Gender Mainstreaming in PCM

1. Description

Gender mainstreaming is the integration of the gender perspective into every stage of policy processes – design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – with a view to promoting equality between women and men. It means assessing how policies impact on the life and position of both women and men – and taking responsibility to re-address them if necessary. This is the way to make gender equality a concrete reality in the lives of women and men creating space for everyone within the organizations as well as in communities - to contribute to the process of articulating a shared vision of sustainable human development and translating it into reality. 

The project approach is a specific aid modality consisting of a series of activities aimed at bringing about clearly defined objectives and results within a given time period and with a specified budget.

Gender mainstreaming in the project approach means that objectives and results are defined is such a way that aspirations, wishes and needs of women and men are equally valued and favoured through the project activities. Projects with a gender perspective contribute to the achievement of the policy goals of partner governments and the EC regarding women’s rights and gender equality.

A development project is a way of clearly defining and managing investments and change processes. Gender blind projects can change in a negative or positive way the existing gender relations; however they do not render accounts of the differentiated effects and impact on the lives of men and women, boys and girls.

A project should also have:

  • - Clearly identified stakeholders including the primary target group and the final beneficiaries. A gender sensitive project identifies gender aware stakeholders and gender specific target groups and beneficiaries;
  • - Clearly defined coordination, management and financing arrangements. In a gender sensitive project, these arrangements include equal opportunity policies, gender balanced human resource management, and gender budget initiatives;
  • - A monitoring and evaluation system (to support performance management). In a gender sensitive project this includes gender-disaggregated data collection and gender performance indicators; and
  • - An appropriate level of financial and economic analysis, which indicates that the project’s benefits will exceed its costs. In a gender sensitive project this includes gender budget analysis.

2. Practical example of implementation

Nicaragua: Mainstreaming gender equality in Security Sector Reform (SSR)

Culture and customs are often mentioned as obstacles for change, especially for gender mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform. Karin Grimm from the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) explained during the workshop on ‘Gender, Peace, Security and Development’ (Brussels, 2009) that culture is changeable and often the best vehicle for SSR-transformations. One of the challenges in most post-conflict countries is to address the increased sexual and domestic violence against women. In the post-conflict situation in Nicaragua a model was developped to mainstream gender equality in police reform.

In Nicaragua police reform in 1993 resulted in the successful formula of Commissioners of Women and Children. These commissioners are spread all over the country to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence, and to protect and support survivors with a range of healing and empowering services such as juridical, medical and psychosocial assistance.

The modernization of the Nicaraguan police force resulted not only in the creation of these commissioners, but also in a range of initiatives that brought great changes in the Nicaraguan police. These broad gender reforms took place in the 1990s, following the pressure from Nicaraguans women’s movement and from police women themselves. As a result:

  • women’s policy stations were created, providing special attention to women and children victims of violence
  • the recruitment criteria were renewed, adapting the height and physical exercise requirements to feminine applicants
  • trainings on GBV were introduced at the police academies
  • a Gender Advisory Board (Consejo Consultivo de Genero) was established for the analysis and the discussion of the working conditions of female officers
  • Aminta Granera was appointed as Chief of the National Police in Nicargua in 2006, the first women to be Chief of the Police in Latin America.

This reform had a great impact on the Nicaraguan Police, which has the highest proportion of female officers in the world. The Nicaraguan police has developed many successful initiatives to address sexual and domestic violence and has gained much credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the population.

3. EU Policy documents on this issue

Toolkit on Mainstreaming Gender Equality in EC Development Cooperation (2009)

Briefing Note on Gender Budgeting

4. Articles

Good Practice from Chile: Gender in Management Improvement Programme (June 2009)

How to mainstream a gender perspective in the state apparatus as cross-cutting issue throughout the system?

This is one of the mayor challenges faced by governmental Institutions in charge of promoting women’s rights and gender equality in different countries. In Chile the national Women’s Machinery has been institutionally strengthened to keep management of all Public Services and Ministries accountable on gender issues.

Management Improvement Programme (PMG)

The National Service of Women (SERNAM by its Spanish abbreviation) in Chili has integrated a gender perspective through the process of reforms for the Modernization of the State. This reform has been promoted by the Ministry of Finance who has designed an innovative Programme to Improve Management (PMG by its Spanish abbreviation), which includes a range of changes in management in the areas of:

i) Human resources

ii) quality of service delivery to users

iii) planning and control of land management

iv) financial administration.

The accomplishment of the results pursued in these areas is linked to economic incentives for the officials in charge of implementing these changes in each of the Public Services and Ministries.

Gender Focus in PMG

SERNAM negotiated with the Ministry of Finance and achieved to add a fifth area – the Gender PMG - related to the inclusion of a gender perspective in this management reform programme

(PMG). This means that all public services and ministries are obliged to show their commitment regarding the incorporating of gender at institutional level with measures and actions planned on annual basis. Moreover, it is SERNAM itself who is certifying whether gender issues have been addressed in the different public services and Ministries.

In fact, there have been several cases where SERNAM did not approve the gender dimension of the PMG. As a result these services didn’t receive their incentives.

New role SERNAM

For this new role in the state apparatus, SERNAM counts with a Council of Ministers for Equality (political body) plus a technical advisory board. It was also institutionally equipped for approving and certifying whether or not a Ministry or Public Service has accomplished its Gender PMG.

The way forward

For SERNAM, working with the Ministry of Finance on the Gender PMG has been a qualitative step forward both regarding institutional development of Women’s Machinery and gender mainstreaming in Ministries and Public Services. Nevertheless, to enhance progress of the agenda of gender equality and women rights, not only management should address gender issues, but also comprehensive sector commitments are needed, as well as gender responsive programming and policies of each Public Service or Ministry.

Valeria AMBROSIO, Independent Consultant, Chili


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A Gateway to Gender-Related Impact Evaluations

A new interesting source of examples and lessons leadned from World Bank: EnGENDER IMPACT


A Gateway to Gender-Related Impact Evaluations

A new interesting source of examples and lessons leadned from World Bank: EnGENDER IMPACT

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last update
19 September 2019

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