Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: May 2013

23 - Gender mainstreaming human rights

Summary

Introduction

At the time of its official adoption in the UN system in 1997, gender mainstreaming was hailed as “progressive” by many transnational feminists because it was seen as a way to move beyond the biological sex binary of male/female, which had resulted in “just add women and stir” approaches to human rights, development and security. In tandem with the discursive shift from “sex” to “gender” in the 1993 UN Vienna Declaration on Human Rights and 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, gender mainstreaming approaches seek to take into account the ideological power and circulation of gender. As applied to human rights, gender mainstreaming approaches are, in theory, attentive to how gender shapes and impacts our experiences and achievement of rights.

Gender mainstreaming is defined as:

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. 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. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.

(OSAGI 2002)
References
Ackerly, Brooke. 2001. “Women’s Human Rights Activists as Cross-Cultural Theorists.” International Journal of Feminist Politics 3:3, 311–346.
Ackerly, Brooke 2011. “Human Rights Enjoyment in Theory and in Activism.” Human Rights Review 12, 221–239.
Ackerly, Brooke and Cruz, Miguel. 2011. “Hearing the Voice of the People: Human Rights as if People Mattered.” New Political Science 33:1, 1–22.
Apodaca, Clair. 1998. “Measuring Women’s Economic and Social Rights Achievement.” Human Rights Quarterly 20:1, 139–172.
AWID. 2004. “Intersectionality: A Tool for Gender and Economic Justice.” Women’s Rights and Economic Change (Facts & Issues #9). Toronto: Association for Women’s Rights in Development. Available at: .
Baden, Sally and Goetz, Anne Marie. 1997. “Who Needs [Sex] When You Can Have [Gender]?Feminist Review 56:1, 3–25.
Bauer, Gretchen. 2008. “Fifty/Fifty by 2020: Electoral Gender Quotas for Parliament in East and Southern Africa.” International Journal of Feminist Politics 10:3, 348–368.
Benería, Lourdes. 2003. Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as If All People Mattered. New York and London: Routledge.
Blanco, Lorenzo and Villa, Sandra M. 2008. “Sources of Crime in the State of Veracruz: The Role of Female Labor Force Participation and Wage Inequality.” Feminist Economics 14:3, 51–75.
BPFA (Beijing Platform for Action). 1995. Declaration of the Fourth World Conference on Women. September 15, 1995, Beijing, China.
Bunch, Charlotte. 1990. “Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Towards a Re-Vision of Human Rights.” Human Rights Quarterly 12:4, 486–498.
Bunjun, Bénita, Lee, Jo-Anne, Lenon, Suzanne, Martin, Lise, Torres, Sara and Waller, Marie-Katherine. 2006. Intersectional Feminist Frameworks: An Emerging Vision. Ottawa: Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.
CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). 1979. Opened for signature December 18, 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13 (entered into force September 3, 1981).
Chan-Tiberghien, J. 2004. “Gender-Skepticism or Gender-Boom? Poststructural Feminisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the World Conference Against Racism.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 6:3, 454–484.
Charlesworth, Hilary. 1995. “Human Rights as Men’s Rights.” In J. Peters and A. Wolper, eds., Women’s Rights, Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 103–113.
Charlesworth, Hilary 2005. “Not Waving but Drowning: Gender Mainstreaming and Human Rights in the United Nations.”Harvard Human Rights Journal 18, 1–18.
Cingranelli, David L. and Richards, David L. 2010. “The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project.” Human Rights Quarterly 32, 395–418.
Clisby, Suzanne. 2005. “Gender Mainstreaming or Just More Male-Streaming?”Gender & Development 13:2, 23–35.
Connell, R.W. 2005. “Change Among the Gatekeepers: Men, Masculinities, and Gender Equality in the Global Arena.” Signs 30:3, 1801–1825.
Cornwall, Andrea. 1997. “Men, Masculinity, and ‘Gender in Development.’” Gender & Development 5:2, 8–13.
Cornwall, A. and Brock, K. 2005. “What Do Buzzwords Do for Development Policy? A Critical Look at ‘Participation,’ ‘Empowerment’ and ‘Poverty Reduction.’” Third World Quarterly 26:7, 1043–1060.
Cornwall, Andrea and Molyneux, M. 2006. “The Politics of Rights – Dilemmas for Feminist Praxis: An Introduction.” Third World Quarterly 27:7, 1175–1191.
Daly, Mary. 2005. “Gender Mainstreaming in Theory and Practice.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State, and Society 12:3, 433–450.
De Waal, Maretha. 2006. “Evaluating Gender Mainstreaming in Development Projects.”Development in Practice 16:2, 209–214.
Elson, Diane. 2003. “Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Budgeting.” Paper presented at the Gender and Equality and Europe’s Future Conference, Brussels, March 4, 2003. Available at: .
Elson, Diane 2006. Budgeting for Women’s Rights; Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW. New York: UNIFEM.
