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Circular Economy eduCation for socIal incLusion of Women”

CECIL is a 24 months Cooperation partnership aimed at promoting Circular Economy and Plastic Craftworks among women at risk of exclusion as enablers of improved employability, by fostering a greater interaction between the European Green Deal and the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

As stated in the European Skills Agenda, the green and digital transitions are reshaping the way we live, work and interact. The EU’s move to a resource-efficient, circular, digitised and climate neutral economy are expected to create new jobs, while other jobs will change or even disappear. For these reasons, it calls for actions that support the twin transitions and that ensure that people have the right skills for jobs. At the same time, as the EU Gender Equality underlines, “gender equality brings more jobs and higher productivity – a potential which needs to be realised as we embrace the green and digital transitions and face up to our demographic challenges”.

The European Green Deal sets Europe on the pathway to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, while the EU’s first-ever Gender Equality Strategy is designed to make gender equality a reality in the European Union. Building synergies between the two strategies is ever more important today in order to support Europe’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis fostering green and digital transitions in an inclusive way.

The pandemic has hit women particularly hard in several respects, and women’s participation in the labour market is no exception. As stated in the 2021 Report on Gender Equality in the EU, preliminary data on labour market trends shows that the impact of the pandemic’s first wave on the labour market was more significant for women than for men. Unemployment amongst women grew from 6.9% in April to 7.9% in September 2020, while male unemployment rose from 6.5% to 7.1% in the same period (EUROSTAT, 2021).

In addition, the situation of women in the labour market is far from homogenous and inequalities are even wider amongst groups of women in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations, such as young and older women, women with disabilities, single mothers with dependent children, women with a minority racial or ethnic background and from migrant communities or other minority groups (EC, 2021).

In this context, a greater promotion is needed of the positive social impacts that Circular Economy (CE) can have on Adults at risk of exclusion, and on women in particular. In fact, CE can foster not only employability but also social inclusion, by promoting a greater sense of social justice and social equity within the greater framework of sustainable development, satisfying the needs of present and future generations (Padilla-Rivera, 2020).

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CECIL is an Erasmus Plus Cooperation partnership between Portugal, Italy, Sweden and Greece to promote Circular Economy and Sustainability among women at risk of exclusion, supporting both the European Green Deal and the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

This project has been funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (Project N. 2021-1-PT01-KA220-000026125). The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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