Gender Mainstreaming - Advantages and Limitations

  • Law making processes. It justifies the revision of laws and regulations in order to lay a firm foundation for developing gender equality.
  • Gender issues can be addressed on all policy levels from ministries to communities.
  • Gender mainstreaming empowers about 50 % of the population, which represents the strongest labour force, which is at the same time marginalized in many societies.
  • Females often show a high degree of responsibility and good skills for capital management.
  • Addressing gender issues has an impact on economic development, poverty reduction, sustainable management of natural resources the educational sector etc.
  • In many cases, women are highly motivated to improve their situation, once gender mainstreaming measures are applied. From this follows a positive impact on the development of the society.
  • Traditional norms or religious values can be a major obstacle to develop gender equity, most of these values change only gradually within long term processes.
  • Literacy and knowledge of women is, in some cases very limited. In order to start the iterative process of gender mainstreaming, basic training for women can be time consuming and resource intensive.
  • In many cases, women lag behind with regard to education and professional skills. As a result they have fewer or less attractive job opportunities than men, especially for higher qualified jobs.
  • Changing a male biased into a gender-balanced set-up includes a loss of power by men. It is necessary to convince males of the necessity and benefits of Gender Mainstreaming.
  • As a cross-cutting issue, gender issues are often neglected, when priorities focus on other critical issues (e.g. tackling poverty). Gender issues are often perceived as a fashionable catchword in development policies, despite many years of targeting gender issues specifically.