United Nations

E/1997/66


Economic and Social Council

 Distr. GENERAL
12 June 1997
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


Substantive session of 1997
Geneva, 30 June-25 July 1997
Item 4 (a) of the provisional agenda*

     * E/1997/100.


        COORDINATION OF THE POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SPECIALIZED
            AGENCIES AND OTHER BODIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM

            Mainstreaming the gender perspective into all policies
                  and programmes in the United Nations system

                        Report of the Secretary-General

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     SUMMARY

      The present report responds to Economic and Social Council
decision 1996/310, in which the Council decided to devote the
coordination segment of its substantive session of 1997 to
consideration of the cross-sectoral theme "Mainstreaming the gender
perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations
system".  The report addresses issues of mainstreaming by
intergovernmental bodies and the United Nations system and proposes
recommendations for consideration by the Council.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                   CONTENTS

                                                           Paragraphs  Page

INTRODUCTION ..............................................    1 - 4    3

 I.  MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE AT THE
     INTERGOVERNMENTAL LEVEL ..............................    5 - 30   4

     A.  The General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies ...    6 - 11   4

     B.  The Economic and Social Council and its
         functional commissions ...........................   12 - 28   6

     C.  Regional commissions .............................   29 - 30  10

II.  MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE IN THE WORK OF THE
     UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM ................................   31 - 89  11

     A.  Institutional requirements .......................   32 - 71  11

     B.  Experience and lessons learned in gender
         mainstreaming ....................................   72 - 79  23

     C.  Integrated follow-up to global United Nations 
         conferences ......................................   80 - 84  25

     D.  Accountability for mainstreaming through the use
         of performance indicators, evaluation of progress
         in mainstreaming and impact analysis .............   85 - 89  26
     

                                 INTRODUCTION


1.   The present report has been prepared in response to Economic and
Social Council decision 1996/310, in which the Council decided that
the coordination segment of its substantive session of 1997 should be
devoted to consideration of the cross-sectoral theme "Mainstreaming
the gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United
Nations system".  The General Assembly, in its resolution 51/69,
welcomed the decision of the Council, and requested the Secretary-
General to present action-oriented recommendations to the Council on
means to enhance system-wide coordination on gender issues and to
mainstream a gender perspective throughout the United Nations system.

2.   The Commission on the Status of Women, at its forty-first session,
adopted a resolution on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all
policies and programmes in the United Nations system. 1/  The
Commission, inter alia, encouraged the Council, at its coordination
segment in 1997, to develop specific recommendations for mainstreaming
a gender perspective into all United Nations system activities and
urged the Council to specifically integrate a gender perspective into
its deliberations on economic and social issues, including the high-
level segment.

3.   The present report provides an overview and makes recommendations
relating to mainstreaming a gender perspective in a coordinated manner
at the intergovernmental level.  It points to the need to bring a
gender perspective not only into socio-economic areas and activities
falling within the responsibility of the Council and its subsidiary
bodies, but also into areas where gender issues have not or have only
infrequently been considered.  The report also briefly describes
efforts at mainstreaming by the Secretariat and the funds, programmes
and specialized agencies of the United Nations system.  Steps to
ensure that the impact of gender as a key variable is integral to
research, planning, policy-making and institutional development are
proposed, building on initial proposals before the General Assembly at
its fifty-first session 2/ and taking into account the report of the
Joint Inspection Unit entitled "The advancement of women through and
in the programmes of the United Nations system:  what happens after
the Fourth World Conference on Women?" (see A/50/509) 3/ and the note by
the Secretary-General entitled "Technical assistance and women:  from
mainstreaming towards institutional accountability" (E/CN.6/1995/6),
which was considered by the Commission on the Status of Women at its
thirty-ninth session, in 1995.

4.   Many departments, funds, programmes, specialized agencies and
other bodies of the United Nations system contributed to the
preparation of the present report.  Extensive discussions were held in
the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality, drawing upon
papers prepared by the Gender in Development (GID) Subgroup of the
Joint Consultative Group on Policy (JCGP).


                 I.  MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE AT THE
                     INTERGOVERNMENTAL LEVEL                  

5.   Discussion of women's concerns in United Nations intergovernmental
bodies has traditionally been largely confined to the Commission on
the Status of Women, the Economic and Social Council under the item
"Advancement of women", and the Third and periodically the Second
Committees of the General Assembly.  Since the Fourth World Conference
on Women, other intergovernmental bodies have also sought to implement
relevant aspects of the Platform for Action and to mainstream gender
in their areas of responsibility. 4/  The present report refers to some
of these efforts and to approaches to improving coordination.


              A.  The General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies

6.   In addition to the discussions on women and gender issues held by
the Third Committee of the General Assembly, the Second Committee of
the Assembly considers gender biennially when discussing economic
issues (see Assembly resolution 50/104).  The report of the Secretary-
General prepared in response to the Assembly's request in its
resolution 50/104 will apply a gender methodology to mainstreaming a
gender perspective.  The Second Committee has taken a gender-
sensitive approach in its examination of several other topics, for
example its mid-decade review of progress in implementing the goals of
the World Summit for Children (see Assembly resolution 51/186).

7.   The importance of addressing gender issues in formulating economic
and overall development policies grew out of extensive work which was
being undertaken with regard to women in development, and the
recognition of the limitations of a gender neutral approach for
achieving socio-economic progress.  Notably, much of the practical
experience with regard to gender mainstreaming in the United Nations
system has been gleaned from operational activities, yet the insights
gained are not generally incorporated into the Second Committee's
review of operational activities for development.  The most recent
resolution on the triennial policy review of operational activities
for development of the United Nations system (General Assembly
resolution 50/120) confined its reference to gender to the appointment
of women to senior level posts (para. 43).

8.   The Assembly has sometimes recognized gender as a factor to be
taken into account in humanitarian affairs.  At its fifty-first
session, the Assembly, on the recommendation of the Third Committee,
denounced cases of violations of the human rights of women, encouraged
the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to
strengthen its efforts for the protection of women having a well-
founded fear of persecution and called upon States to ensure that
women in such situations were recognized as refugees and to adopt a gender-
 sensitive approach (General Assembly resolution 51/75).  However,
systematic consideration of gender factors in the framework of
humanitarian assistance has yet to occur.

9.   In its examination of the United Nations medium-term plan for the
period 1998-2001, the Committee for Programme and Coordination agreed
to ensure that the mainstreaming of a gender perspective was reflected
in the individual programmes of the medium-term plan, and emphasized
the responsibility of programme managers for progress in gender
mainstreaming (A/51/16 (Part I), para. 167).  The Committee also
stressed the necessity of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the
planning and programming of all United Nations agencies (A/51/16 (Part
I), para. 169).

10.  In the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of
the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women (A/51/322), it was
noted that the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of
Mankind, prepared by the International Law Commission, addressed
situations of particular concern to women in its definition of crimes,
but attention to gender in the International Law Commission and other
main committees and subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly remains
limited and, at best, is confined to women-specific concerns.  Gender
as a factor has not been considered, for example, in the political and
security field or in the work of the First Committee of the Assembly
or its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.


