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United Nations
Division for the Advancement of Women(DAW)
Economic Commission for Latin Americaand the
Caribbean (ECLAC)

National Machineries for gender Equality

Expert Group Meeting

Santiago, Chile
31 August - 4 September 1998





    1. Attendance………………………………………………
    2. Documentation …………………………………………

C. Programme of work...................................................…..

D. Election of officers....................................................……

E. Opening statements………………………………………


A. Role of national machinery in mainstreaming

gender........................................................................….. .

B. Links with civil society.............................................…….

C. Mechanisms to hold governments accountable

for mainstreaming gender..............................................…


A. Strategies for national machinery to promote

gender maintsreaming...........................................………

B. Links of national machinery with civil


C. Mechanisms to hold governments accountable

for mainstreaming gender........................................……


I. List of participants …………………………………………….

II. List of documents..................................................................……

III. Programme of work..............................................................……

IV. Sample project proposal................................................................

V. "Best practices" - extracted from the expert's papers............……





























"Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women" is one of the twelve critical areas in the Beijing Platform for Action. The purpose of this Expert Group Meeting was to analyze new trends and to propose concrete actions and policies to strengthen the role of institutional mechanisms in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action.

The Expert Group Meeting was organized as part of the preparation for the forthcoming forty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women. In March 1999, the Commission will analyse the progress made in implementing the agreements of the Beijing Platform in this critical area. Furthermore, the Commission will adopt action-oriented policy recommendations on how to strengthen the capacity of national machineries. The results of this Expert Group Meeting will serve the Commission as a basis for discussion.

Discussion of the role of national machineries preceded the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held in 1975 in Mexico City. The conference recommended that all Governments establish a machinery to promote the status of women. Since then, the international community has given increased attention to the role and structure of the national machineries. The Commission on the Status of Women discussed the issue as a priority theme at its sessions in 1988 and 1991. The discussion at that time focussed on the role of national machineries in promoting women-specific issues.

The Beijing Platform for Action adds a new and additional focus to the role of national machineries in promoting the status of women: the mandate to support mainstreaming gender in all government policies and programmes. The document identifies the mainstreaming of gender issues as the central responsibility of national machineries when it states that: "A national machinery for the advancement of women is the central policy coordinating unit inside government. Its main task is to support government-wide mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas." (paragraph 201).

While the Platform for Action provides a very broad and comprehensive mandate for gender mainstreaming, the role and responsibilities of national machineries in translating this conceptual approach into practice in all governmental policies and programmes remains less clear. The Expert Group Meeting therefore identified specific strategies for national machineries to promote gender mainstreaming at the national level. Experts elaborated specific recommendations for governments and other actors on how to promote gender mainstreaming.

The meeting also identified the relationship of national machineries with civil society and mechanisms to hold governments accountable for gender mainstreaming and elaborated recommendations thereon.



Furthermore, experts discussed and endorsed a sample project document to strengthen national machineries, to be carried out by the Division for the Advancement of Women. The project proposal is contained in Annex IV. The meeting also requested the Secretariat to summarize the "best practices" described in the expert's papers, in order to provide governments and national machineries with practical examples. Annex V contains a collection of such examples, based on the papers submitted by experts to the meeting.



A. Attendance

1. The Expert Group Meeting on "National machineries for gender equality" was held at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago, Chile, from 31 August to 4 September 1998. It was jointly organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women/Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DAW/DESA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

2. The meeting was attended by ten experts from all regions, and by 15 observers: two from governments, nine from non-governmental organizations and four from the United Nations System (see annex I for the full list of participants).

B. Documentation

3. The documentation of the meeting comprised two background papers (one prepared by DAW and one by ECLAC), eleven experts' papers, and two observers' papers and statements (see annex II).

C. Programme of work

4. At it opening session on 31 August 1998, the meeting adopted the following programme of work (see annex III):

D. Election of officers

5. At its opening session, the meeting elected the following officers:

Chairperson: Ms. Mona Khalaf (Lebanon)

Vice-Chairperson: Ms. Teresa Valdés Echenique (Chile)

Rapporteur: Ms. Marian Sawer (Australia)

E. Opening statements

6. The Expert Group Meeting was opened by Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Executive Director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. He welcomed Ms. Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Ms. Josefina Bilbao, Minister for Women's Affairs in Chile, and all experts and oberservers.

