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EQUAL Project: NORA

network - new employment perspectives for women


Initial situation
Objective of the project
Content of the project
Target groups
Project phases
Members of the development partnership
Coordination and project management


Initial situation:

Between 1970 and 1999, the employment rate of women rose from 44% to 59.7%, which is still 10% below that of men. There are still great differences as to the type of employment: approximately one third of all employed women are working part-time, versus a mere 3% of all employed men. In 1999 the income of non-self employed women was an average 40% lower than that of men. If part-time employment is not included, men still earn more than women by 29%.

Despite the increased participation of women in education, the level of education for women is still markedly below that of men. 43% of all women living in Austria have only completed compulsory education. While women are rapidly catching up at the medium and higher levels of education, they encounter difficulties in finding adequate jobs that offer possibilities of career advancement. Apart from the fact that women are still considered to be mainly responsible for family and household work and persistent prejudices against women in senior management positions or jobs traditionally regarded as male domains, women's career choices and the lack of additional qualifications are responsible for their disadvantaged position in the job market. Approximately two thirds are employed in traditional "women's occupations", and one in four works in a service occupation with low qualifications. There is a lack of specific counselling services supporting women in phases of occupational (re)orientation, especially for women who are in an employment situation but seeking new perspectives because of insufficient or outdated qualifications or because they are in a branch of work that has become redundant, but also for women not eligible for benefits from the Public Employment Service who are looking for work.

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Objective of the project:

The project is aimed at reducing gender-specific inequalities in the job market by developing and testing models of support for women in which the combined knowledge, experience and information of the participants in the development partnership are utilised.

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Content of the project:

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Target groups:

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Project phases:

Action 1:

  1. Research and elaboration of an analysis (status quo) on the problem of segregation on the labour market – taking into consideration especially the need of a professional re-orientation of women re-entering the labour market after a longer period of leave and of women holding insufficient qualifications
  2. Setting up the development partnership and the cooperation with transnational partners; detailed planning of activities in actions 2 and 3

Actions 2 and 3 – Implementation of the project
scheduled for: September 2002-September 2005

  1. Planning and organising the training course as "career counsellor" for women working in counselling centres for women and girls or in similar organisations
  2. Carrying out 3 pilot projects, in the course of which counselling and networking services open to women looking for jobs are established and evaluated in three counselling centres with differing regional backgrounds: urban/small town/rural
  3. Product development: PR material to back up the new service provided by counselling centres for women and girls, guidelines on the methods and strategies to be used in supporting women during their career start or advancement, data bases, spreading and exchanging information via new communication technologies
  4. Dissemination of the results and products at conferences, on the Internet, via the networks of the development partnership

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Members of the development partnership:

Transnational Partnership

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Coordination and project management:

Marion Breiter, Netzwerk österreichischer Frauen- und Mädchenberatungsstellen
(Network of Austrian Counselling Centres for Women)
A-1060 Wien, Stumpergasse 41-43/II/R3
Tel. 01-595 37 60, Fax 01-595 37 61
e-mail: netzwerk@netzwerk-frauenberatung.at

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