The term “gender mainstreaming” was officially recognised in the Fourth United Nation World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
While this event formalised the term into a global policy, the notion of gender mainstreaming was initially born out of the natural acknowledgement that the perspectives of women and men are relevant to attaining gender equality, and equity on the long run.
Gender mainstreaming is thereby an approach that seeks to standardise the practice of including the perspectives of all genders in instances of policy-making, legislation, organisational planning, and programmatic interventions.
“A Practical Guide for Civil Society Organisations in Lebanon towards Gender Mainstreaming”, written and published by Lebanon Support and in partnership with Dianonia, offers the below definition for gender mainstreaming:
How can gender mainstreaming achieve gender equality?
Not only does gender mainstreaming create an awareness of the roles, relationships, and power dynamics that have historically been used to legitimise patriarchal structures but it seeks to ensure that policies and decisions are made with the intention of securing social justice for all genders. Applying gender mainstreaming in your CSO’s decision-making process – or even in your everyday individual life – allows the unaddressed gaps of gender inequality to be highlighted, recognised, and tackled.
It is important to note: Being conscious of social justice and human rights in the form of gender mainstreaming is not the job of an expert! Using gender mainstreaming as an approach in decision-making can be practiced by us all!