In 1995 at the UN International Conference on Women in Beijing, gender mainstreaming was agreed as the international strategy for achieving gender equality and women’s rights. Today, most development organisations engage in some form of gender mainstreaming - with activities to promote greater equality through mainstream policy and spending (“gender mainstreaming”) complementing targeted initiatives to promote women’s rights.
The GADN Gender Mainstreaming working group has released a briefing ''Untangling gender mainstreaming: a Theory of change based on experience and reflection'' which explores the concept and its practicalities. It draws on learning from staff with responsibility for gender mainstreaming in nine UK based international Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and their Southern based partner organisations; wider discussions with GADN members and women’s rights activists; as well as the personal experiences and reflections of the authors. It elaborates a Theory of Change setting out the component parts of gender mainstreaming, how these relate to each other, and how they collectively contribute towards the wider goal of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.