Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality

Addressing gender equality is key for successfully achieving sustainable development outcomes and creating a more equal world. Gender equality mainstreaming is the process or means by which unequal conditions are addressed to achieve the goal of gender equality. This means ensuring a gender lens is applied to all organizational and programmatic activities, including a focus on promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

The Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality offer a common set of standards that enables international development and humanitarian response organizations to establish collective benchmarks and develop transferable practices and skill sets across all technical sectors. The intended outcomes of these minimum standards are that organizations will:

  1. share a common understanding of foundational steps required to become “gender aware,” and
  2. be able to identify a pathway for gender mainstreaming that promotes gender-responsive and, ultimately, gender-transformative programming.

The standards are the result of a collaborative research and consultative process built upon a global movement of evidence and practice, and led by many of the field’s foremost experts on gender mainstreaming in international contexts. These standards should be clear enough to set a minimum level of quality, but broad enough to allow each agency to define what is appropriate for their organizational and programmatic context.


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