Gender mainstreaming challenges androcentric institutions and transforms public policies to promote gender equality. Public institutions and the processes that give rise to public policies are usually thought of as being gender-neutral: it is thought that there are no inequalities or inequities in how they are designed or planned. However, any activity can be gender-biased. Gender mainstreaming highlights these inequalities, promotes gender equality, and prevents these barriers and inequities from remaining in place or becoming more entrenched.
Preparing and designing public policies with a gender perspective is essential in the 21st century. However, doing so is a challenge. The Gender Mainstreaming Manual was created in response to this state of affairs, to serve as a guide for decision-makers within government bodies.
This guide is intended to support new experiences in these areas that are seeking to design programs and policies from a gender perspective and approach this process in an integrated fashion.
This is important because gender mainstreaming affects every stage in the process of creating public policies. The aim of this guide is to facilitate the process of implementing a gender perspective by making a series of tools available to those who need them.
To achieve this, it is divided into three sections. The first provides a definition of gender mainstreaming and a justification of the gender approach. It includes references to the regulatory framework and the strategic planning guidelines set out in the programs created by the Ministry of Women, Gender, and Diversity. The second part is organized around the stages of the public policy cycle, which it breaks down to provide guidance on gender mainstreaming. The third part puts forward a series of management tools that may be helpful for implementing different aspects of budget and information management and analyzing public policies.
The public policy cycle model
The manual focuses on four aspects of the public policy cycle. The first concerns the preparation process within the institution or area. This includes training the people who will take part in the mainstreaming process and carrying out an in-house diagnostic exercise that aims to improve institutional and organizational readiness. The second stage is designing the public policy. The manual provides tools for analyzing the policy that will be mainstreamed, improving it, and modifying it to enhance the positive impacts that seek to close gaps in gender equality. The third stage is implementation, and the fourth and final stage is the evaluation and monitoring of the actions implemented to learn from experience, design improvements, and replicate them by perfecting the procedure.