Expanding Choices: Gender Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in Western Balkans and Moldova
It is against this backdrop that the overarching objective of this Programme is to expand choices for women so that they can fulfill their career, family and fertility aspirations. The specific outcomes are twofold: 1) Men, women and children benefit from gender-responsive family policies and initiatives that are offered by private sector companies and 2) Men, women and children benefit from national gender-responsive family policies that are promoted by governments
UNFPA will be working towards the following four outputs:
1. Targeted governments, private sector actors and CSOs at regional and country/territory levels have increased knowledge, evidence and tools on gender-responsive family policies so that good practices can be replicated in government and private sector activities.
2. The private sector has improved understanding of the value of gender-responsive family policies, the link to gender equality and business outcomes. Champion companies in each focus country commit to/start implement gender-responsive family policies and actions.
3. An increasingly supportive enabling environment for gender equality and gender-responsive family practices through public campaigns, communications and engagement with business associations.
4. Improved understanding and commitment to gender-responsive family policies by Governments.
Target group / Beneficiaries
Albania, Moldova and Kosovo are the focus countries of the intervention, with broader learning and sharing activities across the Western Balkans. The target groups include private sector ‘champion’ companies, business associations/networks in each focus country (900 total), practitioners and relevant policy makers at the regional level (from NGOs, academia, government institutions (e.g. Ministry of Labour). The indirect beneficiaries of the project are indirectly all women, men and children in focus countries who will benefit from national family policies and outreach/public awareness activities (total indirect beneficiaries 7,283,984).
By working hand-in-hand with the private sector and governments, UNFPA will champion policies at the national level and in the workplace. UNFPA will draw upon its evidence-based Family Friendly Workplace methodology to leverage the role of the private sector to increase opportunities for women’s employment and redistribute the burden of unpaid care work. Activities will be designed together with champion companies, they will include launching a private sector certification/standards process for family friendly companies, creating a supportive organizational culture and the development of private sector and national policies. Lastly, learning and scalability are fundamental components of the Programme, through the development of ‘what works’ briefs as well as through UNFPA’s innovative MenEngage social media platform.
The majority of women in the Western Balkans and Moldova face a critical decision between choosing a career or having a family. Due to factors, such as limited parental leave, lack of flexible working conditions, inaccessible childcare, and male biases in human resources practices within companies, many women are unable to realize both their career aspirations and have the number of children they want. This is further compounded by discriminatory gender norms, placing the burden of unpaid care work on women, further limiting their employment opportunities and desires.