                                Recommendations

11.  Recommendations relating to the General Assembly and its
subsidiary bodies are as follows:

       The Council may wish to encourage the General Assembly to
        direct all its main committees and subsidiary bodies to take
        gender factors into consideration in their work.  In
        particular, a gender perspective should be applied in the
        Second Committee's triennial policy review of operational
        activities for development of the United Nations system, and in
        the Committee's consideration of macroeconomic questions.  The
        Assembly may also be encouraged to assess gender factors
        systematically in its consideration of humanitarian assistance,
        both generally and in particular situations.

       The Committee for Programme and Coordination should ensure,
        during its forthcoming review of the programme budget for the
        biennium 1998-1999, that all programmes visibly mainstream a
        gender perspective, including through the identification of
        activities that are designed to incorporate a gender analysis.

       The Secretariat should be encouraged, when preparing reports
        relating to economic, humanitarian, peacekeeping and other
        areas, to enhance its efforts to define issues and approaches
        in a gender-sensitive manner, drawing on the expertise that
        exists within and outside the United Nations system, so as to
        provide the General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies with an
        analytical basis for gender-responsive policy formulation.

       The Council should encourage the Commission on the Status of
        Women to play a catalytic role and draw the attention of bodies
        dealing with legal matters and political and security issues,
        such as those in the area of peacekeeping, to the impact of
        gender factors on peace, conflict-resolution and related areas. 
        The consideration by the Commission in 1998 of the critical
        areas of concern "Women in armed conflict", "Violence against
        women", "Human rights of women" and "The girl child" could
        provide specific guidance in that regard.


                  B.  The Economic and Social Council and its
                      functional commissions                 

12.  Reports of the Secretary-General to the Economic and Social
Council and the General Assembly in 1996 and to the Commission on the
Status of Women in 1997 indicated that a number of the Council's
functional commissions had taken steps to follow up the Fourth World
Conference on Women.  The results of the most recent sessions of the
functional commissions with regard to gender are summarized in the
report of the Secretary-General on ways and means to enhance the
capacity of the Organization and the United Nations system to support
the ongoing follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women
(E/1997/64).

13.  The role of the Commission on the Status of Women in the three-
tiered intergovernmental mechanism with regard to women's and gender
issues and mainstreaming a gender perspective in following up the
Fourth World Conference on Women, as well as its central role in
monitoring the implementation of the Platform for Action and in
advising the Economic and Social Council thereon, were spelled out in
General Assembly resolution 50/203.  The Council, in resolution
1996/6, established the framework for the functioning of the
Commission, including its terms of reference, work programme and
working methods, and decided that the Commission should have a
catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in policies and
programmes.

14.  In resolution 50/203, the General Assembly specifically invited
all the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council to
take due account of gender aspects in their respective work.  In its
agreed conclusions 1996/1 on poverty eradication (A/51/3 (Part I),
chap. III, para. 2), the Council provided further incentive for
mainstreaming gender in the consideration of core issues within the
mandates of the commissions when it invited its functional commissions
as a follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women to consider
reviewing the gender implications of policies falling within their
competence.

15.  A harmonized approach to the follow-up to the Beijing Conference
and related agreements reached at other conferences would allow the
commissions to reinforce and complement each other's work.  They could
approach issues of common interest from different perspectives and
avoid duplicating recommendations.  Examination of an issue and its
policy implications from a gender perspective within one area should
help to inform the work of other commissions.  For example, the
Commission on Sustainable Development had available the agreed
conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women on women and the
environment to draw on in its preparations for the five-year review of
Agenda 21.  Similarly, the Commission on the Status of Women and the
Commission for Social Development could harmonize efforts on older
women in connection with the International Year of Older Persons.

16.  The extent to which gender has been taken up in the work of the
commissions may be inferred from references to gender in the outcome
of their work (resolutions, agreed conclusions), as well as from the
reports considered by them and the ensuing discussion.  There has been
an increase in "women-specific" resolutions calling for steps to
address the specific situation of women in certain areas.  Most
commissions have also recognized that where the situation of women
differs from that of men, women could experience the effects of
policies and programmes differently and that, consequently, gender
needs to be factored into the analysis of issues and situations and
into the design of policies.  This has led to the adoption of
"mainstreaming resolutions".  Several commissions have called for
mainstreaming a gender perspective in cross-cutting areas of recent
international conferences, but only a few have made technical and
focused proposals regarding the type of policy changes needed in their
respective core areas to ensure positive outcomes for women.

17.  To facilitate mainstreaming, the Secretary-General, in preparing
reports for the functional commissions and the regional commissions,
will consistently apply a gender perspective in the analysis of issues
and in the preparation of policy options, in accordance with the steps
described in the report on the implementation of the outcome of the
Fourth World Conference on Women (A/51/322), and with the measures
proposed in the Council's agreed conclusions 1996/1 on poverty
eradication.

18.  Specific issues of concern to women are sometimes addressed by
more than one commission, as well as by the Third Committee of the
General Assembly.  Examples include the issue of violence against
women (Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice, Commission on Human Rights); the
situation of the girl child (Commission on the Status of Women,
Commission on Human Rights, Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice); traffic in women and girls (Commission on Human
Rights, Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice); and violence against women migrant
workers (Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Human
Rights).  There has been some dialogue between the commissions dealing
with these issues, but there is sometimes duplication of measures
recommended.

19.  A number of commissions have called for mainstreaming a gender
perspective in poverty eradication strategies (Commission for Social
Development, Commission on Sustainable Development); in policies and
programmes related to employment (Commission for Social Development);
and in sustainable development policies (Commission on Sustainable
Development).  The Commission on Human Rights has called for
mainstreaming a gender perspective in the work of the United Nations
in the area of human rights.  The Commission on Human Settlements has
called for measures to develop gender-sensitive shelter strategies.

20.  At its twenty-eighth session, in 1995, the Commission on
Population and Development decided that gender issues should be
emphasized in its review of international migration in 1997 and health
and mortality in 1998.  At its thirtieth session, in 1997, the
Commission had before it the report of the Secretary-General on world
population monitoring, which contained a thorough analysis of gender
aspects of international migration and development.  The Commission
was also informed of the findings of a Population Division study on
sex differentials in childhood mortality, and the biological, social
and economic mechanisms that lead to excess female mortality in
childhood.  The Commission's recommendation to the Economic and Social
Council on international migration and development 5/ and its resolution
on international migration 6/ both referred to the Beijing Platform for
Action. 7/

21.  Some Commissions were focusing on gender even prior to the Fourth
World Conference on Women.  In 1995, for example, the Commission on
Science and Technology for Development created an advisory board on
gender issues to facilitate its future deliberations and follow-up
activities.

22.  In addition, the Statistical Commission has consistently
encouraged the development of statistics and indicators on women,
giving special attention to the informal sector and women's
contribution to development.  The Commission has also encouraged work
on economic accounts on women's contribution to production to
supplement the System of National Accounts, 8/ and recommended the
preparation of a draft classification for time-use activities.

23.  The Commission on Human Rights has dealt with a number of aspects
concerning the human rights of women covered by the Vienna Declaration
and Programme of Action, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action (see E/CN.4/1997/40).

