Gender mainstreaming: Views of a post-Beijing feminist
London : Palgrave Macmillan UK
InHarcourt, W. (ed.), The Palgrave handbook of gender and development: Critical engagements in feminist theory and practice, pp. 117-131
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Harcourt, W. (ed.), The Palgrave handbook of gender and development: Critical engagements in feminist theory and practice
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies; Dynamics of gender
Let me first situate myself as a post-Beijing feminist. In 1995, at the time of the Fourth World Conference on Women, I was a development studies student in a Dutch university. I remember the term ‘gender mainstreaming’ being introduced in one of the lectures, and what I remember mostly is that I did not really get what it was about. It was only 13 or 14 years later that I actively engaged with its theory, its history and its practice. By then, the notion of away-streaming had become fully mainstream terminology, and much of the theoretical and practical debates focused on how gender mainstreaming had failed to bring the transformation it had promised. I am recalling this personal history to situate my own position in the understanding of gender mainstreaming. I am not of the Beijing generation, therefore my engagement with gender mainstreaming has been a reconstruction exercise; over the past seven years or so, as I have tried to understand the context in which gender mainstreaming was launched, and the high expectations of as well as the disappointments in it. In this effort I have mostly been inspired, rather than disappointed or frustrated. Maybe it is because I have not lived the highs of the global get-together of women in the mid-1990s, that I also have not lived the disappointment in the same way as some of the Beijing generation. That does not mean that I do not recognize the critiques and the frustrations.
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