Girl Power and Gender Mainstreaming: Looking for Peace in New Places through an EU Lens


Mushaben, Joyce Marie. 2003. “Girl Power and Gender Mainstreaming: Looking for Peace in New Places Through an EU Lens.” Paper presented at the 8th Annual Biennial International Conference of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), Nashville, March 27-29.

Author: Joyce Marie Mushaben


For most EU members, Old Europe died as a consequence of processes linked to French–German reconciliation, détente with the Warsaw Pact states, the decline of ultranationalism, and the onset of nuclear disarmament. They have embraced a concept of peace implying much more than “the absence of war.” The United States still has much to learn about peace, as illustrated by women-driven policies in both the European Union and Germany. Adopted at the UN Beijing Conference as well as by the EU in 1995, gender mainstreaming is reshaping “sustainable peace” policies at the supranational and national levels. The author profiles German efforts to operationalize “Beijing norms” under a Red-Green coalition, driven by a critical mass of female ministers between 1998 and 2002; the activities of Heidi Wieczorek Zeul (Development and Economic Assistance) reveal that the application of gender mainstreaming, officially adopted by the European Union in 1995, creates new opportunities for advancing equality policies at the national level in heretofore impervious domains, for example, in relation to foreign policies, economic development, and immigration policies.

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacebuilding Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2003

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