At EU Level, the gender pay gap is de ned as the relative difference in the average gross hourly earnings of women and men within the economy as a whole. See: Council of the European Union (2010). European Commission (2013a). Barcelona objectives: the development of childcare facilities for young children in Europe with a view to sustainable and inclusive growth. Luxembourg: Publications Of ce of the European Union. http://europa.eu/epic/studies-reports/docs/eujls08b-objectifs-de-barcelone-en-accessible.pdf

November 2015

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Social Value and Intangibles Review - November 2015  

NOVEMBER 2015: Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance journal on Social Innovation and Social Impact Analysis SUPPLEMENTS: EU Sei...

Social Value and Intangibles Review - November 2015  

NOVEMBER 2015: Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance journal on Social Innovation and Social Impact Analysis SUPPLEMENTS: EU Sei...