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Gender Mainstreaming

Silke Roth

Subject Gender Studies
Sociology » Sociology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Gender mainstreaming is a strategy for achieving gender equality. The approach seeks to reorganize and restructure policies, institutions, and social programs by taking women's and men's perspectives, experiences, and needs into consideration. Gender mainstreaming does not replace, but supplements, specific targeted interventions to address gender inequality such as affirmative action. Gender mainstreaming was first introduced when UNIFEM (the women's division of the United Nations) was restructured. At the Third UN World Women's Conference in Nairobi in 1985, gender mainstreaming and empowerment were adopted in development policies due to the persistent marginalization of women with respect to access to resources, information, and decision-making, replacing the earlier “women in development” (WID) approach. The goal of gender mainstreaming is to support women and to ensure their involvement in decision-making processes and agenda setting. UNIFEM conceives gender mainstreaming as a double strategy: gender differentiation and taking into consideration the different living conditions and interests of men and women in all developmental programs and project interventions at the macro-economic and macro-political level, as well as women-specific measures in those instances where gender analyses revealed inequalities with respect to resources. Ten years later, the systematic incorporation ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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