14 Pages

Gender Mainstreaming in Practice: The United Nations Transitional Assistance Group in Namibia

WithLouise Olsson

The process of developing a policy for gender-adapted, or mamstreamed, multidimensional peacekeeping operations has been erratic in the UN. However, in 1989, the UN operation in Namibia, United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG), had already started to develop 136practices for gender mainstreaming of the civilian sector of the operation. UNTAG's civilian component was fairly gender balanced and some of the UN civilian staff were adapting their work in order to reach both women and men in the Namibian population. This contribution discusses the lessons that could have been learned about gender mainstreaming in the Namibian case and on which a contemporary UN gender mainstreaming policy could have been based. This concerns methods of increasing female UN staff, mobilizing local women to vote, incorporation of issues of equality in the constitution, and the importance of leadership in enhancing equality and equity.