About us

The time for equality is now


The Gender Equality Research Institute (Inštitut za proučevanje enakosti spolov – IPES) is a non-governmental, non-profit and voluntary organization that aims at deepening the understanding of gender equality in Slovenian society. Due to its operation, which exceeds the interests of the founders and employees and is generally beneficial to the wider society, IPES received an honorary status of an organisation in public interest in the field of equal opportunities for women and men by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.


Our vision is based on creating and promoting activities that contributes to building a society that will completely overcome barriers due to gender dimensions. Our main goal is thus to draw attention to existing gender stereotypes and socially assigned gender roles, which, due to expectations, ideas and patterns of behaviour, determine many restrictions and subordinations to everyone. We see the main purpose of our activity in raising awareness among different segments of the public about the social construction of these roles and about the importance of including all genders in building a community based on the principle of non-discrimination and equal opportunities.


We understand gender equality as the foundation of a democratic social order. It is the broadest set of equal opportunities, which includes any engagement in public or private life and even goes back to the roots of the individuals’ choices of doing so. Likewise, all members of a gender-equal society must enjoy equal visibility and have equal access to social power. For the full realization of gender equality in practice, we believe the eradication of gender stereotypes and discrimination is necessary.

Our projects


Building on an array of previous national efforts, EMPATH recognizes the important role that education environments and processes, especially in teenage years, play in reproducing or eliminating gender stereotypes, and strives at empowering the groups involved in high-school learning process to engage in combating gender stereotypes by addressing toxic masculinity patterns and behaviours.

The project proposes a multi-level and relevant stakeholder engagement approach, addressing three main selected target groups (high-school students, high school and faculty level teaching professionals, and future teaching professionals) through a variety of group-modified training, mutual learning and awareness-raising activities. EMPATH encompasses a set of interactive workshops for high-school students, two different sets of training modules for high-school teaching professionals and faculty level teaching professionals (resulting in online education manual and workbook) and a multi-stakeholder preparatory process of an EMPATH 30-hour obligatory curriculum on eliminating gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity for future teaching professionals. The latter will serve as a systemic-level solution for Slovenian higher education system, as it will be implemented in the regular curriculums of national faculties of education. Stemming from project deliverables, guidelines for policy-makers will be prepared and disseminated, together with other communication and dissemination tools.

Role of IPES: Partner
Funding authority: Citizenship, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV Programme), European Commission
Amount of funds: 389.694,00 EUR


The project TERA (Development of a Comprehensive Approach for Enhancing Work-Life Balance of Professional and Private Life in Rural Areas, Based on the Establishment of Multi-Stakeholder Regional Systems and Local Partnerships) addresses the work-life balance in rural areas. The multifaceted burden of women, accompanied by non-recognition of their role and contribution to the household(s), agriculture and wider community on the one hand, and the deep-rooted gender stereotypes of men in rural areas on the other, contribute to the high absence of women in rural socio-economic environment. The project addresses the challenges of work-life balance in rural areas, namely low awareness of the possibilities for work-life balance in rural areas, markedly deteriorating economic independence of women in rural areas, fragmentation of stakeholders in the region in addressing the challenges of work-life balance, and physical remoteness and thus difficult access to (public) services. Based on this, the main goal of the project is to empower men and women in rural areas to effectively address the challenges of work-life balance, with which the project establishes local systems and partnerships in Posavje and Pomurje for achieving work-life balance. In this way, the goal of the project is (also) to overcome gender stereotypes in rural areas and strengthen the institutional capacities of both regional consortium partner. The project will benefit both women and men in rural areas in Slovenia, as well as mentors who will be included in the mentoring scheme and conduct workshops of the educational and awareness-raising program.

Role of IPES: Partner
Funding authority: EEA Norway Grants
Amount of funds: 485.531,50 EUR


The project TRIALOG (Activating youth by encouraging them to form meaningful connections, take an active role in their local communities and empowering them for a violence-free life) addresses the challenges of young people in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic in Podravje region. In this context, the project addresses the challenges of young people in the Podravje region, namely the lack of social contacts, social inclusion of youth, an increase in domestic violence, higher level of peer violence, including cyberbullying and youth vandalism, lack of support services for young people in Podrasvje region and poorer self-esteem among young people as a result of an increased exposure to online posts by peers, influencers and complete strangers depicting idealized images of their lives and bodies. The main goal of the project is empowerment and social activation of young people, which contributes to the establishment of a long-term support service for young people and strengthens the social and educational environment for young people living in Podravska region. The project will pursue the empowerment and social activation of young people in the Podravska region, strengthen existing local capacities and work on three levels as an example of good practice in empowering young people in the areas of mental health, healthy (peer) relationships by preventing cyberbullying, and social activation of young people in local environments, thus influencing the reduction of passivation of young people in their local social environments.

Role of IPES: Lead partner
Funding authority: EEA Norway Grants
Amount of funds: 469.622,00 EUR


The project entitled PROMETHEUS (Transfer and implementation of good practices for improving work-life balance, through training and education of employees and managers, with the aim of establishing an organizational structure and culture of companies, based on gender equality) addresses the issue of work-life balance of employees through the prism of their gender, possible parenting and different professional profiles. The project also takes into account the consequences of the new reality brought by COVID-19 (remote work) and encourages companies and organizations to establish their organizational structures on the basis of gender equality. The COVID-19 epidemic has exacerbated existing inequalities between women and men in the labour market, with a particular impact on women and their chances of pursuing and developing careers. The project addresses the challenges of work-life balance of employees, namely: low awareness of possible solutions and measures to improve the work-life balance among employees, markedly poorer work-life balance of persons, according to their gender, parenthood and professional profile, lack of knowledge and competencies of company managements to establish organizational structures based on gender equality, and the unequal position of men and women regarding the performance of care obligations, conditioned by gender stereotypes. One of the direct goals of the project is (also) to overcome gender stereotypes in the labour market, which will be possible through the institutional capacities of consortium partners. The project will benefit both employed women and men, as well as mentors who will be included in the mentoring scheme and will implement the contents of the educational program.

