In the 1970s, the United Nations together with the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway developed and applied the concept of Gender Mainstreaming, a strategy to promote gender equality through the inclusion of a gender perspective from the preparation process to the evaluation of public policies, regulations and budgets in order to end gender discrimination and promote gender equality using positive actions. The European Union used the Gender Mainstreaming concept for the first time in 1991. Since then, it has been applied not only internally but also regarding its foreign policy. Nonetheless, there is a gender-based discrimination problem inside the 28 Member states territory: in 2016, the gender pay gap was over 16% and, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), less than 1% of EU’s Structural and Investment Funds have been set aside for the promotion of gender equality. Also, the EU has been accused of imposing its ideals, norms and principles through the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), not having in consideration the culture, history, economical context, religion and social characteristics of its partners. This research seeks to contribute to understand the discrepancy between EU’s political will and EU’s political action concerning women’s rights in its Southern border, namely in Morocco and Tunisia.
Keywords: Morocco; Political (In)Action; Political Will; Tunisia; Women’s Rights
Mónica Canário | Centro de Estudos Internacionais, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal.
Mónica Canário holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from ISCTE-IUL and a master’s degree in International Studies (Middle East and North Africa specialization) from the same institution, with a dissertation on “The impact of the Arab Spring on the social and political status of women in Tunisia”. She also has three specializations by ISCTE-IUL: Refugees, Human Rights and Reception; The Idea of Europe; and The Middle East in World Politics. National coordinator of HeForShe Portugal since December 2016, she is a research assistant at the Center for International Studies (CEI-IUL) and attending a PhD in Political Science (International Relations specialization) where she is developing her thesis “The Europeanization as a tool for women empowerment in the European Neighbourhood Policy? The cases of Morocco and Tunisia”.