The European Commission has issued a Gender Equality Policy, in order to promote gender equality into all its policies covering all European Union countries. This Policy has been laid down in the 'Strategy for equality between women and men' for the period 2010-2015.

The European policy and its background are described on the Gender Policy website of the EU, the document describing this strategy can be downloaded HERE. Recent publications on gender equality (such as Gender Equality Policies in Public Research and Vademecum on Gender Equality in Horizon 2020) can be downloaded HERE.


Since 2012, gender equality is one of the key priorities of a “Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth” (ERA). To this end, Member States are invited to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers, address gender balance in decision making and strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes
The European Commission encourages Member States to create the appropriate legal and policy environment to incentivise institutional changes. This should aim to correct gender imbalances in careers and in decision making, and to strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes.


Encouraged by the European Union inititives, the RECARE project promotes Gender Equality by actively stimulating equal rights and opportunities within the project. We encourage project partners to employ both men and women within research where possible, and actively monitor progress in this field. For this work, the Recare project has appointed Heleen Claringbould from COREPAGE. Heleen is a specialist in the field of Gender Issues. At certain moments in the project, a Gender Balance survey is conducted within the project, and a Gender Balance Report written and submitted to the EU. These reports can be downloaded from the table below.


This is the reflection of the first gender reporting period of the RECARE EU project from the 7th Framework program. With the RECARE project the consortium wants to develop and validate prevention, remediation and restoration measures to restore soil functions and ecosystem services and to promote sustainable land management and land care. “ ……to stimulate renewed care for European soils!”

The gender dimension here is to understand the differences in positions, roles and approaches of men and women and prevent biases in these gendered roles and positions when changing the approaches towards soil threats into sustainable land use.

To secure this gender equality goal in the project three key issues are used: awareness raising, mobilization and data gathering. These issues are looked after within the research teams as well as among the stakeholders in the study sites.

Concerning the mobilization it appears that the amount of men and women in the research teams are well balanced, the positions however are out of balance because there are more women among the early researchers and more men among the experienced researchers and higher positions.
The stakeholders were identified by the topic of their involvement (agriculture, research, and water management etcetera), their role (land owner, community leader, retailer of products etc.), aim and sector (public/private) that relate them to the researched soil threat. Gender equality was mentioned in the preparation but not as a goal in itself. The results on the stakeholder participation in the first workshop show that some more effort can be made in the mobilization of women as well as men because they were out of balance. The data gathering among the stakeholders in the evaluation of the first workshop gave some interesting information. They were asked about their roles, their valuation of the soil ecosystem services (ESS), their approach of sustainable land management (SLM) and the impact on their roles when the land management changes. Women specifically reminded us of the health of future generations with sustainable soil management where men specifically mentioned terminology like efficiency related to crop production, the combination of these interpretations give a broad spectrum of the stakeholders valuation of the local soil and its possibilities.

The approach for the following project periods is to continue with the awareness of the gender balance in mobilization of project staff and stakeholders and gather more gender disaggregated data on this gendered ESS/SLM perspective, on the roles and impact of changes in land management approaches mainly based on the information given by the project partners and the involved stakeholders and to use this information in communication and reporting on soil care.

Avaiable Gender Equality reports

Reporting period



P1 (2015) "Gender equality report RECARE: A gendered approach for sustainable soils."   2MB
P2 (2017)    
P3 (2018)