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Gender Equality Plan (GEP)

In line with the provisions of the European Commission's Horizon Europe programme, Belspo and the ten Federal Scientific Institutions (FSI) covered by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office recognise the need for a Gender Equality Plan (GEP). They also made a GEP an eligibility criterion for participation in the Horizon Europe programme.

Belspo, represented by its president, supports this Gender Equality Plan and undertakes to implement it according to the procedures described in this document.

It follows the framework established by the European Commission and develops the four mandatory requirements (building blocks) for a GEP, as well as the five recommended thematic areas. It is based on the work initiated during the previous legislature by the Gender Mainstreaming Network consisting of Belspo and the ten FSI, and follows a series of commitments made by the same actors.

Through its curative dimension, the GEP can be linked to the legal provisions aimed at combating discrimination between women and men. Any form of direct discrimination based on gender is prohibited and so-called "positive" actions can be taken.

The European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. "Horizon 2020 was the first framework programme to define gender as a cross-cutting theme, with one of the underlying objectives being to integrate the gender dimension into the content of research and innovation, which has led to an increase in the number of 'gender flagged' topics worldwide."

Gender equality is now becoming a major concern to be taken into account in these pre-programmes. It is therefore becoming essential to implement a programme that integrates the gender dimension, especially in the workplace.

The European Commission's GEP initiative was born out of a concern to bridge the gap between men and women in terms of their social and economic rights.

The current Gender Equality Plan of the KIK-IRPA is inspired by that of the Belgian Science Policy Office, which is based on the provisions of the European Commission's Horizon Europe Programme.

In addition, adjustments were made to the KIK-IRPA’s GEP to meet the missions linked to the very specific sector in which it operates, but without deviating from the values advocated by the programme.

Through this GEP, the KIK-IRPA aims to make the best possible contribution to the objectives of formal and/or substantial gender equality, both internally within the institution and externally through closer cooperation with Belspo and the other FSI.

In this context, the GEP can be linked to the legal provisions to combat gender discrimination, especially in the workplace.