24.  Broadly, commissions have stressed that gender-sensitive analysis
should be an integral part of the development and monitoring of
policies and programmes.  They have called for enhancing the
participation of women in the design of policies and programmes within
their mandate, and for empowering women, in particular through access
to productive resources, including education and training.  The
Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women has informed the
chairpersons of other functional commissions, including the Commission
on Sustainable Development and the Commission on Human Rights, of
actions taken by the Commission on the Status of Women with a view to
facilitating mainstreaming and coordination.

25.  It remains for these bodies to move beyond the adoption of
resolutions calling for gender mainstreaming and "women-specific"
resolutions to the systematic reflection of gender in the analysis of
all areas.

26.  In resolution 1996/36, the Economic and Social Council decided
that it would continue to ensure the harmonization and coordination of
the multi-year work programmes of relevant functional commissions by
promoting a clear division of labour among them and providing clear
policy guidance to them (for a tabular breakdown of the multi-year
work programmes see document E/1997/73 concerning integrated follow-up
to conferences).

27.  A coordinated work programme of the functional commissions should
be differentiated from mainstreaming a gender perspective in the work
of all functional commissions.  Coordinated work programmes are
intended to avoid duplication and overlap and to ensure that
commissions utilize their comparative advantage with regard to the
substance of an issue.  Mainstreaming constitutes a conceptual
approach to an issue and requires that a gender perspective be applied
by each commission to all issues in its coordinated work programme. 
The Economic and Social Council agreed conclusions 1996/1 on poverty
eradication provide suggestions on mainstreaming gender in relation to
that cross-cutting theme.  A report on the implementation of the
agreed conclusions, including the steps taken by the Commission on the
Status of Women, is before the Council (E/1997/58).


                                Recommendations

28.  Recommendations relating to the Economic and Social Council and
its functional commissions are as follows:

       All the functional commissions should adopt an explicit
        decision on mainstreaming a gender perspective in their work
        and, where appropriate, indicate the resources their
        secretariats might require and the modalities to carry out such
        work.  Based on the annual report of the Secretary-General on
        follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and on
        mainstreaming a gender perspective, the Council should monitor
        annually how its functional commissions and the regional
        commissions apply gender analysis to issues under
        consideration, including the integrated follow-up to the Fourth
        World Conference on Women and other global United Nations
        conferences.

       The Commission on the Status of Women may wish to use its
        standing agenda item on emerging issues and trends to provide
        input or suggestions to other functional commissions or to the
        Council in areas where they might require support and guidance
        on how to introduce a gender perspective into their work. 
        Interaction between the chairpersons of the other functional
        commissions and the chairperson of the Commission on the Status
        of Women to ensure that a gender perspective is reflected in
        all sectoral areas should be encouraged.

       In examining how its recommendations regarding gender
        mainstreaming in poverty eradication are being implemented by
        the United Nations system and by intergovernmental machinery,
        the Council may wish to establish a model for the future
        monitoring of mainstreaming efforts.

       The Council may advise functional commissions to make the
        maximum use of the work of the Commission on the Status of
        Women when monitoring the implementation of gender-related
        recommendations of conferences falling within their own mandate
        and in accordance with their multi-year work programmes.  In
        particular, the Commission's resolutions and agreed conclusions
        on the critical areas of concern should be used by other
        functional commissions when dealing with related matters.

       The Commission on the Status of Women should make the maximum
        use of the work of other functional commissions.  For example,
        in 1998, when the human rights themes in the Platform for
        Action are examined, the work of the Commission on Human Rights
        should be taken into account as a contribution to the work of
        the Commission on the Status of Women.  In 1999, the Commission
        on the Status of Women should draw upon the work of the
        Commission on Population and Development when examining the
        critical area of concern "Women and health".

       The work of the Commission on the Status of Women and the
        Commission on Human Rights in the area of women's human rights
        should be taken into account by other commissions when dealing
        with rights- or gender-related matters.

       The Council should ensure that in the review and appraisal
        processes planned for global conferences (human rights in 1998,
        population and development in 1999, social development and
        women in 2000 and shelter in 2001), effective use is made of
        gender analysis to identify differential impacts of policies
        and programmes on women and men and to indicate future action
        to achieve greater equality for women.


                           C.  Regional commissions

29.  Gender sensitivity is apparent in aspects of the work of governing
bodies of regional commissions and in particular in the agreed
conclusions on poverty eradication approved by the Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in 1996.  The resolution
adopted by the Economic Commission for Africa on strengthening women's
contribution to the second United Nations Industrial Development
Decade for Africa represents a significant effort in mainstreaming
gender.  The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), at its fifty-second
session, in 1997, adopted a plan of action and in-depth reform of its
programme and methods of work, and identified the mainstreaming of a
gender perspective as a cross-sectoral concern which should permeate
all its areas of work.  With respect to the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the main instrument for
mainstreaming is the regional programme of action, which was endorsed
by the Commission at its twenty-sixth session, in 1996, as a
complement to the medium-term plan for the period 1996-2001.  The
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) at its
nineteenth session (May 1997), adopted a Regional Integrated Programme
of Action for follow-up to global conferences, with gender
mainstreaming occupying a central role.


                                Recommendations

30.  The recommendation relating to the regional commissions is as
follows:

       Gender should be taken into account more systematically by the
        governing bodies of regional commissions and their subsidiary
        bodies.  The regional commissions should act as catalysts for
        exchanging experiences and best practices among United Nations
        and non-United Nations organizations active in gender
        mainstreaming at the regional level.  In this regard, the
        Council may wish to review the capacity of the regional
        commissions to strengthen gender mainstreaming in their
        activities and to promote regional cooperation in this respect.


            II.  MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE IN THE WORK OF
                 THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM                        

31.  The present section examines elements that should be consistently
in place within the organizations and entities of the United Nations
system to ensure that gender considerations become an integral part of
all work processes of staff and management.  Subsection A examines
institutional requirements to ensure that responsibility for
mainstreaming moves beyond gender specialists to institutions;
subsection B reviews lessons learned in gender mainstreaming;
subsection C discusses the need for gender mainstreaming in the
integrated follow-up to all United Nations conferences; and subsection
D puts forward suggestions to strengthen accountability for
mainstreaming.


                        A.  Institutional requirements

          1.  Mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and
              programmes and in planning and budgeting              

(a)  Policies and programmes

32.  The Secretary-General has made a commitment to mainstreaming a
gender perspective in all policies and programmes of the United
Nations system.  The accountability of senior managers in this regard
will be pursued vigorously and the four executive committees set up to
facilitate concerted and coordinated management of the work of the
Organization have been instructed to incorporate a gender perspective. 9/

33.  The Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women
assists the Secretary-General to ensure the system-wide coordination
of policy for implementing the Platform for Action and for
mainstreaming a gender perspective in all activities of the United
Nations system.  The Special Adviser chairs the Inter-Agency Committee
on Women and Gender Equality of the Administrative Committee on
Coordination.  She is a member of the Policy Coordination Group
chaired by the Secretary-General and a member of the four executive
committees.  Based on a process of two-way communication and
cooperation, the Special Adviser supports and advises the Secretary-
General and senior managers in the United Nations system on gender
issues within their respective areas of responsibility and promotes
the achievement of a gender balance in the secretariats of the system.

