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ILO Action Plan on Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming
The ILO has identified gender as an issue cutting across all of its programmes and activities in the world of work. To implement this strategy, in December 1999 the Director-General of ILO issued a policy statement highlighting a strong and visible political commitment at the highest level of the Office.
The Action Plan on Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming in the ILO was submitted to the ILO Governing Body in March 2001. It provides for a participatory approach to mainstreaming for gender equality in the world of work. The Action Plan covers:
a new methodology for analysis to ensure gender concerns are incorporated in planning, programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
gender-sensitive data, amd gender-specific development tools and indicators; and
implementation of gender balance in its personnel policy and practices.
These measures aim to ensure that gender analysis and planning are introduced into all ILO activities, and at every level. They help to identify potentially different effects of the work of the ILO on women and men, and the provisions necessary to ensure that its activities have a positive influence on gender equality.
Institutionalizing Gender Mainstreaming
The Action Plan is an instrument to institutionalize gender mainstreaming as a strategy of the International Labour Office, which is the Secretariat of the ILO, to promote gender equality. It also reflects gender as an issue cutting across the strategic objectives of the ILO.
In addition, the Action Plan incorporates fundamental changes in approaches and practices with a systematic focus on both women and men.
This is through:
Gender analysis of social and labour issues by (a) looking at the complexity of gender differentials in labour market participation, (b) understanding women's and men's constraints and opportunities in relation to knowledge and skills, conditions of work, social protection, family responsibilities, and economic and political decision-making, and (c) reviewing the different implications for women and men of the proposed solutions.
Mechanisms to ensure gender concerns are incorporated into planning, programming, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating ILO's programmes and activities.
The Action Plan and the Director-General's policy statement state that gender mainstreaming is the responsibility of all staff at all levels in all area(s), especially at the Director level. The key features of the Action Plan are:
I. Director-General's policy statement on gender equality and gender mainstreaming
II. Gender mainstreaming in the structure of the International Labour Office
III. Capacity-building for staff and constituents
IV. Gender mainstreaming in the work of the ILO
V. Gender-sensitive human resources and staff policy