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Gender mainstreaming in the European Union: broadening the possibilities for gender equality and/or an inherently constrained exercise?

O'Connor, Julia S (2014) Gender mainstreaming in the European Union: broadening the possibilities for gender equality and/or an inherently constrained exercise? Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 30 (1). pp. 69-78. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21699763.2014.888012

DOI: 10.1080/21699763.2014.888012

Abstract

The European Union (EU) was an influential voice in advocating the adoption of gendermainstreaming by the 4th United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing in1995. Since then gender mainstreaming has become a central policy plank of genderjustice globally, but progress has been variable and modest. This paper examines theunfolding of gender mainstreaming in the EU, which was one of the early adopters asreflected by its commitment to gender mainstreaming in 1996. The objective is toidentify patterns that may have implications for gender justice on a broader scale. Thelenses are the European Employment Strategy dating from 1997 and targeted genderequality initiatives dating from the Community Framework on Gender Equality(2001–2005). Drawing on documentary analysis of these sources constraints onmoving form aspiration to policy practice and outcome are identified. These areintensified by the multilevel structure of decision-making in the EU, which meansthat commitments agreed at the EU level are not pursed with the same fervour by allmember states. But constraints are inherent in gender mainstreaming because of thecontested and vague nature of the concept, the context of cross-cutting inequalitiesand the structural basis of these inequalities.Keywords: gender; EU; European employment strategy; gender mainstreaming

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:29727
Deposited By: Professor Julia S O'Connor
Deposited On:24 Jun 2014 08:05
Last Modified:24 Jun 2014 08:05

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