Gender mainstreaming in the Danish international development agency (Danida) - a panacea for development?

Diana Højlund Madsen

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In 1995 with the Beijing Platform for Action (BFA), gender mainstreaming was adopted as the main strategy guiding development work – also for Danida (Danish Development Assistance). However, after more than twenty years, few results of gender mainstreaming can be identified. Combining theoretical insights from the feminist literature on gender mainstreaming and the new institutionalist turn, the gendered institutional structures inside Danida are analysed and the ‘black-box’ within which processes of gender mainstreaming take place opened up. It is argued that despite of the introduction of a new strategic framework or changes at the formal level, the underlying informal institutional barriers in Danida are not being addressed – the organisational culture is characterised by a widespread gender (mainstreaming) fatigue and negative personal attitudes towards gender issues (by some), and the same institutional barriers can be identified over time indicating that very little learning actually takes place. The solutions proposed seem to be more of the same – new gender equality strategies / frameworks and the development of new tools for gender mainstreaming; a somewhat ‘technical’ stance on gender mainstreaming which seems to have lost its political edge in translation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherFREIA - Center for Kønsforskning, Institut for Kultur og Globale Studier, Aalborg Universitet
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
SeriesFREIA's tekstserie

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