Gender mainstreaming, a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality, has become again an active topic during this week’s Parliamentary Session. The European Parliament adopted its first plenary resolution on gender mainstreaming in 2003.
The EU recognises gender equality as a fundamental right, a common value of the EU and a necessary condition for the Union to achieve its objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion.
The European Parliament plays a significant role in supporting equal opportunity policies, in particular through its Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), who draws up a biannual report on gender.
FEMM also chairs and coordinates the Gender Mainstreaming Network, set up in 2009, which comprises of an MEP and an administrator from each parlamentary committee, as well as two representatives from the Conference of Delegations Chairs, appointed to bring gender mainstreaming into the work of their committees and delegations.
Mainstreaming is not an end in itself but a strategy, an approach, a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. Mainstreaming ensures that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities: the preparation, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, regulatory measures and spending programmes. Gender mainstreaming is a continuous process, supported by systematic efforts to integrate gender at all levels, in all areas and into all stages of policymaking and implementation processes.
Gender equality contributes to a more comprehensive debate and better decision-making as it brings an all-inclusive points of view to the table.
Written by Marta Guillén Martínez – Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She holds a Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Alicante, Spain and she did her European Voluntary Service on communication and european youth mobility in Milan, Italy. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English and Italian.