Skip to main content

Targeted call for proposals combating gender segregation in the labour market


In 2020, a targeted call for proposals will be issued with the aim of combating gender segregation in the labour market. The call gives those who are granted funding the opportunity to work longer-term for change. A total of DKK 4 million will be allocated to Nordic co-operation projects lasting up to four years The call targets co-operation projects intending to develop and implement relevant solutions to problems related to the gender-segregated labour market.

The information on this page is based on the guidelines adopted by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Equality (MR-JÄM).


Strategic initiative focusing on the gender-segregated labour market

Since 2013, through a gender equality fund, the Nordic Council of Ministers has funded projects in which at least three organisations from at least three of the Nordic countries have co-operated to promote gender equality. Thanks to this co-operation, knowledge is growing and being disseminated widely. We are finding common solutions and learning from each other. The new call for proposals under this programme is a way of augmenting this work further, and is in the form of a targeted call for proposals amounting to a total of DKK 4 million over a four-year period, which will enable the actors receiving funding to work for long-term change.

The Nordic Council of Ministers welcomes applications with proposals aimed at combating gender segregation in the labour market. The Nordic Co-Operation Programme for Gender Equality 2019–2022 highlights the continued challenge that the gender-segregated labour market poses in the Nordic countries. Gender segregation has different consequences for men than for women in many areas – in terms of power and influence, health, and quality of life. Breaking the trend and achieving a more balanced distribution between men and women, between and within sectors, is essential for a sustainable labour market that makes the best use of the potential of both women and men. In the Nordic countries, the proportion of women with higher education is higher than for men. However, education choices are marked by gender stereotypes from an early age, which is apparent, for example, in the gender divides that exist between many study programmes and how children’s gender roles are shaped early in life. Other important aspects are the right to full-time work, equal pay, and freedom from sexual harassment.

What should the projects do?

The four-year time frame for the projects provides a foundation for working long term. The call targets co-operation projects intending to develop and implement relevant solutions to problems related to the gender-segregated labour market. The application must contain a clear analysis of the identified problems, set goals based on this analysis, and give reasons for choosing processes, actions and activities that are relevant to the process of change to be implemented in order to achieve the goals.

When the project is completed, it should be clear what the key success factors were and what lessons can be learned from what did not work. Based on their actual work, each financed co-operation project will be required to report its results in the form of a knowledge base to the Nordic Council of Ministers which will enable others to learn lessons and develop the generated knowledge further.

Collaboration between different types of actors

Collaboration between different types of actors is essential for breaking the gender segregation trend in the labour market. Yet it is common that initiatives for change in the area of gender equality are carried out in project form within similar organisations rather than in collaborations between the various actors involved. With this call for proposals, the Nordic Council of Ministers hopes to address this neglected need and achieve real, lasting change by targeting the call to proposals for change projects carried out in collaborations between:

  • Volunteer organisations (citizen organisations/not-for-profit organisations)
  • Networks
  • Government agencies and other public sector activities
  • Municipalities and regions
  • Universities and research institutes
  • Other non-commercial actors
  • Business enterprises (SMEs).

It should be apparent in the application that the change initiative will be implemented by at least two different types of actors, for example government agencies in collaboration with volunteer organisations, motivated by the fact that this is a constellation that is needed to achieve change.

How much money can I apply for?

The call comprises a total of around DKK 4 million, which will be allocated to 2-3 projects to be implemented over a four-year period. The amount of funding applied for should be between DKK 1–2 million. Organisations applying for grants need to be able to contribute at least 20 per cent themselves and/or have other sources of finance.  The organisation’s own contribution and/or other sources of funding could come from sponsorship or other financial contributions, voluntary work, participant fees, or indirect costs for example.

Funding will not be given for audits or travel expenses (with the exception of travel expenses for representatives of volunteer organisations, not-for-profit organisations, and invited speakers). Funding cannot be provided to cover indirect costs, such as the support organisation’s salaries and other running costs (such as rent, electricity, IT). Successful applicants may be granted a lower total amount of funding than they have applied for in all or in parts of their applications.