34.  The commitment of senior management, requiring clarity in regard
to the concept of mainstreaming and the capacity to translate it into
practice, is an essential ingredient for institutionalizing
mainstreaming in policies and programmes, and for ensuring that gender
issues are reflected at every stage of the programme process. 
Mainstreaming, however, continues to be perceived by many as a
"special interest issue", identified largely with the recruitment of
female staff, rather than as an integrated approach to achieving
policy or development goals.  In some parts of the United Nations
system, lack of clear intergovernmental mandates for gender
mainstreaming constrains the secretariat from addressing gender
concerns in policies and programme planning.  

35.  The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality is
mandated to prepare for consideration and adoption by the
Administrative Committee on Coordination, a mission statement for the
United Nations system, reflecting a coordinated position on the
advancement and empowerment of women and on gender mainstreaming.  The
mandates and mission statements of a number of United Nations
entities, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Food Programme (WFP)
and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), have already stated
their commitment to achieving gender equality, the empowerment of
women and the promotion of equal rights of women and girls and their
full participation in all aspects of development.

36.  Further steps are required, however, to translate these policy
statements from discretionary guidelines into practical tools and
performance indicators for use by staff.  Mainstreaming practice
requires more than designing and implementing "add-on" projects for
women.  Currently, United Nations development entities that actively
address gender issues in their work, in general take a two-pronged
approach:  (a) mainstreaming gender considerations in priorities,
policies and programmes and (b) targeting women as participants and/or
beneficiaries through women- and girl-specific programmes.  The
Secretary-General will encourage members of the Administrative
Committee on Coordination to issue administrative instructions or take
related actions to ensure the consistent implementation of gender-
sensitive policies in all departments and organizations of the United
Nations system and by all levels of staff in all areas.

37.  To date, gender issues have been more effectively addressed at the
project level than in policy and programme formulation.  The major
focus has been the adjustment of project designs to incorporate gender
concerns, or to mitigate negative effects after the critical decisions
have been made about priorities, resource allocation and types of
interventions.  Gender analysis should be applied at all levels,
including planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation.

38.  The perception persists that certain technical areas or projects
and abstract processes of policy and programme development are
gender-neutral and therefore do not lend themselves to gender
mainstreaming.  Projects or processes that are "people-oriented" or
emphasize a participatory approach and the human dimension are, on the
other hand, more likely to be perceived as suitable for a gender
approach.

39.  Mainstreaming and targeting are not mutually exclusive, but
complementary strategies, both having the achievement of
gender-sensitive outcomes as their objective.  Increasingly,
women-specific projects are linked to mainstreaming efforts.

(b)  Planning and budgeting

40.  Some of the entities of the United Nations system have made
progress in visibly mainstreaming a gender perspective into their
medium-term plans, programme planning or programme budgets, including,
for example, UNICEF, the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNFPA and WFP.  The International
Labour Organization (ILO) has identified the promotion of gender
equality as one of three priority areas for technical cooperation in
its programme and budget for the biennium 1998-1999.  The United
Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) includes the
concept of gender mainstreaming in its medium-term plan framework
(1998-2001) as a cross-sectoral aspect of its work, and the
medium-term strategy (1996-2001) of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) includes gender
mainstreaming as a transdisciplinary endeavour.  The Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has mainstreamed
the consideration of women's issues in the substantive work of the
organization as a whole.  The principal guiding framework for the
development of the tenth general programme of work (2002-2007) of the
World Health Organization (WHO) is the renewed health-for-all
strategy, which places special emphasis on a gender perspective in
health policy development.  The Strategy 2000 (1997-2000) of the
United Nations Volunteers refers to gender as a key area of concern. 

41.  A number of entities target women through the addition of
women-specific projects to existing programmes.  For example, the
Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development of the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) emphasizes
the promotion of women's participation and their entrepreneurship
development.  ILO is launching a programme on more and better jobs for
women to improve the quantity and quality of employment for women. 

42.  The institutionalization of gender policies and of mainstreaming
throughout work programmes and sectoral areas is a pending task in
many departments and entities of the United Nations system.  ECLAC has
developed a project with extrabudgetary funding which aims at
integrating gender analysis and planning in its programmes and
institutional processes.  A series of workshops will demonstrate the
relevance of gender in development projects and public policies in
general and introduce methods for moving from "women components" in
some policies and projects to a mainstreaming approach.

43.  In the United Nations system resources are earmarked for
women-specific activities, both in normative/policy areas and in
operational areas.  Operational resources are largely provided for
catalytic areas of support, and are modest compared with those for
core programme areas.  Information about projects that respond to
women, in both separate and integrated ways, and about funding
directed towards women remains poor, 10/ and there is no consistent
United Nations system-wide standard for reporting outcomes.   

44.  At its second session, the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and
Gender Equality considered that resources for mainstreaming were
essential at all levels, including at the regional/national level.  It
concluded that the quantification of resources benefiting women and
men, respectively, as a result of mainstreaming was essential. 
Current budget codes in the United Nations system do not allow for an
assessment of allocations disaggregated by sex or by beneficiary.  The
disaggregation of resources is essential to assessing and monitoring
whether women benefit from such resources in a way that accelerates
the achievement of the goal of gender equality.  It is also essential
to monitor whether disadvantages women face in specific areas are
being remedied.  The Committee has decided to elaborate guidelines for
budgeting processes and coding of budgets.


                                Recommendations

45.  Recommendations on mainstreaming a gender perspective in all
policies and programmes and in planning and budgeting are as follows:

       All entities of the United Nations system, including
        departments of the United Nations Secretariat and other
        entities that have not yet done so, should develop gender
        mainstreaming policies for their areas of responsibility, based
        on the system-wide mission statement of the Administrative
        Committee on Coordination, and report thereon to the Economic
        and Social Council.  Such policies should be developed with the
        support of gender units/focal points, the Division for the
        Advancement of Women of the United Nations Secretariat and the
        Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality.

       All entities/secretariats of the United Nations system should
        review the implications of a gender-sensitive approach for
        their sector, based on the Beijing Platform for Action, the
        results of other recent United Nations conferences and summits
        and their own intergovernmental mandates, and adjust their
        policies and activities, including developing and implementing
        targeted, women-specific activities to achieve gender equality,
        as provided for in the Platform for Action. 

       The importance of a gender perspective should be reflected in
        the vision for the United Nations for the future and the need
        for gender units/focal points should be supported as part of
        the institutional structure of the organization to ensure that
        gender is given adequate consideration as a cross-sectoral
        concern in all programme priorities.

       United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies
        should ensure that gender concerns are addressed when setting
        priorities, allocating resources and identifying types of
        interventions, not merely as an adjustment to project design
        after the critical decisions have been taken.  They should
        further develop techniques for analysing target populations in
        their socio-economic contexts, and promote consultations and a
        participatory approach to policy and project design.  Gender
        analysis should be included in programming for participatory
        development and good governance, human rights and conflict-
        resolution. 

