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Reflections on the Uneven Development of Gender Mainstreaming in Europe

Rees, Teresa Lesley 2005. Reflections on the Uneven Development of Gender Mainstreaming in Europe. International Feminist Journal of Politics 7 (4) , pp. 555-574. 10.1080/14616740500284532

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Gender mainstreaming was endorsed as the official policy approach to gender equality in the European Union and its member states in the Amsterdam Treaty (1997). New member states have been obliged to adopt a gender mainstreaming approach as a condition of joining the EU. However, despite this endorsement, there remains considerable confusion as to what gender mainstreaming is and there has been uneven development in the adoption of gender mainstreaming tools. This article seeks to contribute to the debate by identifying three principles that appear to underlie gender mainstreaming in Europe – treating the individual as a whole person; democracy; and justice, fairness and equity. It then draws on the experience of a number of European countries to identify where tools associated with each set of principles have been introduced. These include gender-disaggregated statistics, gender budgeting and ‘visioning’. The article illustrates how there appear to be very few examples of a gender mainstreaming approach where promoting gender equality is the main policy goal (agenda setting). More often, gender mainstreaming is used as a means of delivering on or is subsumed under another policy (integration). Despite these weaknesses in practice, the article concludes that gender mainstreaming has significant potential as a transformative strategy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender mainstreaming, equality, Europe, UK, equal treatment, positive action
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1461-6742
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:48

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