Basic requirements

Each project must involve at least the three Nordic countries, where the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Aaland Islands may constitute one of these only. In addition, grants can be awarded to activities that include cooperation in neighbouring areas, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and north-west Russia, that also include at least two Nordic countries. The principal applicant should come from a Nordic country or the Faroe Islands, Greenland, or the Aaland Islands.

This call funds activities initiated in the same year as the funding is granted and which are completed within four years of the commencement date. Activities commenced before the application deadline are not eligible for funding. Funding will not either be granted for:

  • Projects that have as their main purpose the organisation of conferences, forming networks or carrying out a survey or other type of study.
  • Activities already financed wholly or in part by Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality (MR-JÄM), or the Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • Activities that submit a budget in a currency other than DKK.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline.
  • Activities that submit an incomplete application (all mandatory fields not filled in or applications without the requisite attached documentation).
  • Political party organisations.
  • Private individuals.
  • Activities whose purpose is to generate a profit or equivalent for the funding beneficiary.

How are applications assessed?

Funding applications are to indicate how well the project meets the following criteria:

A. Nordic benefit

This means the extent to which the project:

  • generates significant positive effects through Nordic cooperation, compared to the project having been implemented at the national level;
  • manifests and develops Nordic cohesion, both within and outside the region;
  • contributes new infrastructure that strengthens Nordic cooperation on gender equality
  • responds in a constructive way to the challenges of Nordic cooperation such as national barriers and differences.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • justifies why the project should be implemented as Nordic cooperation;
  • describes the added value and the challenges that the cooperating parties perceive in working together across country borders.

B. Added value for gender policy

This refers to the extent to which the project:

  • contributes to confronting challenges related to the gender-segregated labour market;
  • contributes new/updated knowledge about methods and models of gender inequality/equality and/or exchanges of experience concerning knowledge about methods and models of gender inequality/equality.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • describes the problems of gender inequality that the cooperating parties have identified and which the project intends to respond to;
  • shows how well the co-operating parties understand these problems based on theoretical knowledge and tried and tested experience;
  • demonstrates an awareness of previous work, knowledge and/or research concerning the problems that the cooperating parties intend to respond to and, based on this awareness, describes how the project will contribute to change and add new knowledge.

C. Sustainability

This means the degree to which the project’s:

  • results and initiatives are anticipated to have lasting impacts and contribute to real change;
  • design and anticipated results provide scope for others to draw conclusions and learn from the project’s successes and setbacks.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • describes how the project goals and planned initiatives relate to the problem analysis in the project.

D. Implementation

Implementation means here:

  • how likely it is, in light of the applicant’s skills and experience, that the project will be implemented in the manner described by the applicants;
  • what bases do the applicants have for working together, for example that they contribute different skills, perspectives and experience which means that they can complement each other.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • describes how the cooperating parties plan to go about responding to the identified problems, and the justification they have provided for their choice of approach with regard to the feasibility of achieving the results and drawing conclusions from these results;
  • describes what the main applicant and each of the partner organisations will contribute to the project, as well as their previous experience of similar collaborations.

E. Economic viability

Organisations applying for grants need to be able to contribute at least 20 per cent themselves and/or have other sources of funding.  The organisation’s own contribution and/or other sources of funding could come from sponsorship or other financial contributions, voluntary work, participant fees, or indirect costs for example.

The amount applied for should be between DKK 1–2 million.

The application must be accompanied by a budget containing all items specified in DKK, and include the total amount. Self-funding and total funding must be made apparent in the budget. The budget should explicitly state what the funding amount applied for is intended to cover in the total budget.

Funding will not be given for audits or travel expenses (with the exception of travel expenses for representatives of volunteer organisations, not-for-profit organisations, and invited speakers). Funding cannot be provided to cover indirect costs, such as the support organisation’s salaries and other running costs (such as rent, electricity, IT).