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Mainstreaming Gender Equality at all levels of the Public Administration is a political commitment, a strategy for achieving Gender Equality and is considered a requisite for good governance by the Portuguese Government. The governmental mechanism for promoting gender equality is the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), established by by Regulatory Decree in 2012 under the Office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. In view of the responsibilities established by its Organic Law, especially those providing support for the development of global and sectorial policies on promoting citizenship and gender equality, the CIG is responsible for coordinating the measures set out in the National Plans. Under these Plans, CIG plays a key role in close cooperation with all ministries, which are responsible for the implementation of the measures in its area of intervention, coordinating interdepartmental teams composed of representatives of various areas, in each Ministry. Although CIG is responsible for the general coordination of its execution, the implementation relies on the participation of the different partners involved. It is a shared intervention between several partners and aimed at common objectives. These plans are based on concrete measures with indicators in order to enable further developments and measurable evaluation of the implementation of each measure by the ministries, which is a crucial step in the promotion of gender mainstreaming.

In 1977 the legal document that institutionalised the Commission on the Status of Women already included a mainstreaming perspective, although the concept of gender mainstreaming was not yet formulated as it is known today. This women’s rights structure created a consultative council, composed of a non-governmental (NGO) section and an interministerial section, which would allow for the integration of gender in all policy areas (Decree-Law No. 485/77). Twenty years later, in 1997, the integration of a gender perspective at all policy levels became more visible in the Global Plan for Equal Opportunities, approved by the Council of Ministers. The first objective of this plan consisted in integrating the principle of equal opportunities between women and men in all economic, social and cultural policies. Since then, several National Plans for Equality were issued, assuming gender mainstreaming as the main guiding principle to integrate gender concerns in all policy domains. The most recent is the V National Plan for Gender Equality, Citizenship and Non-discrimination 2014-2017. In 2008, the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 161/ was issued to legitimise the mandate of the ministerial Counsellors for Equality and the Interdepartmental Teams.