The Council of Europe has a crucial role to play in promoting gender equality in its member states, for example by defining common principles and standards to promote the full participation of women and men in society. Imbalances between women and men continue to influence all walks of life and it is becoming increasingly clear that new approaches, new strategies and new methods are needed to reach the goal of gender equality. Gender mainstreaming is one of these strategies. The Council of Europe’s Group of specialists on mainstreaming agreed on the following definition:
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 and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making.
Gender mainstreaming cannot replace specific policies which aim to redress situations resulting from gender inequality. Specific gender equality policies and gender mainstreaming are dual and complementary strategies and must go hand in hand to reach the goal of gender equality.
CM/Del/Dec(98)628 appendix 2 16 avril 1998
CDEG (2011) 16
(2004) RAP FIN
EG-S-MS (98) 2 rev