Adopted from Carolyn Hannan, FROM CONCEPT TO ACTION: GENDER MAINSTREAMING IN OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES  Principal Officer, Gender Mainstreaming Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, 2000 

A number of key elements for successful mainstreaming have been identified.

  • Firstly, that there has to be a clear goal to mainstream gender perspectives and attention to gender equality. Mainstreaming will not occur automatically. It is not enough to make this goal clear in overall policy documents - it must be made clear in the context of specific processes and activities and explicitly expressed in all important documents.
  • Secondly, there must be a consistent approach to mainstreaming - gender equality must be systematically mainstreamed throughout processes and interventions. It should not be attempted `here and there´ or `now and then´. It is not enough to include attention to gender equality in the so-called `soft´ sectors or in areas where it is traditionally accepted that women are involved or affected. Nor is it adequate to mainstream gender equality in one `token´ component of a programme while ignoring it in all others.
  • Thirdly, attention to gender equality should be explicit - the mainstreaming strategy should make gender equality aspects visible. There is a misconception that mainstreaming makes gender equality aspects invisible - that mainstreaming means not making issues explicit but presuming that they are an inherent part of processes and interventions without needing to be given special attention.

The not uncommon statement "You can´t see gender perspectives or track them because they are mainstreamed" is a completely incorrect standpoint. It is very important to understand that the mainstreaming strategy implies that special attention should be given to gender perspectives and the goal of promoting gender equality, and that these aspects must be explicitly treated and made very visible.

Gender mainstreaming was endorsed as a global strategy for promoting gender equality in the UN Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. 

"It is important to establish clearly from the start that gender mainstreaming is not an end in itself - but rather a means to an end. Mainstreaming is a strategy to achieve gender equality" --Carolyn Hannan

Gender Mainstreaming Programs at the ICTIDC Gender mainstreaming seek to incorporate both gender perspectives (linkages between gender and the sector areas or issues being dealt with, as ascertained through gender analysis) and pay specific attention to the goal of promoting gender equality.


Gender Mainstreaming at the workplace involves making gender perspectives, what women and men do and the resources and decision-making processes they have access to, more central to all policy development, research, advocacy, development, implementation and monitoring and financial allocations of all programs. 

In the workplace, gender-based occupational segregation is one of the most important factors contributing to inequality.

This manifests itself in two ways:

  • Horizontal segregation: the tendency of men and women to be employed in different occupations (e.g. construction workers or teachers);
  • Vertical segregation: the tendency of men and women to be employed in different positions within the same occupation or occupational group (e.g. the majority of school heads may be men while the majority of teachers are women). 

What Gender Mainstreaming Programs can we offer to your organization? 

Awareness raising and capacity building

Step-by-step sensitisation at all levels, including the building of gender analysis skills at a technical level. Working together with the Human Resources and the Gender Units of your organization we can:

  • • Provide backstopping to all GFP and directorates in the implementation of their gender action plans;
  • • Incorporate the gender policy and training in orientation of new staff;
  • • Hold regular workshops on gender, using the ICTIDC Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit and other resources;
  • • Run online part-time courses on gender using the  ICTIDC Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit;
  • • Establish forums for discussions and debate.

Performance management system

ICTIDC works in cooperation with your organization to measure performance both at an organisational and program level, as well as at an individual level. We can therefore offer tools for gender integration into new Performance Management Systems (PMS) through:

  • • Including gender equality indicators in job descriptions, contracts and performance assessments, particularly at management and senior levels that strategically influence organisational development and performance
  • • The implementation of the results of the job evaluation, as well as the upcoming skills audit.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The gender impact of results and delivery on each organization’s work could be measured through gender indicators as part of the monitoring and evaluation system. We will design with your organization both qualitative and quantitative indicators in order to keep regular, accurate and updated gender disaggregated statistics.

Methods will be provided to identify and record who is benefiting, from a gender perspective:

  •  • Gender sensitive indicators as an integral part of all key result areas at planning, project and program levels.
  • • Gender equality as a standing item on the agenda of the organizations management meetings.