Gender mainstreaming has been embraced internationally as a strategy towards realizing gender equality. Gender mainstreaming has a double dimension: it requires both integrating a gender perspective to the content of the different policies, and addressing the issue of representation of women and men in the given policy area. Both dimensions – gender representation and gender responsive content - need to be taken into consideration in all phases of the policymaking process.
Equality between women and men is recognized by the EU as a fundamental right, a common value of the EU, and a necessary condition for the achievement of the EU objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion. Since 1996, the Commission committed itself to a “dual approach‟ towards realizing gender equality. This approach involves mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies, while also implementing specific measures to eliminate, prevent or remedy gender inequalities. Both approaches go hand in hand, and one cannot replace the other. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM Committee) is the main body in charge of promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming in all the EP‟s policy and legislative processes. Click here to access the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on gender mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament for 2015.