7. Ms. Angela King, in her opening statement, welcomed all experts and observers to the meeting and expressed her deep appreciation to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean for hosting the event, and for the support and cooperation provided by its Executive Director and staff during the preparations.

8. Ms. King stated that much has been achieved since the Beijing Conference. She also stressed that despite the progress made, women still suffer discrimination. Ms. King gave examples for such discrimination in the areas of health, education and political decision-making. The Beijing Platform for Action outlines practical strategies to face these challenges. Ms. King highlighted the important role national machineries play in implementing the Platform for Action and stated that this meeting will elaborate strategies on how to support national machineries in meeting this challenge. She stressed that local conditions and cultural differences predicate that these machineries take a variety of forms. Ms. King noted that the meeting provides the opportunity to share experiences, to learn from each other and to benefit from the solutions found in different countries.

9. Ms. King emphasized the important role civil society plays in the implementation of the Beijing Platform. Governments and the United Nations system need to cooperate closely with actors in civil society to achieve the goal of gender equality. In closing, Ms. King stressed that in order to achieve gender equality, it is critical to work in partnership with men.

10. In her opening statement, Ms. Josefina Bilbao stated that women in all parts of the world suffer from discrimination and share many basic problems. The implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action requires profund changes, both in the institutional and the personal level. Ms. Bilbao spoke of the Chilean experience and stressed the importance of changing negative attitudes towards women. She noted that this Expert Group Meeting was an important step toward raising public awareness on the importance of gender issues.

11. Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, in his statement, stressed the importance of this meeting for strengthening the collaboration between the United National Division for the Advancement of Women and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in promoting gender issues. Mr. Ocampo reported that ECLAC is undertaking important efforts in order to mainstream gender in all its policies and programmes and has recently strenghtened its Women and Development Unit. ECLAC also facilitates regional networking of national machineries. Since 1977, the representatives of all national machineries in the region regularly hold a regional Conference to exchange experiences and provide mutual support. This Conference is a permanent organ of ECLAC. In closing, Mr. Ocampo stressed the important role women's groups in civil society played in establishing national machineries.



13. The goal of the Beijing Conference was to achieve gender equality through action in the critical areas laid out in the Beijing Platform for Action. Eleven critical areas of concern are of substantive nature and address the situation of women in the areas of poverty, education, health, violence, armed conflict, the economy, decision making, human rights, the media, the environment and the girl child. One critical area of the Platform deals specifically with institutional mechanisms that should be put in place to ensure the implementation of the eleven substantive areas.

14. In chapter "H. Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women", the Platform defines general requirements for the successful functioning of national machineries in terms of location, resources, and mandate. The Expert Group Meeting analyzed new trends that impact on the effectiveness of national machineries, evaluated conditions under which they operate and provided recommendations for their successful functioning.

15. The Platform for Action sets out the role of national machineries in gender mainstreaming as follows: "A national machinery for the advancement of women is the central policy coordinating unit inside the government. Its main task is to support government-wide mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas." (paragraph 201).

16. The Expert Group Meeting noted that though the Platform for Action has focused on the role of national machineries inside the government, a survey carried out by the Division for the Advancement of Women showed that one-third of all national machineries are either a non-governmental organization or have a mixed structure.

17. In its agreed conclusions 1997/2, the Economic and Social Council provided the following definition of gender mainstreaming:

"Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy of making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality."

18. While the Platform for Action provides a broad and comprehensive mandate for gender mainstreaming, the role and responsibilities of national machineries in translating this conceptual approach into practice remains less clear. The Expert Group Meeting therefore identified specific strategies for national machineries to promote gender mainstreaming at the national level. Furthermore, the meeting discussed aspects that are crucial for successful functioning of national machineries, such as location, functions, mandate, relationship with civil society, and accountability mechanisms.

19. The discussion during the meeting focused on three main issues: (A) the role of national machineries in mainstreaming gender in all policies and programmes, (B) the link of national machineries with civil society, and (C )strategies to hold governments accountable for mainstreaming gender and the advancement of women.

A. Role of national machineries in mainstreaming gender

20. The meeting noted that despite the increasingly important role of national machineries in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, many national machineries still lack the capacity to act as a catalyst for gender mainstreaming. The analysis focussed on the following topics: (1) sharing of experiences on the regional and international level, (2) location, resources and organizational structure, and (3) functions and activities of national machineries.

