Bodies mandated to promote gender equality and support mainstreaming of gender equality into general policies in all areas. They usually consist of the central government body complemented with an interministerial coordinating gender mainstreaming structure and contact persons or focal points responsible for gender mainstreaming in ministries.
The overall structure may include bodies at various levels of governance − national, regional and local – and other state institutions beyond governments, particularly at parliamentary level, as well as independent agencies and other bodies, such as gender equality bodies and/or ombudspersons, which may be either specific to gender equality or more general in nature, with competence to receive and analyse complaints concerning discrimination on the basis of sex and gender.
(1) Council of Europe (2007). Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)17 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on gender equality standards and mechanisms; (2) United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (1995) – Beijing Platform for Action.