Gender Mainstreaming in Canada Essays

Gender Mainstreaming in Canada Essays

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Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Platform of Action which specifies the mainstreaming of gender into programs, into policy processes, and into decision making in order to achieve gender equality. Since the adoption of the Platform of Action at the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, gender mainstreaming has gained wider acceptance among governments and other stakeholders (Woodward, 2008). The aim of gender mainstreaming is to ensure that gender components are considered in all sectors that affect the society (Status of Women Canada, 2007).
It has been argued that gender mainstreaming is a potent approach that can transform how public policies are made by challenging existing policy paradigms and setting new policy priorities (Woodward, 2008). However, there has been a lack of evidence to support that gender mainstreaming exist in Canada. Therefore, whether Canada’s gender equality approach is gender mainstreaming or not is open for discussion. This discussion paper examines this issue by exploring the gender equality approaches adopted by Government of Canada. The challenges of implementing gender mainstreaming are highlighted, and finally recommendations are made.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) defines gender mainstreaming as: “a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as of men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality" (ECOSOC, 1997).
The Status of Women Canada defines gender ba...

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...he Government of Canada’s gender equality approach has been unable to interrogate already accepted analytical starting points (Paterson, 2010). The approach operates in a system of technology of rule, so there is no way the impact of the institutional structures can be separated from the policy outcomes. In this regard, gender equality analysis has become the government’s technology of rule (Prugl 2011).
Summary and Recommendations
To actualise gender mainstreaming, there is need to reposition the current gender equality approach from being a policy tool to an integrative approach that can change the institutional structures. The current gender equality approaches in Canada lack the potential of changing the current institutional practices. The current equality policy mix is a mainstreaming of gender based analysis and not gender mainstreaming (McNutt, 2010).

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