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Gender Mainstreaming Strategy

Mainstreaming was clearly established as the global strategy for promoting gender equality through the Platform for Action at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

The need to ensure that attention to gender perspectives is an integral part of interventions in all areas of societal development was made clear in that document. For each of the strategic objectives identified in Beijing specific reference was made to the importance of the mainstreaming strategy.  For example, in the chapter on 'Women in power and decision-making', paragraph 189, specifically addresses mainstreaming: "In addressing the inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels, Governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively."

The strategy of mainstreaming is defined in the ECOSOC Agreed Conclusions, 1997/2

Mainstreaming is not about adding on a 'women's component', or even a 'gender equality component', to an existing activity. It involves more than increasing women's participation. Mainstreaming situates gender equality issues at the centre of policy decisions.

(International Telecommunication Union - Group on Gender Issues)

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Updated : 2003-03-12