Eveline, Joan and Bacchi, Carol. 2005. “What Are We Mainstreaming When We Mainstream Gender?International Feminist Journal of Politics 7:4, 486–512.
Eyben, Rosalind and Napier-Moore, Rebecca. 2009. “Choosing Words with Care? Shifting Meanings of Women’s Empowerment in International Development.” Third World Quarterly 30:2, 285–300.
Friedman, Elisabeth Jay. 2006. “Bringing Women to International Human Rights.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 18, 479–484.
Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko, Lawson-Remer, Terra and Randolph, Susan. 2009. “An Index of Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment: Concept and Methodology.” Journal of Human Rights 8:3, 195–221.
Green, Maria. 2001. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Indicators: Current Approaches to Human Rights Measurement.” Human Rights Quarterly 23:4, 1062–1097.
Grewal, Inderpal. 2005. Transnational America: Feminism, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
Hawkesworth, Mary E. 2006. Globalization and Feminist Activism. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Hertel, Shareen and Minkler, Lanse, eds. 2007. Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement, and Policy Issues. Cambridge University Press.
hooks, bell. 1984. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Boston: South End Press.
Howard, Patricia L. 2002. “Beyond the ‘Grim Resisters’: Towards More Effective Gender Mainstreaming through Stakeholder Participation.”Development in Practice 12:2, 164–176.
Howard-Hassmann, Rhoda E. 2011. “Universal Human Rights Since 1970: The Centrality of Autonomy and Agency.” Journal of Human Rights 10:4, 433–449.
Jackson, Cecile. 2002. “Disciplining Gender?”World Development 30:3, 497–509.
Jahan, Rounaq. 1995. “The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development.” In Leonard, Ann and Chen, Martha, eds., Seeds 2: Supporting Women’s Work Around the World. New York: The Feminist Press, pp. 214–218.
Jauhola, Marjaana. 2010. “Building Back Better? – Negotiating Normative Boundaries of Gender Mainstreaming and Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Indonesia.” Review of International Studies 36, 29–50.
Joachim, Jutta. 2010. “Women’s Rights as Human Rights.” In Robert E. Denemark, ed., The International Studies Encyclopedia, Vol. ix. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, pp. 7570–7589.
Kabeer, N. 1999. “Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections On the Measurement of Women’s Empowerment.” Development and Change 30, 435–464.
Kabeer, N. 2005. “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Critical Analysis of the Third Millennium Development Goal 1.” Gender & Development 13:1, 13–24.
Kapur, Ratna. 2005. Erotic Justice: Law and the Politics of Postcolonialism. London: Glasshouse Press.
Kardam, Nüket. 2004. “The Emerging Global Gender Equality Regime from Neoliberal and Constructivist Perspectives in International Relations.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 6:1, 85–109.
Kenworthy, Lane and Malami, Melissa. 1999. “Gender Inequality in Political Representation: A Worldwide Comparative Analysis.” Social Forces 78:1, 235–269.
Kinsella, Helen. 2003. “For a Careful Reading: The Conservatism of Gender Constructivism.” Review of International Studies 5, 287–302.
Kouvo, Sari. 2005. “The United Nations and Gender Mainstreaming: Limits and Possibilities.” In Doris Buss and Ambreena Manji, eds., International Law: Modern Feminist Approaches. Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing, pp. 237–252.
Krishnan, Suneeta, Rocca, Corinne H., Hubbard, Alan E., Subbiah, Kalyani, Edmeades, Jeffrey and Padian, Nancy S. 2010. “Do Changes in Spousal Employment Status Lead to Domestic Violence? Insights From a Prospective Study in Bangalore, India.” Social Science and Medicine 70, 136–143.
Krook, Mona Lena and True, Jacqui. 2010. “Rethinking the Life Cycles of International Norms: The United Nations and the Global Promotion of Gender Equality.” European Journal of International Relations 18:1, 103–127.
Kuokkanen, Rauna. 2012. “Self-Determination and Indigenous Women’s Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights.” Human Rights Quarterly 34, 225–250.
Lambert, Caroline. 2004. “Partial Sites and Partial Sightings: Women and the UN Treaty System.” In Sharon Pickering and Caroline Lambert, eds., Global Issues, Women and Justice. Sydney Institute of Criminology, pp. 136–178.
Landman, Todd. 2004. “Measuring Human Rights: Principle, Practice, and Policy.” Human Rights Quarterly 26:4, 906–931.
Landman, Todd and Carvalho, Edzia. 2010. Measuring Human Rights. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Meier, Petra and Celis, Karen. 2011. “Sowing the Seeds of its Own Failure: Implementing the Concept of Gender Mainstreaming.” Social Politics 18:4, 469–489.
Mosedale, Sarah. 2005. “Assessing Women’s Empowerment: Towards a Conceptual Framework.”Journal of International Development 17:2, 243–257.
Moser, Caroline. 2005. “Has Gender Mainstreaming Failed?International Feminist Journal of Politics 7:4, 576–590.
