The systematic consideration of the differences between the conditions, situations and needs of women and men in all policies and actions.
Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated into all policies at all levels and all stages, by the actors normally involved in policymaking.
Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a way to make women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.
Gender mainstreaming is a complementary strategy and not a substitute for targeted, women-centred policies and programmes, gender equality legislation, institutional mechanisms for gender equality, and specific interventions that aim to close the gender gap.
(1) European Commission. Communication ‘Incorporating equal opportunities for women and men into all Community policies and activities’ (COM(96)67final);
(2) Council of Europe (1998). Gender Mainstreaming: Conceptual Framework, Methodology and Presentation of Good Practices. Final Report of Activities of the Group of Specialists on Mainstreaming (EG-S-MS).
(3) United Nations Statistics Division – UNSD. Global Gender Statistics Programme.