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The introduction of the idea of gender mainstreaming in Denmark has been influenced by the European Union (EU) and, in particular, by the Amsterdam Treaty, which came into force in 1999. The following year, gender mainstreaming was introduced into Danish national legislation through the Gender Equality Act, which states that that ‘Public authorities shall within their respective areas of responsibility seek to promote gender equality and incorporate gender equality in all planning and administration’. Since 2001, gender mainstreaming has been implemented through the Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committee (with representatives at the executive level from all ministries, it existed from 2001 to 2013), an Interministerial Network (with representatives at the staff level from all ministries), and the adoption of a number of four-year action plans on gender mainstreaming. Though the process leading up to the announcement of a new strategy on gender mainstreaming was lengthy, in February 2013 the National Strategy for Future Work with Gender Mainstreaming Assessment in the Public Sector was published, ensuring that all political initiatives, including all relevant acts, are assessed to secure gender equality.

To some extent these recent efforts to advance gender mainstreaming at the state and local levels have been boosted by EU funding, notably through the participation of the Department of Gender Equality in a European Commission (EC) project on the development of gender-mainstreaming tools and practices in central government administration, with a specific focus on web-based tools and methods.