International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Jill Steans and Daniela Tepe
Chapter 53: How effective is gender mainstreaming in international peace and security policymaking?
Over the last two decades, gender mainstreaming has been adopted in a variety of forms, creating both opportunities and risks for advancing women’s rights and gender equality. A gender mainstreaming policy revolution began with the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which called for the integration of a gender perspective into all programmes and policies (see True, 2003; Krook and True, 2012). The UN Economic and Social Council Agreed Conclusions 1997/2 further provided the framework for action and defined gender mainstreaming in terms of ‘the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels’. This chapter considers gender mainstreaming practices implemented in the context of international peace and security, and assesses how effective they have been. It calls for a more transformative model of gender mainstreaming that mobilizes diverse gender perspectives to challenge conventional biased, male-centred frameworks. For this to be achieved, the participation of women and women’s organizations in designing and implementing gender mainstreaming policies is crucial, as well as the involvement of international organizations in strengthening the relationship between governments and civil society in delivering gender mainstreaming. Numerous state and international commitments have been made since the UN Beijing conference to mainstream gender analysis across all public policies and at all levels of policymaking.
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