chapter  10
30 Pages

Gender Mainstreaming in Health: The Emperor’s New Clothes?


The concept of ‘gender mainstreaming’ evolved from attempts to improve women’s share of the gains of development in the early 1970s. In the years following the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the agenda shifted from an exclusive focus on women to ‘mainstreaming,’ or ‘integrating’ gender into the mainstream in all sectors. This was in response to the realization that the approach of the earlier decades had led to the ‘ghettoization’ of women’s projects, and to the mere addition of a few services, without fundamental changes in the way programs are formulated and service is delivered.