Role of IPES: Partner
Funding authority: EEA Norway Grants
Amount of funds: 497.867,05 EUR


The project Gender Sensitive Integration of Refugee Children in Slovenian Primary Schools (iLEGEND) recognizes the important role that education environments and processes, especially in integration of foreign children in national primary education system, play in reproducing or eliminating gender stereotypes. That is why the project aims at empowering teaching professionals (who remain main multiplicators of knowledge and socialization) with knowledge and equip them with tools to detect, eliminate, and prevent the reproduction of gender stereotypes through gender mainstreaming practices. That will enable refugee children to comprehensively identify opportunities and challenges of the new society, and maximize their personal ambitions and efforts. The establishment of innovative approaches for teaching professionals for supporting gender sensitive integration is crucial for achieving gender-neutral and non-stereotypical representation of refugee children across elementary schools. Teaching professionals should be able to provide refugee children with information about potential non-traditional choices in choosing extra-curriculum activities, and treat them equally in their hidden curriculum practices regardless of the gender. The materials and tools produced during the project are disseminated to three target groups in order to achieve a multi-level and relevant stakeholder engagement approach, including teaching professionals in formal education, teaching professionals in informal education, and youth advocates from non-governmental organizations that deal with refugee children, gender equality, and human rights.

Role of IPES: Applicant
Funding authority: North–South Centre, Council of Europe
Amount of funds: 5.000,00 EUR


The project Covid-19 busters safe spots (Na varnem si) was carried out between January and December 2021, aiming at reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups in Slovenia by ensuring social inclusion and poverty risk reduction. Its main objective was to offer direct psychosocial support, assistance and guidance to youth and victims of violence (with special focus on young women), as well as other individuals heavily impacted by the Covid-19, in order to empower them with knowledge on how to mitigate their distress, and fight further social exclusion. The aim was to design a combined preventive approach through newly established programs that would directly include such individuals that were victims of any kind of physical or psychological violence (at home, in workplace, at school), which led them to experience social exclusion in terms of financial instability or mental distress. The combined preventive approached offered target groups awareness-raising activities (national awareness-raising campaign), individual psychological counselling (over the phone, Zoom or e-mail; both individual and group counselling was available), unique online platform, which served as an innovative and safe approach for victims to report violent activities, and concrete services at the newly established pop-up safe spots. The safe spots are accessible regardless of epidemiological measures and other restrictions, and represent places where victims of violence can turn for help for free and at the same time have the opportunity to withdraw from the dangerous environment of their home. At every safe point, information on possible referrals and on the various forms of free personalized counselling is available to victims of violence. Additionally, several workshops were organized in order to raise awareness about the issues, as well as offer guidance for dealing with different forms of violence in various circumstances. All workshops took place online, so they were accessible for people with disabilities, and counselling was also offered in person or online, so anyone had the ability to participate.

Check out more: www.na-varnem.si

Role of IPES: Applicant
Funding authority: European Social Fund, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
Amount of funds: 130.200,00 EUR

2019 and still

The GEMA Certificate (Gender Equality Management Assessment) is the first Slovenian certificate of a social corporate responsibility, which enables effective implementation of gender equality in organizational structure, culture and working processes of companies (and other organizations). It is based on ten sets of measures, including, inter alia, impartial employment and promotion, work-life balance, regulation of the gender pay gap, a mentoring system, effective mechanisms for preventing harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace, and methods to strengthen an inclusive organizational culture on all levels of the business’ operation. Each company is also subjected to an independent set of checks on the balanced representation of women and men in the company, not only in managerial positions, but also in individual sectors or departments, and at the level of employment itself. GEMA Certificate was developed in cooperation between IPES, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Managers’ Association of Slovenia and Association of Labour Unions of Slovenia. It is an ongoing activity, which enabled IPES to become recognized as the potential Gender Equality Plan (GEP) provider for the organisations that decide on application to Horizon Europe and other grants of European Union that require GEPs.

Check out more: www.gema-certificate.com


The STELLA project focuses on two major objectives, which are to modify social norms by raising awareness of gender stereotyping and to support development of social behaviour promoting gender equality within the context of the school.

By addressing three main target groups (teaching professionals, children and parents), the project aims at sensitisation of Slovenian and Serbian teaching professionals in primary schools in recognizing and actively combating gender stereotypes, by empowering them with knowledge and tools to promote gender equality and oppose the reproduction of behavioural patterns by fostering gender stereotypes. STELLA project will contributes to the realization of Slovenian and Serbian primary school children's’ full potentials in terms of their personal and professional development, by deconstructing and transgressing the (re)production of gender stereotypes, gender biases and gender roles, prescribed by societal behavioural pattern, which will be done through best practice exchange on one hand and on the other through carefully developed online kit. STELLA will also contribute to policymaking in the field of implementation of gender inequality issues in the primary school curricula in Slovenia and Serbia.

Check out more: www.project-stella.eu

Role of IPES: Partner
Funding authority: Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC Programme), European Commission
Amount of funds: 413.127,00 EUR

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