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[ European Commission, DG V ]

© Sept 2001

European Database: Women in Decision-Making

Gender Mainstreaming Strategies in Ireland

Background

It would be an accurate reflection to state that up until the mid-1990's Gender Mainstreaming was a little known concept outside of the circle of key actors such as the National Women's Council of Ireland, the Community Workers Co-operative and civil servants with departments that had ESF dealings. The NGO's lobbied outside of social partnership up to 1996 when they were invited in under the Community and Voluntary Pillar to negotiate and monitor progress of the Partnership 2000 programme.

Significant progress has been made in Ireland on an Action Plan for Gender Mainstreaming over very recent years. This is largely due to work progressed under Partnership 2000 and with the publication of the National Development Plan 2000-2006. Negotiations and discussions facilitated by the Equality Division of the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform, in particular, throughout 1998 and 1999 opened up the debate to those outside the circle mentioned above and put Gender Equality truly onto the agenda. This process has also been substantially informed by the following work:

  • This Time Round - Gender and the Structural Funds published by the National Women's Council of Ireland (October 1998)
  • European Commission and Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform Joint Position Paper on Equal Opportunities in the Structural Funds November 1998
  • Industry Evaluation Unit presentation paper to the Monitoring Committee for the Industry Operational programme on the Gender Dimension in the Productive Sector Activity (September 1999).
  • Equal Opportunities and the ESF Evaluation Report completed by the ESF Evaluation Unit in October 1999

Interestingly enough, a woman in senior decision-making positions initiated each of these - which is a case for gender mainstreaming in itself!

Most up-to-date information
The Equality Division of the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform provided the information below. I would like to express my gratitude to Ms Vera Kelly and Ms Lynn Craig for their support in compiling this information. They would welcome a copy of link to the finalised overview when available.

Plans for the future
The Department of Education and Science are in the process of approving a Gender Mainstreaming in Education strategy which is expected to be approved April 10th, 2001. They have agreed to supply me with a copy of this once it has been approved and I will forward this to FCZB. This will enhance the information provided here and will outline how a particular plan is put in place at departmental level. I would like to thank Ms Maureen Bohan of this Department for her support to date.


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