Achieving Gender Mainstreaming in all policies and measures
Historical and Institutional Background of the Concept of Gender Mainstreaming
Born of a need for a new approach to policy-making that takes into account both women's and men's interests and concerns and therefore contributes to better policy-making, the concept of gender mainstreaming was first introduced at the 1985 Nairobi World conference on Women. It was consequently introduced as a strategy in international gender equality policy by the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing.
The Council of Europe was instrumental in developing the concept of gender mainstreaming from the 1990’s onwards, including through the establishment of a Group of Specialists on Mainstreaming in 1995, which was tasked to “carry out a survey of measures taken and implemented for the mainstreaming of a gender perspective into general policies, programme planning, as well as into sectoral policies and activities at all levels of society, both in the member States of the Council of Europe and in regional or international organisations”. On the basis of this survey, in 1998, the Group prepared a conceptual framework and a methodology for mainstreaming a gender equality perspective in an effective and visible way. This work led to the adoption of the definition of gender mainstreaming used within the Council of Europe and by many organisations and countries:
“Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels at all stages, by the actors involved in policy-making .”
In 1998, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted a Recommendation on Gender mainstreaming . Since then, agender mainstreaming strategy has been an integral part of the work and activities of the Council of Europe to promote the full realisation of gender equality.
Giving Instutional Strength to Gender Mainstreaming in the Council of Europe
When properly understood and implemented, gender mainstreaming is a transformative approach with a great potential for social change. Today, there is a wide consensus about the effectiveness of adual approach combining gender mainstreaming and specific measures for the advancement of women, to ensure better policy making and better use of resources, as well as progress towards effective equality between women and men. Even if the understanding and implementation of agender mainstreaming strategy – including gender budgeting, gender-based analysis and gender impact assessment - amongst policy and decision-makers needs to be improved, the last decade has witnessed significant developments. Gender mainstreaming was given new impetus within the Council of Europe, with the launching of the Transversal Programme on Gender Equality (2012) and the adoption of the first ever Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, which includes the realisation of gender mainstreaming in all policies and measures as one of the five strategic objectives. Furthermore, the appointment of Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GER), in the Organisation’s intergovernmental, institutional bodies and some monitoring mechanisms have led to a coordinated and sustained effort to introduce a gender equality perspective in all policies and at all levels of the Council of Europe. Recommendations on gender mainstreaming in different areas adopted by the Committee of Ministers and specific initiatives undertaken by the intergovernmental structures and institutional bodies of the Council of Europe provide useful instruments and benchmarks to support member States in their efforts to implement a gender mainstreaming strategy and achieve gender equality.
Recommendation CM/Rec(2015)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on gender mainstreaming in sport (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 January 2015 at the 1217th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
Recommendation CM/Rec(2015)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the access of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to social rights (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 January 2015 at the 1217th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
Message of the Committee of Ministers to Steering Committees of the Council of Europe on Gender Mainstreaming
Practical Tools and Training ResourcesManual Supporting Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GERS) in their Role
Gender mainstreaming in other organs and institutions of the Council of Europe
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities - Information document : The work of the Congress of the Council of Europe on women's rights and equality between men and women
GRECO - Group of States against Corruption Gender Dimenstion of Corruption
Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs - The Gender Dimension of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs
EURIMAGES - European Cinema Support Fund - Gender Equality
CODEXTER - Committee of Experts on Terrorism - Discussion paper on possible gender related activities
Division of Electoral Assistance and Census:
Venice Commission - Gender Equality Work
European Social Charter - Equality between women and men in the European Social Charter
The Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe - Gender Equality Work
Studies and Publications
Compilation of good practices to promote an education free from gender stereotypes and identifying ways to implement the measures which are included in the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on gender mainstreaming in educationCDEG (2011) 16
Study on "Combatting Stereotypes in Education"
(2004) RAP FIN
EG-S-MS (98) 2 rev
Gender Mainstreaming in other Regional and International Organisations
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - On-Line Training Course "Gender Equality, Human Rights and Me - English - French - SpanishIntegrating Gender into Human Rights Monitoring
A human rights-based approach to development and gender mainstreaming (UN Development Group – Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism )
The Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme - UN-GEST (Iceland University)
Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination - ILO International Training CentreOECD Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship
Handbook on mainstreaming gender equality into the OAS project cycle - Organisation of American States