21. Experts recognized that national machineries must be embedded in the national culture and be sensitive to local conditions and the respective political system. Therefore, experiences made in one country may not be valid for a country with a different culture and political system. Experts, however, agreed that sharing of information and good practices beyond national borders is crucial for strengthening national machineries. Many national machineries lack know-how, especially in the area of mainstreaming gender, and need to build on the experiences of other countries.

22. Experts noted the usefulness of exchange of experience among national machineries within the same region or sub-region. Similarities of culture and history may make such exchanges particularly rewarding. Experts from South Korea, Chile and Sweden reported that this approach was successful in their region. In the Asia and Pacific region, national machineries have resolved to meet every other year to learn from each other. Experts from Latin America reported that their national machineries learned much from the successes and mistakes of other countries in the region. The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a mainstreaming project to exchange experiences among the Nordic countries. Similarly, African countries have gained from each other's experience through meeting under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Center for Women and the Organization of African Unity.

23. National machineries can draw on experiences of different countries by adapting them to their own cultural context. Both South Africa and the Philippines, for example, have borrowed the idea of a "gender budget" from Australia and have adapted the model to their own national context. Gender budgeting means that all departments and agencies are required to prepare a Budget document which disaggregates outlays in terms of impact on both women and men.

24. The role of the United Nations and other international bodies has been important in supporting the creation and development of national machineries and in facilitating the exchange of information about successful strategies.

25. Most national machineries are part of government. However, in some cases, the national machinery is established as a statutory commission outside government or as an advisory body.

26. Despite the increasing importance and visibility of national machineries, a common problem is that they are marginalized within government, with no influence on the overall policy-making process. Many experts stated that in order to promote mainstreaming in all policies, the national machinery has to be located in the central planning or policy coordination area of government, with a clear mandate to monitor all policies. Others noted, however, that in the context of some political systems, this could restrict the work of the national machinery rather than promote it.

27. Most national machineries, whether located inside or outside government, suffer from a chronic lack of resources. While national machineries should have a regular source of funding from the government, they may also seek funding from other sources. Some experts mentioned that in many developing countries, the national machinery depends fully on funding from foreign donors, which may call into question its sustainability and independence. National machineries in developing countries have also suffered from the Structural Adjustment Policy of the World Bank, which requests recipient countries to reduce public spending.

28. Experts also noted that frequent restructuring of government interrupts the continuity of national machineries and that national machineries in both developing and developed countries have been affected by economic and government restructuring.

29. National machineries often face the problem of inadequate human resources: They have very few staff or staff who has little motivation or knowledge of gender issues. Experts emphasized the importance of training and long term career prospects for the staff of national machineries.

30. In some countries, the national machinery is only an advisory body with a weak organizational structure and no budget. Its influence may be based purely on the personality of the head. This situation makes the national machinery extremely vulnerable to changes in the leadership.

31. Failure to develop support across the political spectrum can also make national machineries vulnerable to political change. Experts noted the importance of achieving bipartisan support for national machineries.

32. The meeting discussed whether it is possible for national machineries to combine their function as a policy advisory body with the actual implementation of policies and programmes. In the case of Sweden, the progress made so far by the national machinery in promoting gender mainstreaming has been due to separation of the policy advisory function, which is the responsibility of the national machinery, and gender mainstreaming in the sectoral areas, which is the responsibility of the respective ministers. Combining policy and implementation roles may limit the effectiveness of national machineries. For example, while Uganda has developed good policy measures such as the National Gender Policy, the national machinery has spread itself too thinly in an attempt to carry out training in legal literacy. In Chile, however, while the national machinery is primarily a policy body, it sucessfully takes up projects such as those relating to violence against women and female-headed households.

33. In Swedish ministries, gender mainstreaming is the responsibility of the highest administrative officer (the minister) and not of the gender focal points within the ministries. In countries such as Australia, Canada and Uganda, responsibility rests with senior executives in departments, assisted by gender focal points or women?s units.

34. Experts reported that one of the main obstacles national machineries face is a lack of knowledge and commitment among government officials and parliamentarians. Gender is considered as "not relevant" in areas such as the economy, defense, or energy policy. Some national machineries initiated gender awareness training to address the situation. Experts stated that gender training has to be a continuous process with thorough follow-up in order to be sustainable.

