Volume 20, Number 3, November 2012
Gender mainstreaming as an approach came out of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China, in 1995, where activists successfully lobbied the world’s governments to make a dramatic commitment to the way they approach gender justice and women’s rights. Today, many feel that gender mainstreaming has become anodyne, mechanical and depoliticised, and lacks the strength and revolutionary power to support women in poverty to respond to assaults on their rights at this time of complex crisis. This issue highlights the progress and the challenges of gender mainstreaming in international NGOs in widely varying contexts across the world, and the impact that this has had on the lives of women on the ground, their dependents and their communities.
In this issue, gender and development policymakers, practitioners, and feminist activists debate the progress of gender mainstreaming in development institutions and the state. The articles here come out of the Beyond Gender Mainstreaming Learning Project convened during 2011 and 2012 by Gender & Development and the UK Gender and Development Network - a network of UK-based international NGOs - which involved around 200 women and men from the global South and North.