Gender Mainstreaming - Main Users / Purpose

files/images_static/user.jpg Women and men, partly separated in groups, Government officials, decision makers, community members.

Potentials can be explored with the development of equal and equitable living conditions for both men and women, this greatly contributes towards reaching development goals and improving economic development. However, these development goals are contrasted by traditional values, which are in many cases major obstacles for gender oriented development. Therefore, the process of gender mainstreaming is a long term objective. Unfortunately Gender is a cross-cutting issue, which is often marginalised in favour of other dominant subjects. Gender mainstreaming plays an important role in:

  • the cultural context,
  • in project management,
  • human resource development,
  • institutional development,
  • training measures,
  • planning processes,
  • natural resource management,
  • trade and economy, etc.

Gender mainstreaming is a strategy or a holistic approach to incorporate gender issues and gender awareness into all aspects of an institution’s policy and activities. This is done by focusing on gender equity and gender equality in all fields of operation. The wider the field of policy making, capacity building, human resource development and awareness creation is addressed, the more likely the desired development impact is achieved.

The objectives are:

  1. analysing the present situation,
  2. creating awareness on gender issues within a given context,
  3. identifying gender-specific differences on all policy and society levels with male and female groups,
  4. identifying feasible measures which consider and alleviate gender inequalities such as improving the institutional policy, development of gender equitable staff recruitment procedures, gender training, measures to address single households, etc.,
  5. discussing all impacts of these measures with sensitised experts,
  6. implementing of feasible measures,
  7. monitoring of the impact of these measures, adaptation on demand

Gender issues are often mentioned with participatory bottom-up approaches, although gender equality and equity can be also developed and performed in top-down oriented institutions. All activities on gender mainstreaming are based on the experience, that there is no gender-neutral policy. Institutions, enterprises, programmes, projects, laws, regulations and measures have to contribute towards eliminating the inequities and inequalities between women’s and men’s opportunities. Gender mainstreaming is an integrated process, dealing not only with issues of balancing the statistics within an organisation. In the long term, it promotes lasting changes in parental roles, family structures, institutional practices, the organisation of labour and time, personal development and independence. A basic principle of gender mainstreaming is the systematic consideration of the differences between conditions, situations and needs of women and men in community policies and activities. The overall objective of gender equality policy comprises:

  • equal distribution of power and influence,
  • the same chance of achieving financial independence,
  • equal conditions and opportunities with regard to establishing business enterprises,
  • working conditions and development at work,
  • equal access to education,
  • training for developing personal ambitions, interests, talents,
  • shared responsibility for the home and the children, and
  • freedom from gender-related violence.

The method shows ways to identify inequalities within communities, institutions or other contexts and discusses approaches to eliminate them.