35. Some experts emphasized that national machineries should foster programmes that encourage partnership between women and men and engage men in changing traditional roles. Examples of such programmes are the initiatives taken by Sweden and other Nordic countries since the 1980s to involve men in gender equality. In 1995, a Nordic conference on male issues led to the Nordic Council of Ministers adopting a three-year action plan on men and equality (1997-2000).

B. Links with civil society

36. The meeting noted that pressure from the women's movement and the international community has played a key role in the establishment of national machineries. Experts agreed that strong links to the civil society are crucial for the effectiveness of national machineries. Collaboration between national machineries and civil society is essential in creating a strong base for gender mainstreaming. Some national machineries provide funding to women's advocacy groups in order to strengthen their voice.

37. Experts stressed that it is important for national machineries to have support from civil society. Some national machineries cooperated with mass media in order to raise public awareness regarding gender equality. In India, for example, public television broadcasted films on violence against women and on women's health.

38. It is important that national machineries, government and civil society are linked by formal communication channels. Experts pointed out that this is sometimes made possible by NGO umbrella organizations or by bodies which co-ordinate input to government from NGOs, such as the Korean Women's Development Institute, the German Women's Council, or the Committee on Women's Issues in Slovakia. A similar channel exists in Ecuador. Experts stated that NGOs play a crucial role and that governments should take their concerns seriously.

39. Concern was also expressed, however, over elements in civil society hostile to gender equality. A backlash promoted by such groups may delay the work of the national machinery.

C. Mechanisms to hold governments accountable for mainstreaming gender

40. The meeting agreed that national machineries need mechanisms to hold governments accountable for mainstreaming gender and the advancement of women. Experts suggested the following mechanisms: gender-disaggregated data and budgets, performance indicators, reporting to legislative bodies, and reporting under international agreements.

41. All data used in policy making should be disaggregated by sex and variables such as urban/rural residence, age, ethnicity and disability. Furthermore, governments should provide gender disaggregation of budgetary outlays when reporting to parliament. This process raises awareness of officials concerning the differential impact of seemingly gender neutral budgetary decisions. Reporting against gender equality indicators should also be part of this process.

42. National machineries can draw on international agreements, such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) or the Platform for Action to promote further gender mainstreaming. It was noted that governments are not always aware of the significance of the commitments they have entered into under the CEDAW, or as a result of recent world conferences organized under the auspices of the United Nations. Experts also noted that when addressing discrimination, it was important to consider variables such as ethnic origin, age, race, religion and disability.

43. In order to hold governments accountable, the general public needs to be aware of the relevance of gender issues and to have access to gender-disaggregated data concerning government performance.

44. In Sweden, since 1994, the Prime Minister has declared in an annual written statement, that all ministers are responsible for promoting gender equality in their field. This has proved a successful instrument in gender mainstreaming.


A. Strategies for national machineries to promote gender mainstreaming

45. The Expert Group Meeting noted that gender mainstreaming is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. They also noted that gender mainstreaming does not replace the need for targeted, women-specific policies and programmes (Economic and Social Council Agreed Conclusions 1997/2). The structure and functions of national machineries must be appropriate for achieving such gender mainstreaming.

46. The Experts also noted that the sustainability of the national machinery is highly dependent on its embeddedness in the national context. The formulation of its mission should be sensitive to prevailing social and cultural norms while at the same time ensuring a continuing transition towards equality between men and women.


47. The Beijing Platform of Action provides guidance as to the functions of national machineries but says less about the structures of national machineries required to achieve gender mainstreaming. Experts noted that national machineries could either be one or a set of bodies involved in gender mainstreaming, functioning at different levels.

48. National machineries might include bodies outside government, such as an Ombudsperson or Equal Opportunity Commission, with responsibility for ensuring compliance with gender equality legislation. It might also include bodies such as autonomous 'think tanks' supporting the gender mainstreaming process through research, analysis and evaluation activities.

49. Although most national machineries are located at the government level, some do not follow this pattern. Some national machineries are established outside governmental structures, while others, though located within governments, include representatives from NGOs. Bodies outside governments may lack access to the decision-making process. However, location outside government may allow greater autonomy of action and closer links with civil society groups.

50. Experts recommended, however, that in order for efficient gender mainstreaming (the integration of a gender perspective into all policy fields at all levels of society), national machineries should include an officially institutionalized unit within government which has overall responsibility for coordinating, facilitating, supporting, and monitoring the mainstreaming process in all ministries and agencies.

