GendeRace - Policy Brief 5
Policy Brief 5

The use of racial anti-discrimination laws N° 5

Gender and citizenship in a multicultural context - June 2010




The GendeRace research project, coordinated by the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the University of Barcelona (UB) has been carried out by six teams in France, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Beginning in February 2008 and ending in July 2010, GendeRace is funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework programme for Research.


Document PDF 6 pages 298 Ko


New knowledge, new concepts and European added values


Based on a study of 914 case law and complaint files, 120 interviews of foreign nationals and embers of ethnic minorities and over 60 interviews of stakeholders, NGOS and social partners, ncluding lawyers dealing with complaints, the research reveals key insights on those making use f the legal and institutional framework when confronted with discrimination.


Our findings reveal that despite a tendency towards a ‘one law, one equality body’ approach in the six ountries and no legal prohibition of multiple discrimination, the multiple ground approach is still pplied only very exceptionally. This is for various reasons, such as legal experts’ one ground ompetency, the absence of an operational definition and methodology and the difficulties omplainants may have in identifying their experiences as multiple.


The research demonstrates the significant impact that gender has on racialised/ethnicised iscrimination despite a frequent lack of perception by those affected by and dealing with racial iscrimination. Gender makes a difference in where and how individuals experience discrimination nd in how they react to and handle the situation.


Both women and men face intersectional discrimination. Gendered racialisation is based on societal endered images amongst racialised minorities. It appears that women are more often the victims f harassment and of intra-group discrimination, with men most commonly facing discrimination in ublic places of recreation or leisure.


The project has revealed a greater tendency to lodge complaints on the part of men, with women more nclined to settle a complaint. Women also display a greater tendency to disregard gender iscrimination, even when confronted with multiple discrimination.

Many interviewees, both men and women, have difficulties in articulating the nature of their xperience as discrimination and this is even more so in cases of multiple discrimination.

Key policy messages and recommendations for policymakers, stakeholders, Trade Unions and civil society

The research has identified a number of important messages, with a range of policy implications at both European and national levels. These focus on four key areas:

  • The impact of gender on access and the exercise of rights by victims of discrimination;
  • The impact of “one single law and one single equality body” approach on the handling of multiple discrimination;
  • Statistics on discrimination and complaint databases and the impact on the visibility of multiple discrimination;
  • The impact of the multiplicity of grounds on gender equality



Document PDF 6 pages 298 Ko