       The entities of the United Nations system should
        institutionalize gender concerns at all levels through steps
        including:

     -  The adoption of mainstreaming policies and the formulation of
        specific mainstreaming strategies for sectoral areas; 

     -  The improvement of tools and mechanisms for mainstreaming, such
        as the use of data disaggregated by sex and age and of
        sector-specific gender surveys, studies and guidelines, and
        checklists for programming;  

     -  The establishment of instruments and mechanisms for monitoring
        and evaluation, such as gender impact analysis methodologies;

     -  The creation of accountability mechanisms, including incentive
        and reward systems.

       In preparation for the comprehensive review of the system-wide
        medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 1996-2001, the
        extent to which a gender perspective is being applied through
        institutional directives for planning and programming, rather
        than as discretionary guidelines, should be assessed. 

       The Council may wish to invite all intergovernmental bodies in
        the United Nations system with responsibility for overseeing
        planning and programming to monitor how intergovernmental
        mandates on mainstreaming are reflected in medium-term plans
        and in programme budgets, and how follow-up to the Platform for
        Action is reflected in sectoral programmes and budgets.  In
        particular, the Economic and Social Council should encourage
        the governing bodies of, for example, UNDP, UNFPA, UNCTAD and
        WFP, to assess how the mainstreaming mandate is being
        translated into country programmes and projects.  Governing
        bodies should be encouraged to review the outcomes of
        women-specific projects and of a mainstreaming approach in
        programming.  The Council should invite the governing bodies of
        the specialized agencies to do likewise. 

       All entities of the United Nations system should institute
        mechanisms to facilitate gender mainstreaming in planning and
        programming - for example, through intra-departmental
        coordination or the participation of gender specialists in the
        planning and programming mechanisms of the organization or
        department concerned.  Senior decision makers should seek the
        advice of gender specialists on how to mainstream gender into
        planning and programming.


         2.  Coordination by the Division for the Advancement of Women
             of the United Nations Secretariat, the International     
             Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of   
             Women and the United Nations Development Fund for Women  
             in mainstreaming a gender perspective                    

46.  In the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women, the
mainstreaming mandate expands the role of the core women-specific
entities of the United Nations system referred to in the Platform for
Action, namely, the Division for the Advancement of Women of the
United Nations Secretariat, the International Research and Training
Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and other gender
units/focal points, to include provision of advice and guidance on how
to apply the gender variable.  The core entities have sought to share
information and develop joint activities, including activities
relating to gender mainstreaming.  The functions of these entities are
referred to in the Platform for Action and subsequent
intergovernmental mandates, including their role in mainstreaming a
gender perspective in various spheres, such as research, policy
formulation, data collection and analysis, information and
communication, and operational activities. 


                                Recommendations

47.  Recommendations with regard to coordination by the Division for
the Advancement of Women, INSTRAW and UNIFEM in mainstreaming a gender
perspective are as follows: 

       In order to strengthen the programmatic complementarities of
        the Division for the Advancement of Women, INSTRAW and UNIFEM,
        the Council might request that the annual reports of both
        INSTRAW and UNIFEM be submitted to the Commission on the Status
        of Women so that the Commission may advise the Council on how
        best to harmonize the implementation of their mandates and
        avoid overlap. 

       The Council may encourage the continued development of joint
        activities and of work plans in such areas as women's human
        rights, women and decision-making and, taking into account
        General Assembly resolution 50/166, violence against women. 


          3.  The role of gender units/focal points in mainstreaming

48.  The role of gender units/focal points in mainstreaming is
increasingly that of catalysts, advocates and agents of change. 
Gender specialists emphasize that all activity, whether a technical or
sectoral project or a policy in any given field, needs to be analysed,
designed and monitored in reference to target populations.  

49.  Gender experts often serve as the main, if not the only, centre of
responsibility for implementing the mainstreaming mandate within a
department or sector.  This suggests lack of awareness of gender
issues and the continuation of a "women-specific" rather than a gender
approach to programming and implementation.  Clear administrative
guidelines or accountability mechanisms would strengthen the
responsibility of programme managers and senior officials for
mainstreaming, and increase opportunities for gender specialists to
engage staff responsible for a particular area or sector in a policy
dialogue on gender mainstreaming.    

50.  Virtually all United Nations entities, including departments of
the United Nations Secretariat, have gender units/focal points.  The
location of such gender experts in the larger organizational structure
varies, from being linked to the senior management structure to being
located in sectoral areas.  The location, seniority, resources and
senior management support given to gender experts determines their
effectiveness in acting as catalysts for mainstreaming, and the degree
to which mainstreaming is reflected in the policy framework of an
entity, and in its area and sector programming and implementation.  

51.  In addition to having gender units/focal points at their
headquarters location, United Nations entities with country offices or
field operations usually have gender focal points at the country
level, or sometimes at the regional level, to provide technical
support in capacity-building for gender mainstreaming in policy and
programming processes and for monitoring mainstreaming in the
formulation and implementation of programmes and projects.  In
instances where responsibility for gender issues forms part of the
larger portfolio of a staff member, or where junior level staff are
responsible for gender issues, opportunities for developing
appropriate policy approaches and programme strategies are often
limited.  Inter-agency arrangements are often in place at the country
level to coordinate the efforts of focal points concerned with
follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and gender
mainstreaming.  These arrangements, however, are not universal, nor is
there much feedback to Headquarters.  In countries where UNIFEM
regional programme advisers operate, they convene inter-agency task
forces or committees on women and gender.   

52.  Many entities, including the United Nations Secretariat, have
designated focal points for the status of women and gender balance in
staffing.  In some instances, these focal points have also been
assigned the responsibility for substantive mainstreaming issues.  It
is questionable whether these two sets of issues should be the
responsibility of the same individual, but gender experts and focal
points for the status of women often work together in developing
coordinated strategies to bring about organizational change. 


                                Recommendations

53.  Recommendations on the role of gender units/focal points in
mainstreaming are as follows:

       The Council may wish to emphasize the importance of gender
        units/focal points in supporting gender mainstreaming in all
        policies and programmes of the United Nations system, and their
        recognition in an institutional context should be stressed. 
        The location, seniority and resources of gender experts and
        their direct access to the most senior levels of management and
        decision-making, and to all policy-making and programming
        processes, are critical in translating the mainstreaming
        mandate into practical reality.  The terms of reference of
        gender focal points should be clear, and they should have the
        active and demonstrable support of senior managers.  The role
        of such gender specialists in all areas, including the
        political, humanitarian, peace and security areas, should be
        strengthened.

       The Council may wish to emphasize that the responsibilities of
        gender specialists should include: 

     -  Development of gender-sensitive policies and programme
        strategies for a sector or area;  

     -  Provision of advice and support to sectoral staff in applying
        gender considerations in their work;

     -  Development of tools and methodologies for mainstreaming; 

     -  Collection and dissemination of information and of best
        practices;

     -  Monitoring and evaluation of progress in mainstreaming, in both
        policy and programme terms. 

       Coordination and cooperative links between gender specialists
        and staff working in sectoral areas, both at Headquarters and
        at the country level, should be established and strengthened. 
        Intra-departmental and interdepartmental working groups,
        intersectoral collaboration and ongoing information exchange
        between gender experts and sectoral staff are among the means
        that could be used for increasing awareness and skills in
        mainstreaming.  

