As ETUC confirmed in its Charter on gender mainstreaming, which was adopted at its 11th Statutory Congress in Seville in May 2007, gender mainstreaming is an essential element of democracy in the workplace and society as a whole.
Through this charter, ETUC and its affiliates confirmed their commitment to pursue gender equality as part of their broader agenda for social justice, social progress and sustainability in Europe. Therefore, they will adopt a gender mainstreaming approach as an indispensable and integral element of all of their actions and activities.
ETUC and its affiliates recognise that gender mainstreaming regards women as well as men.
Definitions and key elements
The following definitions of gender mainstreaming have been adopted by the EU trade union movement:
- Gender mainstreaming is the organisation and reorganisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, such that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policymaking (Council of Europe, 1998).
- This involves not restricting efforts to promote equality to the implementation of specific measures to help women, but mobilising all general policies and measures specifically for the purpose of achieving equality, by actively and openly taking into account at the planning stage their possible effects on the respective situations of men and women (gender perspective). This means systematically examining measures and policies and taking into account such possible effects when defining and implementing them (European Commission, 1996)
- Gender mainstreaming associates itself with equal visibility, empowerment and participation of men and women in public and private life. Women’s priorities and needs should be accorded equal respect with those of men. Men are a ‘gender’ too, and an integral part of a gender approach. They are thus required, alongside women, to adapt their behaviour in order to reach gender equality.