Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GENDER MAINSTREAMING AND GOOD GOVERNANCE 2/9


2.1. Gender Mainstreaming as the Main Strategy to Achieve Equality 

In Sweden, gender mainstreaming is seen as the main strategy for achieving targets within equality policy. In recent years, to strengthen the gender mainstreaming work in municipalities, county councils, regions, county administrative boards, academia and other public domains, the Swedish government has handed out various assignments gathering experiences and developing knowledge and methods for the ongoing gender equality work. The use of gender mainstreaming as a strategy to reach the goals declared for Swedish gender equality policy dates back to 1994. According to the strategy, gender equality work must be integrated into the regular operations and not merely be dealt with as a separate, parallel track. For the work to have an impact and in order to reach the national gender equality goals, the organisation must systematically highlight and analyse the impacts of various proposals and decisions for women and men, respectively. The resulting knowledge shall in a next stage inform the design of the planning, implementation, follow-up and development at all levels of all public operations.4

2.1.1. The Gender Equality Agency 
The Swedish Government has commissioned the Gender Equality Agency to support 58 government agencies and one organisation with the work of integrating a gender perspective in all of their operations, in the context of the so-called “Gender Mainstreaming in Government Agencies (GMGA) programme”. Up until January 2018 the assignment was commissioned to the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research.

The support provided by the Gender Equality Agency to the government agencies is offered in both the planning and implementation phases of the agencies’ development work. The programme includes, in particular, training activities, identifying and disseminating best practices and documenting the results of the agencies’ work.6

2.1.2. The Equality Ombudsman
 The Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO) is a government agency combatting discrimination and protecting equal rights and opportunities for everyone. The Equality Ombudsman reviews gender equality situations related, for example, to workplaces or educational institutions and oversees their compliance with the Discrimination Act which prohibits discrimination related to gender, transgender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability or age. 

2.1.3. The Minister for Gender Equality 
Within the Swedish Government, the Minister for Gender Equality is ultimately responsible for gender equality issues. On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018, Lena Hallengren was appointed as the new Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality of Sweden. A new minister was needed, as on 7 March 2018, the United Nations SecretaryGeneral António Guterres appointed Ăsa Regnér, the previous Swedish Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, as Deputy Executive Director of UN Women with
responsibility for intergovernmental relations and strategic partnerships, as well as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2.1.4. A Feminist Government 
On its website, the Swedish Government presents itself as “the first feminist government in the world”. The Government also highlights that gender equality is central to its priorities, both in decision-making and resource allocation: “A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice. Gender equality is also part of the solution to society’s challenges and a matter of course in a modern welfare state – for justice and economic development. The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming, of which genderresponsive budgeting is an important component.”

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2018/604958/IPOL_IDA(2018)604958_EN.pdf

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