Moser, Caroline and Moser, Annalise. 2005. “Gender Mainstreaming Since Beijing: A Review of the Success and Limitations in International Institutions.” Gender and Development 13:2, 11–22.
Nyamu-Musembi, Celestine. 2005. “Toward An Actor-Oriented Perspective on Human Rights.” In Naila Kabeer, ed., Inclusive Citizenship: Meanings and Expressions. London and New York: Zed Books, pp. 31–49.
O’Flaherty, Michael and Fisher, John. 2008. “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualising the Yogyakarta Principles.” Human Rights Law Review 8:2, 207–408.
OSAGI (Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women). 2002. Gender Mainstreaming: An Overview. New York: United Nations. Available at: .
Otto, D. 1996. “Holding Up Half the Sky, But for Whose Benefit? A Critical Analysis of the Fourth World Conference on Women.” Australian Feminist Law Journal 6, 7–28.
Parisi, Laura. 2009. “The Numbers Do(n’t) Always Add Up: Dilemmas in Using Quantitative Research Methods in Feminist IR Scholarship.” Politics and Gender 5:3, 410–419.
Parisi, Laura 2011. “Reclaiming Spaces of Resistance: Women’s Human Rights and Global Restructuring.” In Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan, eds., Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites, and Resistances, 2nd edn.. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 201–222.
Parpart, Jane. 2009. “Fine Words, Failed Policies: Gender Mainstreaming in an Insecure and Unequal World.” In Jacqueline Leckie, ed., Development in an Insecure and Gendered World: The Relevance of the Millennium Development Goals. London and Burlington: Ashgate Publishers, pp. 51–70.
Peterson, V. Spike. 1990. “Whose Rights? A Critique of the ‘Givens’ in Human Rights Discourse.” Alternatives 15:3, 303–344.
Poe, Steven C., Wendel-Blunt, Dierdre and Ho, Karl. 1997. “Global Patterns in the Achievement of Women’s Human Rights to Equality.” Human Rights Quarterly 19:4, 813–835.
Prügl, Elisabeth and Lustgarten, Audrey. 2007. “Mainstreaming Gender in International Organizations.” In Jane S. Jaquette and Gale Summerfield, eds., Women and Gender Equity in Development Theory and Practice: Institutions, Resources, and Mobilization. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, pp. 53–70.
Rounaq, Jahan. 1995. The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development. London and New York: Zed Books.
Sacchet, Teresa. 2008. “Beyond Numbers: The Impact of Gender Quotas in Latin America.” International Journal of Feminist Politics 10:3, 369–386.
Smyth, Ines. 2007. “Talking of Gender: Words and Meanings in Development Organisations.” Development in Practice 17:4–5, 582–588.
Squires, Judith. 2005. “Is Mainstreaming Transformative? Theorizing Mainstreaming in the Context of Diversity and Deliberation.” Social Politics 12:3, 366–388.
Subrahmanian, Ramya. 2007. “Making Sense of Gender in Shifting Institutional Contexts: Some Reflections on Gender Mainstreaming.” In Andrea Cornwall, Elizabeth Harrison and Ann Whiteheads, eds., Feminisms in Development: Contradictions, Contestations, and Challenges. London and New York: Zed Books, pp. 89–94.
Sullivan, Donna. 1995. “The Public/Private Distinction in International Human Rights Law.” In J. Peters and A. Wolper, eds., Women’s Rights, Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 126–134.
Tiessen, Rebecca. 2007. Everywhere/Nowhere: Gender Mainstreaming in Development Agencies. Bloomfield: Kumarian Press.
True, Jacqui. 2009. “Gender Mainstreaming in International Institutions.” In L.J. Shepherd, ed., Gender Matters in Global Politics. New York: Routledge, pp. 189–203.
True, Jacqui and Parisi, Laura. 2013. “Gender Mainstreaming Strategies in International Governance.” In Caglar, Gülay, Prügl, Elisabeth and Zwingel, Susanne, eds., Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 37–56.
Unterhalter, Elaine and North, Amy. 2011. “Girls’ Schooling, Gender Equity, and the Global Education and Development Agenda: Conceptual Disconnections, Political Struggles, and the Difficulties of Practice.” Feminist Formation 23:3, 1–22.
Walby, Sylvia. 2005. “Gender Mainstreaming: Productive Tensions in Theory and Practice.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State, and Society 12:3, 321–343.
Wallace, Tina. 1998. “Institutionalizing Gender in UK NGOs.”Development in Practice 8:2, 159–172.
Waylen, Georgina. 2008. “Transforming Global Governance: Challenges and Opportunities.” In Shirin M. Rai and Georgina Waylen, eds., Global Governance: Feminist Perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 254–275.
West, Lois. 1999. “The United Nations Women’s Conferences and Feminist Politics.” In Meyer, Mary K. and Prügl, Elisabeth, eds., Gender Politics in Global Governance. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 177–193.
WHO (World Health Organization). 2012. “Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 100,00 live births).” Available at: (accessed May 15, 2012).
Zalewski, Marysia. 2010. “‘I Don’t Even Know What Gender Is’: A Discussion of the Connections Between Gender, Gender Mainstreaming and Feminist Theory.” Review of International Studies 36, 3–27.