Although developmental work on gender mainstreaming in labour statistics had been carried out for over 10 years in national statistical institutes and in the ILO as part of its mandate to promote equality between women and men and in the context of its Action Plan on Gender Equality and Mainstreaming, the topic of gender mainstreaming was only first discussed at the Seventeenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 2003. The Conference welcomed it with unexpected enthusiasm, acknowledging the global and growing recognition of the importance of mainstreaming gender in labour statistics, and strongly recommended that gender mainstreaming should permeate the entire national statistical system in each country, from the design of the statistical instruments through to the dissemination of the statistics.