MEGA: Making gender equality an everyday reality
It is a priority for the government to promote equality between women and men in all aspects of life and society. The Ministry of Equality between Women and Men (French: "ministère de l'Égalité entre les femmes et les hommes", abb.: MEGA) leads and supports these ambitions.
Implementing political measures for gender equality is as much a collective as it is a cross-sectoral responsibility, which concerns all members of the government. Following this concept, the National Action Plan on Gender Equality ("Plan d'égalité 2015-2018") runs like a common thread through the ministerial efforts. It was developed by MEGA and helps reveal possible flaws and achieve intended goals in the public sector.
One of the most important tasks of MEGA is awareness raising of the general public regarding the consequences of an imbalanced or discriminatory representation of men and women in the professional and public sector. For this reason, information campaigns have been organized on a regular basis since the foundation of the ministry in 1995 (called "Ministry for Women’s Promotion" at the time). The campaigns focus on gender-specific topics, which affect us all. A recurrent example is the deconstruction of stereotypes and gender roles traditionally attributed to women and men.
MEGA encourages concrete measures to promote gender equality on an economic, political and professional level of decision-making as well in the private as in the public sector. The program "actions positives" allows participants to improve equality standards in their company or administration and rewards positive and progressive development.
Today, the state public sector counts more than 120 equal opportunity representatives ("délégués à l'égalité"). Their job is to defend the specific needs of both women and men in the workplace. MEGA coordinates the network of the equal opportunity representatives. The network regularly organizes meetings and professional trainings reserved to the civil service.
Unfortunately, domestic violence, involuntary prostitution and human trafficking are severe social problems that do not stop at our borders. For this reason, MEGA pays close attention to these topics and is committed to awareness raising campaigns to tackle these social problems and working actively on improving the situation in our society. Conventions and cooperation with service providers and structures in the social sector allow the MEGA to be active in the field to insure the victim’s recovery and protection, as well as holding the offender accountable for his or her actions.