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In 1957, the European Community made a commitment to equal treatment for men and women. Now in the much enlarged European Union of fifteen Member States, gender remains the single most important factor in education, training, job and pay distribution. The EU has recently launched three White Papers to set the framework for policy development in education, training and the labour market for the forseeable future. While equal opportunities is identified as important in all three, Mainstreaming Equality in the European Union argues that the gendered nature of these fields is not incorporated into the analysis upon which the policies are based. This book traces and critiques the record of the EU on equal opportunities from equal treatment, then positive action, through to the current agenda - mainstreaming equality. The author combines insights from feminist theory on conceptualizing equality, familiarity with Eurospeak and original research on the programmes and projects of the Commission to offer an accessible, jargon-free account of the EU's attempts to encourage equal opportunities.
Mainstreaming Equality in the European Union will be essential reading for students of Women's Studies, Social Policy, Sociology and Economics, as well as for all those working in education, training and labour market policy and practice.
Teresa Rees is Professor of Labour Market Studies, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.