The Council of Europe was instrumental in developing the concept of gender mainstreaming from the 1990’s onwards. 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 .”

The appointment of Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GER) in the Organisation’s intergovernmental, institutional bodies and some monitoring mechanisms since 2012 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.