Gender mainstreaming means:

Making women’s concerns and experiences integral to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres.

Its goals are gender justice through empowerment of women as well as men.

Gender mainstreaming is necessary in development interventions, including all economic interventions,  for a number of interlinked reasons:

  • Individual human rights of women as well as men
  • Poverty reduction for individual and households
  • Business efficiency for enterprises
  • Development of the national economy

More on rationale for gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is not an end in itself, but a means to gender justice and achievement of international agreements on women’s human rights.  It requires a clear vision for change. At a minimum goals, and also outcomes, should be:

  • Do No Harm to women in terms of women’s human rights in CEDAW
  • Gender Inclusion and equal opportunities for women

But achieving gender justice is likely to require also proactive promotion of:

  • Women’s empowerment
  • Gender transformation

More on GAMEchange vision and gender concepts

Gender policy framework

Gender mainstreaming entails:

Gender justice:

•Prioritization of women’s empowerment because of the much greater discrimination against women.
• Mainstream policy to take equal account of women’s gender-specific needs, rather than taking male-specific needs as the norm;
• Reform of policies which give inequitable advantage to men;
• Adequately resourced affirmative action to address women’s gender-specific needs to redress previous discrimination and neglect;
• Reinforcement of men’s responsibilities in the reproductive sphere.
• Not only increasing household incomes and improving wellbeing but also challenging the root causes of gender inequality

Reconceptualization of the “economic” to encompass analysis of and strategies to address: • Broader livelihood strategies and integrating non-market/reproductive work;
• Power relations at household, market, institutional and macro-levels.

Poverty inclusion
• Reform of policies which give inequitable advantage to powerful interests
• Specific support for very poor women

Institutional accountability in decision-making at all levels:
• Linking a grassroots participatory process with macro-level advocacy and lobbying
• Women’s equal representation;
• Representation of very poor women;