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Securing acceptance for the strategy gender mainstreaming

Securing acceptance for the strategy Gender Mainstreaming

The implementation of Gender Mainstreaming (GM) lives from acceptance by staff. But it encounters many objections of the most varying kind. Even staff with a positive attitude to the goal of GM (gender equality) often have no idea how GM can be specifically and meaningfully implemented in their specialized work areas and what use it is for their work. Moreover, gender equality issues affect all people individually – as men or as women. Ensuring acceptance by staff for GM thus always inhabits an area between the specialized task and the degree to which they are personally affected.

The strategy GM does not offer any pat recipe to say which measures for ensuring acceptance should be taken as this is heavily dependent on the respective organizational culture. So it is indispensable for a sustained implementation of GM to plan proactively, i.e. anticipatorily, within the context of implementation how acceptance for gender equality-oriented change is to be ensured. Top down implementation of GM here means ensuring acceptance being perceived as an essential task for top and middle management.

There are a few building blocks that have proved useful for proactively ensuring acceptance:

Binding goals and credible communication:

A crucial starting point for ensuring acceptance in an organization is that GM should be perceived as a binding cross-sectional task. This can be achieved by, among other measures, giving it legal and organisational status, e.g. in the rules of procedure. Moreover, it is an important management task to communicate the binding nature of GM in a credible way. Possible approaches include:
  • not just putting the goal of implementing GM in abstract terms but by agreeing specific objectives. Acceptance can be more easily achieved if those involved are clear about who is to do precisely what by when.
  • managers using their function as examples, for example by personally taking part in information events or GM training.
  • managers making resources available within the context of their own competencies (in the form of time, money and staff). This will also demonstrate that GM can be taken seriously as a way of increasing quality in specialist work and that this is what is expected of staff.
  • by regularly making an issue of gender aspects in each specialist task, for instance promoting the consideration of gender as a technical standard within the context of staff interviews.
Gender data:

Good data are not only the starting point for GM and qualified consideration of the gender equality perspective in specialist work. They are also effective in making it possible to ensure acceptance for GM, since they are one of the things people can find convincing at a specialist level. With the aid of data that do not merely differentiate on the basis of biological sex but also show gender in its aspect as social gender using other means of differentiation, relevant gender-related differences in important areas of society can be illuminated.
Information on gender and GM

Clear information on what gender signifies and how the aim of gender equality can be promoted by means of the strategy GM can promote acceptance by staff; only someone who knows what she or he is letting herself or himself in for will be in favor of GM.

Information on good tools that support the implementation of GM in specific specialist tasks is especially important. The level of acceptance in the application of tools is especially high among staff if the tools have been developed in relation to actors and in a participatory process and link into existing routines and procedural rules.
Information may be offered to staff in various forms, such as via the intranet, in internal publications or at information events.

Training and consultancy

Training as a building block for the implementation of GM is an important element in achieving acceptance. As well as making staff aware of gender relations and (potentially) discriminatory structures, training courses can be used to communicate the necessary knowledge to enable GM to be implemented in each staff member’s own area of duties and, for example, for applying existing tools. A high level of practical relevance for staff members’ own duties and work topics is a crucial quality criterion here for ensuring acceptance. Only when staff know how their own work can be structured in a way that is oriented to gender equality can GM cease to be just an abstract objective.
Consultancy is a particularly effective way of clearing up existing uncertainty and supporting practical implementation of GM in specialist work by example. It can thus contribute to ensuring acceptance, at least by those members of staff who are able to take advantage of the service.

Good examples:

To ensure acceptance by staff it is important to emphasize what will be gained for their own work from the implementation of GM. Using specific examples from specialist work areas, it can be demonstrated how successful implementation of GM can improve the quality of work. “Best practice” can thus persuade and motivate even those people who have hitherto known little about GM.

These examples are frequently especially convincing if they relate, for example, to pilot projects in their own organization. By means of such examples, it becomes particularly clear that GM is “doable” in their organization as well and, as a best case, productive competitive thinking is stimulated.

Further reading

erstellt von Administrator zuletzt verändert: 02.01.2010 20:07