       Gender specialists, particularly at the country level, should
        continue to place major emphasis on establishing a policy
        dialogue with sectoral areas, inter alia, with respect to the
        integrated follow-up to all recent United Nations conferences. 
        Such linkages would facilitate the identification of the
        complementarity of the critical areas of concern of the
        Platform for Action with the results of other recent United
        Nations conferences, and would ensure the integration at the
        country level of the follow-up to the Beijing Conference with
        the follow-up to all other recent United Nations conferences. 
        Gender specialists should collaborate with and seek advice from
        UNIFEM in that process.  

       Gender units/focal points should provide guidance on how gender
        equality concerns can be made a central concern in conference
        follow-up at the national level, while at the same time
        assisting in the identification of women-specific components in
        programming and in projects, as appropriate.  Opportunities for
        collaboration between gender specialists and organizations of
        civil society should be further developed and utilized.  Gender
        focal points as well as UNIFEM, the Division for the
        Advancement of Women of the United Nations Secretariat and
        INSTRAW should strengthen networking with national machinery
        for the advancement of women and facilitate linkages between
        such machinery and the institutions and processes engaged in
        the implementation of the results of other recent United
        Nations conferences. 

       Coordination and communication between gender specialists at
        the country level, regional gender specialists, gender advisers
        and gender units at Headquarters should be strengthened,
        inter alia through expanded use of electronic means of
        communication.  Existing inter-agency arrangements at the
        country level on gender issues should be strengthened and used
        to identify areas of commonality and complementarity between
        implementation of the Fourth World Conference on Women and
        other conferences, and for gender mainstreaming.


                    4.  Capacity-building for mainstreaming

54.  The specialized expertise of gender units/focal points must be
supported by the development of gender awareness and basic gender
competencies in all staff, and the commitment to applying gender
concepts at all stages of work processes.  Such competence is critical
to providing all intergovernmental bodies with reports that reflect a
gender perspective and to facilitating gender-conscious
decision-making by intergovernmental machinery in all areas.  The
provision of necessary training is therefore essential.

55.  Awareness of regional and global mandates on gender equality and
on mainstreaming a gender perspective, as contained primarily in the
Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the regional plans and platforms for
action adopted in 1994, prior to the Fourth World Conference on Women,
is a prerequisite for staff.  All staff should be aware of an
organization's policy with regard to gender mainstreaming and be
familiar with the use of data and information disaggregated by sex and
of checklists or similar tools.

56.  The most widely used mechanism for capacity-building is gender
training.  Training should form part of a broader strategy, including
incentive and accountability measures, clear guidelines and
responsibilities, and follow-up to training, especially on-the-job
application of acquired skills.  Gender awareness, training in gender
analysis and application of tools, technical support to
gender-sensitive programme design, monitoring and evaluation are among
the components of a gender mainstreaming strategy.  

57.  Many entities have a substantial record in providing gender
training to their gender experts, staff and national counterparts. 
They include UNIDO, ESCWA, ESCAP, WFP, UNHCR, INSTRAW and UNIFEM.  The
Women's Equality and Empowerment Framework of UNICEF promotes women's
empowerment as an intrinsic part of the development process.  It has
two components:  (a) training of UNICEF staff and counterparts on
gender concepts and the application of the Framework and (b) setting
up of global and regional gender networks of experts/resource persons
for supporting country programme preparation.  The training for gender
mainstreaming carried out by UNDP embraces organizational change as a
key component of gender mainstreaming.  UNFPA is in the process of
training all its staff at headquarters, regional and country levels in
gender mainstreaming and gender analysis of programmes and
subprogrammes.  FAO, ILO and UNDP have developed a socio-economic and
gender analysis (SEAGA) programme which seeks to locate gender within
the broader context of social and economic relations and processes. 
SEAGA uses a systems theory approach and one of its central principles
is an understanding of the connections between gender and other social
variables.

58.  Manuals for gender training have been or are being developed by a
number of entities.  Methodologies for gender training are also being
developed by United Nations entities, sometimes collaboratively.

59.  A comprehensive assessment of whether gender training is
implemented systematically by the United Nations system has not been
conducted.  Measuring the impact of gender training on programme
performance is constrained by lack of appropriate indicators,
including those relating to programme responses.  There is only
limited evaluation of the impact of gender training with regard to
programme output and no systematic exchange of training materials or
methodologies.  Systematic exchange of training manuals and
methodologies, and of evaluation and impact assessments, allows other
parts of the system to benefit from existing initiatives.

60.  National capacity-building in gender analysis, gender planning and
gender mainstreaming skills is essential for mainstreaming a gender
perspective in development cooperation, and in the integrated
follow-up to recent United Nations conferences.  While national
machinery for the advancement of women, and welfare and social
services usually receive priority, other sectoral ministries such as
finance, planning, agriculture, health, energy and so forth also
require awareness and basic skills so that gender issues are
incorporated within the scope of country and region-wide development
initiatives.  Joint training of United Nations staff with government
and non-governmental organization counterparts has been beneficial in
programme follow-up, in building networks and in expanding training
across sectors.  


                                Recommendations

61.  Recommendations on capacity-building for mainstreaming are as
follows:

       The United Nations system should ensure that specialized gender
        expertise is available to all entities and in all areas, and
        should increase opportunities for gender specialists to improve
        their skills and receive ongoing training. 

       All staff should be required to have basic gender competence
        and should assume responsibility for mainstreaming in their
        assignments.  An inventory of strategies and efforts currently
        in place to increase gender awareness and strengthen skills for
        gender planning, programming, monitoring and evaluation should
        be prepared.  Successful practices should be identified and
        widely shared throughout the United Nations system,
        particularly among senior managers and decision makers.  The
        impact of a multi-pronged approach to strengthening gender
        competence, using gender training and other approaches to
        motivating staff, should be evaluated and used as a basis for
        further efforts in human resource development.

       A system-wide evaluation of the impact of gender training,
        including training related to programme performance, provided
        to United Nations gender specialists, staff and governmental
        counterparts should be prepared, and successful practices
        should be identified. 

       A database of all United Nations system activities and
        materials related to increasing gender competence and capacity
        for gender mainstreaming should be created and maintained,
        including of gender training materials and manuals.  

       Resources for capacity-building in gender mainstreaming should
        be identified, particularly from extrabudgetary resources.  


                    5.  Information base for mainstreaming

62.  Progress in mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and
programmes requires the availability of and access to information
about gender concepts and their relevance for a sector or an issue, as
well as data and information to incorporate gender considerations in
research and analysis, policy and programme development,
decision-making, and monitoring and evaluation. 11/

63.  Led by the United Nations Statistics Division, the United Nations
system collaborates closely in developing and compiling social
indicators on a wide range of subjects, including those related to
gender. 12/  A minimum national social data set was endorsed by the
Statistical Commission to monitor follow-up to United Nations
conferences and summits with the help of statistics and indicators. 
Assistance is provided to countries and regional organizations in the
preparation and production of publications concerning gender
statistics and indicators.

64.  The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality will
assess efforts undertaken by the United Nations system and by the
Administrative Committee on Coordination in developing statistics and
indicators and qualitative data for monitoring follow-up to recent
United Nations conferences and summits.  It will evaluate these
efforts with regard to gender dimensions and gender programming, and
prepare recommendations for harmonization and elimination of
duplication.  The Inter-Agency Committee will also assess efforts to
develop qualitative data and indicators.

