(Re-)Gendering Integration: Unintentional and Unanticipated Gender Outcomes of European Union Policy


MacRae, Heather. 2013. “(Re-)Gendering Integration: Unintentional and Unanticipated Gender Outcomes of European Union Policy.” Women’s Studies International Forum 39 (July): 3–11. 

Author: Heather MacRae


Equality between men and women has been a central tenet of the European Union institutions since their beginnings. However, the gender project has been wrought with difficulties. As this special issue highlights, there are fundamental contradictions in approaches to gender equality both within and among policies which contribute to unintentional gendered outcomes. This introductory article has two aims. First, it is intended as a means of setting up and contextualizing the articles in this special issue. Second, this article seeks to highlight and evaluate existing strategies of gender mainstreaming as well as some of the less well-known tools of gender equality which are available to policy makers. The difficulties with gender mainstreaming suggest that these tools may be incompatible with the overall project of European integration. In particular, it is noted that if the gender project is not adequately entrenched, neo-liberal policies can produce and reproduce new gender inequalities, thus rendering mainstreaming efforts not only ineffective, but even counterproductive. While neither this article nor the special issue as a whole can offer specific conclusions about best practices, we hope that this issue will add to the dialogue on how to best ensure gender equality in the EU.

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, International Organizations Regions: Europe

Year: 2013

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