- About EIGE
- News and events
Gender Mainstreaming is not a goal in itself but a strategy to achieve equality between women and men. It is used to integrate gender concerns into all policies, and programmes of the European Union institutions and Member Sates.
Gender Mainstreaming within the European Union (EU) was firstly defined by the European Commission (COM) in 1996 (COM (96) 67 final) as: (…) mobilising all general policies and measures specifically for the purpose of achieving equality by actively and openly taking into account at the planning stage their possible effects on the respective situations of men and women (gender perspective).
It was underlined that: The systematic consideration of the differences between the conditions, situations and needs of women and men in all Community policies and actions, this is the basic feature of the principle of "mainstreaming" which the Commission has adopted. This does not mean simply making Community programmes or resources more accessible to women, but rather the simultaneous mobilisation of legal instruments, financial resources and the Community's analytical and organisational capacities in order to introduce in all areas the desire to build balanced relationships between women and men.
Another well known definition of Gender Mainstreaming comes from the Council of Europe (1998): “Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies, at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policymaking.”
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), advocate a systematic approach to the gender mainstreaming strategy — including in particular:
Gender Mainstreaming does not replace positive actions for women. In the face of persisting gender gaps the European Union follows the so-called the dual track: Gender Mainstreaming plus specific actions to advance women; the latter is one way to remedy past discrimination and to compensate for existing inequalities.