65.  The Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations
Secretariat, INSTRAW and UNIFEM have launched an Internet site,
WomenWatch, to serve as a dedicated gateway to information on global
women's issues available in the United Nations system.  It also links
various databases that are disaggregated by sex. 


                                Recommendations

66.  Recommendations on information in support of mainstreaming are as
follows:

       The United Nations Statistics Division, in collaboration with
        the United Nations system, should further develop the Wistat
        database to cover a wider range of indicators and related
        statistics on various aspects of social and economic
        development and to make the outputs of Wistat more accessible
        to users.  Statistics and indicators on unremunerated work,
        time use and poverty, and on reproductive health and access to
        health services should be improved.  The development of
        guidelines for the use of statistics to monitor the
        implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All
        Forms of Discrimination against Women should continue.

       The appropriate United Nations bodies and entities should make
        efforts to develop qualitative indicators to monitor the
        implementation of the gender-related recommendations of recent
        United Nations conferences.  Attention should also be given to
        the development of benchmarks in the implementation of
        international human rights instruments as they pertain to
        women.

       The use of electronic networks for the exchange of information
        on women's issues and gender mainstreaming should be expanded
        as an important component of overall communication strategies
        and should become a regular component of project development. 
 
       United Nations agencies, funds and programmes should be urged
        to support WomenWatch, the United Nations Internet gateway on
        women's issues, and to participate in its development. 


                              6.  Gender balance

67.  A critical mass of women in decision-making is believed to
contribute to changes in organizational culture.  Such changes often
create a more conducive environment for mainstreaming, but the number
of female staff and managers per se is not an indicator of the degree
to which a gender perspective is being mainstreamed into policies and
programmes.  

68.  Although the achievement of gender balance has been a concern of
the General Assembly and other intergovernmental bodies for some time,
no intergovernmental body at present receives comprehensive
statistical information regarding the number and percentage of women
at all levels in the organizations and entities of the United Nations
system.   

69.  United Nations agencies have made efforts to demonstrate their
commitment to promoting the advancement of women through their own
staffing policies. Initiatives include the United Nations strategic
plan of action for the improvement of the status of women in the
Secretariat (1995-2000), approved by the General Assembly in 1994 (see
resolution 49/167), and an administrative instruction on special
measures for the achievement of gender equality (ST/AI/412). 
Projections under the strategic plan are being recalculated and the
special measures are being streamlined and updated. 

70.  Policies on harassment, including sexual harassment, are being
developed, and work, family and life issues are being addressed to
encourage women's and men's equal participation in the organizations
of the system.  Tools and methodologies for promoting attitudinal
changes in the workplace, inter alia, through specific measures of
accountability and responsibility, are necessary.  A comprehensive
questionnaire on harassment, including sexual harassment, is being
circulated to staff of the United Nations, UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA in
order to have a more informed view of the situation and to amend
policies accordingly.


                                Recommendations

71.  Recommendations on gender balance are as follows:

       The Council may recommend that the preparation and presentation
        to the General Assembly and the Commission on the Status of
        Women of statistical information regarding the number and
        percentage of women at all levels system-wide be revived in
        order to facilitate a comprehensive approach to
        intergovernmental monitoring of changes and progress.

       The Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions of the
        Administrative Committee on Coordination and the International
        Civil Service Commission should monitor progress in
        implementing staffing policies aimed at achieving gender
        balance and should identify obstacles in that regard.  They
        should also monitor the development and implementation of
        measures aimed at creating a gender-sensitive work environment
        and the impact of those measures on women.   


          B.  Experience and lessons learned in gender mainstreaming

72.  Since the Fourth World Conference on Women, several operational
entities have undertaken assessments and analysed lessons learned in
integrating women's issues into their activities and in gender
mainstreaming.  

73.  UNDP conducted an extensive review of gender mainstreaming in 20
of its programme countries and convened a consultation on gender
mainstreaming in February 1997 with the participation of several
agencies.  It was found that most country offices had not truly
evolved gender planning systems and that the bulk of the work was
focused on women in development (WID).  The implications for future
progress were summarized in a guidance note on gender planning for
UNDP offices. 

74.  UNFPA is assessing the extent to which gender considerations are
being effectively mainstreamed into all aspects of its reproductive
health, population and development work, and into its advocacy
policies, strategies and programmes at the global, regional and
country levels.  Policy guidelines are being revised to ensure
appropriate integration of gender issues, and a conceptual framework
on gender mainstreaming and quantitative and qualitative indicators
has been formulated.  Missions are being undertaken in 12 countries to
determine the degree to which gender mainstreaming is being
effectively implemented in UNFPA-supported country programmes and
projects.   

75.  UNICEF has undertaken periodic desk reviews of its capacity-
building programme for mainstreaming gender issues in its country
programmes.  Currently, it is analysing the experience of 50
countries, taking into account actions taken to develop
modules/materials based on special needs and identifying best
practices in the translation of training into country-level actions.

76.  The social and gender planning capacity of WFP in emergency
operations was reviewed during 1995 in 15 countries and specific case
studies were developed.  Results indicate that the institutional and
operational framework will need to be reconsidered to make it more
gender sensitive, and this requires the improvement of the operational
policy development of WFP, as well as its emergency operations
practices.  The WFP Memoranda of Understanding with partners on the
joint and individual responsibilities of each agency define
implementation and monitoring requirements, including participatory
modes of planning which take into consideration the specific needs and
potentials of refugee and displaced women; the provision of
appropriate and adequate food; women and children at risk; and
positions held by women in managing food aid.   

77.  The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality will
convene a joint workshop with the Expert Group on WID of the
Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development to review experiences in mainstreaming. 
In preparation for the workshop, efforts will be made to collate best
practices and lessons learned.  

78.  The review of the system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement
of women to be carried out in 1998 by the Commission on the Status of
Women and the Economic and Social Council will provide an opportunity
to assess achievements and obstacles with regard to all activities,
including those at the field level, in the implementation of the
Platform for Action and of mainstreaming a gender perspective.  


                                Recommendations

79.  Recommendations with regard to experience and lessons learned are
as follows:

       Experiences in mainstreaming, including successful strategies
        and best practices, should be further collected and shared. 
        Particular efforts should be made to collect and document
        mainstreaming experiences in areas where gender issues have
        traditionally been less visible, such as the areas of peace,
        security and peacekeeping, macroeconomic policies and political
        affairs.  The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender
        Equality should develop a standardized format for documenting
        and assessing mainstreaming experiences.  

       Pilot projects should be conducted by different entities with
        different mandates, including projects in normative areas,
        policy development and operational activities, to assess the
        impact of mainstreaming on programme output.  "Women-specific"
        or WID projects should be differentiated from gender
        mainstreaming.  

       United Nations entities providing technical assistance should
        intensify integrated social and economic analysis, since such
        an integrated approach is more conducive to introducing a
        gender perspective into project design and implementation. 
 
