Although developed earlier, the concept of gender mainstreaming was clearly established in 1995, at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, as the main global strategy for promoting gender equality. Gender mainstreaming means introducing a gender perspective in the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated.
Gender mainstreaming is not a goal in itself, but a means to achieve gender equality. Gender mainstreaming and special interventions to promote equality between women and men are complementary to each other. Special interventions for gender equality can target either women alone, both women and men, or men alone. There is no conflict between the two strategies; on the contrary, targeted interventions are seen as essential for mainstreaming.
Using a mainstreaming strategy based on gender analysis implies, in particular:
Mainstreaming gender in the world of work is a means of integrating equality concerns across the board into all policy objectives and all activities in order to promote equality of all workers, irrespective of sex. Main areas of concern are the following:
→ see also Gender equality, Gender equity and Gender and development and women in development
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