The use of gender mainstreaming as a strategy to reach the Swedish gender equality goals 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.
An organisation must systematically highlight and analyse the impacts of various proposals and decisions for women and men, respectively, in order for the work to have an impact and in order to feed into the national gender equality goals. 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.
A general strategy
Thus, gender mainstreaming does not refer to a single method but rather to a general strategy aimed to structure the gender equality work.
The same strategy is used in many other countries and was adopted by the United Nations already in 1995. People’s right to gender equality had already been recognised in Swedish law for a while at that point, but following the gender mainstreaming decision, it became integrated into the regular and daily work in all policy areas. Gender equality was identified as an overarching perspective and all ministers were instructed to promote it in their respective policy areas.
To strengthen the gender mainstreaming work in municipalities, county councils, regions, county administrative boards, academia and other public domains, the Swedish government has in recent years handed out various assignments to gather experiences and develop knowledge and methods for the ongoing gender equality work.
Publication date: 9 November 2021
Last updated: 20 September 2022