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

Julia S O'Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    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
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages69-78
    JournalJournal of International and Comparative Social Policy
    Volume30
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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

    Vol. 30, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 69-78.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - 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

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