       Based on lessons learned, all operational entities and those
        with field operations should develop and adopt procedures and
        incentives, including checklists, for strengthening
        mainstreaming in programme development and project
        implementation.  Inter-agency committees at the country level
        should be involved in this process so as to ensure that there
        is no duplication of effort, and that there is consistency in
        approach.  The existing experiences of some entities, including
        the use of memoranda of understanding on gender equality goals,
        should be shared widely with a view to developing model
        agreements.


         C.  Integrated follow-up to global United Nations conferences

80.  The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality has
emphasized that the inter-agency task forces on follow-up to major
United Nations conferences need to fully integrate a gender
perspective in their work, including the case studies conducted by
some of them at the country level and activities related to the
integrated follow-up to global conferences.  The Committee offered its
support and identified a number of steps which could facilitate gender
factors being taken into consideration by the task forces.

81.  Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and
mainstreaming a gender perspective are expected to be an integral part
of all conference follow-up activities of the United Nations system,
especially at the country level.  The involvement of national
machinery for the advancement of women, women's groups and
non-governmental organizations in those larger development efforts is
essential.

82.  The report of the Secretary-General prepared in response to
Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/36 contains information on
the activities of the three inter-agency task forces established to
support country-level follow-up to recent United Nations conferences
and summits, and on the activities of the Inter-Agency Committee on
Women and Gender Equality and the Inter-Agency Committee on
Sustainable Development (E/1997/73).  The report also contains
information on follow-up to the Platform for Action and the
mainstreaming of a gender perspective and provides a regional
perspective on follow-up. 

83.  The United Nations regional commissions have also taken steps to
facilitate inter-agency cooperation in the follow-up to recent United
Nations conferences.  ESCAP is developing quantitative and qualitative
indicators for overall monitoring of regional implementation of those
conferences.  ESCWA has established an inter-agency coordination group
for integrated conference follow-up.  The regional programme of action
of ECLAC, as reflected in its programme budget for the biennium
1998-1999 and its medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001, has the
potential for integrated follow-up to all United Nations conferences,
but its implementation has been hampered by limited allocation of
human and financial resources.  In ECA, gender is identified as a
cross-cutting issue in the new strategic direction of the Commission. 
ECE has prepared a synopsis of activities undertaken by organizations
involved in regional follow-up in each of the critical areas of
concern covered by the Platform for Action. 


                                Recommendations

84.  Recommendations on integrated follow-up to United Nations
conferences are as follows:

       The role of the resident coordinators in developing a coherent
        approach to gender mainstreaming in integrated conference
        follow-up at the country level and in highlighting gender
        issues with governmental counterparts and the donor community
        should be strengthened.  Gender should be taken into account by
        all thematic groups, and in the preparation of common programme
        and programme-resource frameworks at the country level and in
        the development of common databases in each programme country. 
        UNIFEM regional programme advisers should play a leading role
        in ensuring that mainstreaming the gender dimension becomes an
        integral part in these processes.  Their work should be closely
        coordinated with UNDP gender focal points in their role of
        advising and supporting UNDP resident representatives. 

       The UNIFEM regional programme advisers and the UNDP gender
        focal points in country offices should strengthen their
        networking with national machinery for the advancement of women
        and women's non-governmental organizations to facilitate their
        active participation in overall country programming for
        sustainable development, particularly in areas other than those
        specifically addressed to women.  The Division for the
        Advancement of Women and INSTRAW should interact with national
        machineries as well.  These entities should also increase
        interaction with the regional commissions in coordination of
        integrated follow-up.


              D.  Accountability for mainstreaming through the use of
                  performance indicators, evaluation of progress in
                  mainstreaming and impact analysis

85.  There is a gap between the endorsement of gender equality policies
and their translation into practical reality in programme development,
programme output and operational activities.  Accountability and
responsibility for gender mainstreaming in all areas of policy and
programme development and operational activities are imperative for
institutionalizing a gender mainstreaming approach.  Accountability
for gender mainstreaming encompasses both the intergovernmental and
the institutional level.

86.  Intergovernmental bodies have an ongoing responsibility to monitor
action taken in accordance with their mandates.  The agenda of the
Commission on the Status of Women provides for an annual review of
mainstreaming in organizations of the United Nations system.  The
Economic and Social Council is expected to devote, before the year
2000, one operational activities segment and one high-level segment to
questions related to the advancement of women, and follow-up to the
Fourth World Conference on Women.  The General Assembly receives an
annual report on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and
mainstreaming a gender perspective.   

87.  Accountability needs to be shifted from gender units/focal points
to institutions.  The input approach currently in place, characterized
by policies, guidelines, training, and designated staff responsible
for gender issues, must be supplemented with an outcome approach.

88.  The study entitled "Technical assistance and women:  from
mainstreaming towards institutional accountability" (see
E/CN.6/1995/6) and a discussion paper submitted by the Gender in
Development (GID) Subgroup of the Joint Consultative Group on Policy
to the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality at its
second session, presented recommendations to increase accountability
for gender mainstreaming by development cooperation agencies.  Both
the study and the discussion paper emphasized internal agency
accountability, and institutional mechanisms and management culture as
key entry points for establishing accountability structures.  Both
stressed the importance of accountability for outcomes and for
establishing mainstreaming as an institution-wide responsibility,
rather than as a responsibility of gender experts.


                                Recommendations

89.  The following recommendation relates to accountability:

       The Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality should
        prepare a catalogue of accountability measures, including
        performance indicators, to monitor and evaluate progress in
        mainstreaming.  Such measures should cover the programmatic
        side, including programme output, the staff performance and
        capacity side, and the resource side.  A number of core
        indicators should be identified, which should be used in all
        departments and entities and on the basis of which a baseline
        on gender mainstreaming should be established.  Performance
        should be monitored on a regular basis and should be reported
        to intergovernmental bodies, including the Commission on the
        Status of Women.


                                     Notes

     1/  Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1997,
Supplement No. 7 (E/1997/27), chap. I, sect. C.2, resolution 41/6.

     2/  See the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation
of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women (A/51/322),
paras. 7-15.

     3/  For the comments of the Administrative Committee on
Coordination on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit, see document
A/51/180.

     4/  For examples of such action, see the report of the Secretary-
General on the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World
Conference on Women (A/51/322).

     5/  Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1997,
Supplement No. 5 (E/1997/25), chap. I, sect. A.

     6/  Ibid., chap. I, sect. C.

     7/  Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing,
4-15 September 1995 (A/CONF.177/20 and Add.1), chap. I, resolution 1,
annex II.

     8/  Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1989,
Supplement No. 3 (E/1989/21), para. 139.

     9/  See the letter dated 17 March 1997 from the Secretary-General
addressed to the President of the General Assembly (A/51/829),
sect. A.

     10/ See the note by the Secretary-General entitled "Technical
assistance and women:  from mainstreaming towards institutional
accountability" (E/CN.6/1995/6).

     11/ See Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women ...,
chap. I, resolution 1, annex II, chap. IV, strategic objective H.3.

     12/ See, for example, The World's Women, 1970-1990:  Trends and
Statistics (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.90.XVII.3), The
World's Women, 1995:  Trends and Statistics (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.95.XVII.2) and Wistat:  Women's Indicators
and Statistics Database, Version 3, CD-ROM (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.95.XVII.6).


                                     -----

    

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 29 November 1999 12:16:05
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org