L'art pour l'art. Gendermainstreaming in België


  • Petra Meier
  • Karen Celis


Petra Meier and Karen Celis L’art pour l’art? Gender mainstreaming in Belgium From the outset, there were high expectations about gender mainstreaming and the possibilities it raised for achieving gender equality. A decade after the introduction of gender mainstreaming, scepticism about gender mainstreaming as an effective policy strategy for gender equality is vast. Analyzing several operationalizations of gender mainstreaming at the respective policy levels in Belgium, the article focuses on the basic assumptions of the concept regarding policy as intentional and rational in process and outcome in explaining why in practice gender mainstreaming often turns into a formalistic exercise of measuring, monitoring and evaluating. The argument of the paper is that the lack of a definition of the aim of gender main streaming (i.e. gender equality) combined with its focus on implementing procedures in assumed rational policy processes, allows for gender mainstreaming to be watered down to a formalistic exercise of creating specific output using gender mainstreaming instruments whereby losing sight of substantive outcome in terms of enhancing gender equality.