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Gender mainstreaming vs positive action : an ongoing conflict in EU gender equality policy

[journal article]

Stratigaki, Maria

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Abstract This article examines the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy in the EU by illustrating how this strategy was shaped by other than gender equality policy goals. Gender mainstreaming was originally launched in 1996 to promote gender equality in all EU policies, in the context of international and European mobilization on women's issues. It was aimed to transform mainstream policies by introducing a gender equality perspective. However, it has been largely used as an alibi for neutralizing positive action. The successful implementation of positive action in political decision-making had challenged the gender distribution of political power over policy institutions and technical, human and financial resources. This led to policy softening and institutional weakening due to counteracting by the EU political and administrative hierarchies. The argument is based on text analyses of relevant Community acts and on direct observations of the policy process, based on personal working experiences in the European Commission
Keywords gender mainstreaming; EU; affirmative action; women's policy
Classification European Politics; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Free Keywords European Commission; gender equality policies; positive action; women in political decision-making
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 165-186
Journal European Journal of Women's Studies, 12 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)