Since the late 1970s, democratic governments have placed on their agendas, adopted and put into practice an ever-increasing range of policies that both implicitly and explicitly seek to advance women's rights, strike down gender-based hierarchies, and promote gender equality and diversity more generally.
Studies conducted by a broad range of academic researchers, government agencies and NGOs show that gender equality contributes to economic growth and prosperity and that policies promoting gender equality and women’s rights should be actively pursued to ensure a healthy economy. As gender equality is still a distant goal, placing gender equality issues at the core of political party agendas, governments and other key political actors is a crucial first step, next adopting gender equality policies and then implementing and evaluating their impact and outcomes.
While governments and stakeholders have pursued gender equality policies for more than 40 years, the scientific community has only recently turned to the systematic study of all stages of the policy process to fully understand how, when, and why governments and other public actors actively promote and pursue gender equality. Central to this analysis is the question of the relative importance of economic performance in promoting gender equality policy in relation to a host of other factors such as women’s political representation and party competition.
A major obstacle to carrying out this challenging research agenda relies in the lack of comparative and systematic analysis that allows for investigating policy attention, formation and implementation across a large set of national contexts, a broad swathe of time and the full range of policy domains in which gender equality has to be achieved.
The workshop aims at filling up this gap and raises the crucial questions to understand how, why and to what extent does equality policy result in greater gender equality.