51. Experts noted that in order to achieve the goal of mainstreaming, the gender coordination unit should be located at the highest level of government, falling under the responsibility of the President, Prime Minister or Cabinet Minister. This gives national machineries the political authority needed for their mandate of co-ordinating the mainstreaming process across all ministries, including cross-portfolio work.

52. In order to achieve mainstreaming objectives, Experts recommended that governments ensure that senior management in each ministry or agency takes responsibility for integrating a gender perspective in all policy processes. For this purpose ministers should ensure that senior managers get appropriate assistance from gender experts or gender focal points.

53. The Expert Group Meeting recommended that governments create separate structures for the promotion of gender equality in personnel policy in order to avoid confusion with the gender mainstreaming functions of the national machinery.

54. The Experts also recommended that national machineries should ensure that women and men at the local level benefit from gender mainstreaming policy. They should create and strengthen mechanisms to channel information and resources to sub-national and local levels. National machineries should also ensure that a grassroots perspective is included in policy-making at the international level by communicating regularly with the sub-national and local levels.

Human and Financial Resources

55. In order to function effectively, national machinery bodies, whether existing inside or outside government, require adequate human and financial resources. The Experts recommended that governments:

Mandate and Functions

56. The Experts emphasized that a clear mandate was a prerequisite for the efficient functioning of national machineries. The national machinery at the governmental level is a catalyst for gender mainstreaming, not an agency for policy implementation. It may, however, choose to be involved in particular projects. Its mandate should include:

57. Experts noted that national machineries should undertake the following functions:

International Cooperation and Support

58. International organizations, especially the United Nations, have played a critical role in developing an international consensus on the importance of national machineries. The Experts recommend that:

59. Experts revised a project proposal on " strengthening national machineries" (Annex I), to be carried out by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women. Experts expressed support for this project and recommended to implement it a soon as possible.

B. Links of national machineries with civil society

60. As pointed out above, all institutions, including national machineries, are embedded in social relations and networks. They derive strength from civil society, but are also at times constrained by dominant social forces. Civil society is a mosaic of various groups. Some are overtly political, such as political parties, while others, such as NGOs, religious organizations, trade unions and other economic lobbying groups reflect social and economic concerns of the society. National machineries should maximize support for their mandate from civil society. Such support becomes critical for the sustainability of national machineries. Civil society can strengthen the position of the national machinery vis a vis other parts of national government. This support also allows it to challenge and transform the views of those groups that are working in opposition to gender equality goals. Such social transformation can not be achieved without a partnership between the national machinery and civil society organizations.

61. In order to be sustainable, it is crucial for national machineries to have a strong bases in civil society. Many experts reported that the success of the national machinery in their country derives from the strong links they have with civil society groups. Others reported that lack of such support had eroded of legitimacy of the national machinery.

62. National machineries need to keep its channels to NGOs open. Whenever possible, national machineries should formalize and institutionalize their relationship with civil society groups. This is important not only to sustain support within civil society, but also to support NGOs where needed. Further, national machineries could be an important conduit between civil society and other parts of government. Support from civil society enhances the bargaining position of the national machinery within the government.

63. In order to strengthen its links with NGOs representing diverse groups of women, national machineries within the government should:

64. In order to expand support in civil society for its mandate, national machineries should:

65. The United Nations system should assist in strengthening the links between national machineries and NGOs by:

C. Mechanisms to hold governments accountable for mainstreaming gender

66. The analysis of the role of national machineries in gender mainstreaming led on to a discussion by the experts on mechanisms for holding government accountable. The Platform for Action notes that governments should report "on a regular basis, to legislative bodies on the progress of efforts, as appropriate, to mainstream gender concerns..." (paragraph 109). Experts noted the need for more specific recommendations regarding this issue, particularly mechanisms such as disaggregated statistics, performance indicators, expert scrutiny and regular public reporting. Transparency is a key element in the process of accountability.

67. In order for these accountability mechanisms to be effective, consideration should be given to their quality. Statistics should not only be disaggregated by sex, but should also be broken down with respect to variables such as urban/rural residence, age, ethnicity, race, disability, and other socio-economic variables.

68. Performance indicators, both qualitative and quantitative, should be regularly reviewed to ensure continuing relevance to the advancement of gender equality. Concern was expressed about targets being either too high, leading to inflated expectations of machineries, or targets set too low, leading to complacency. Targets need to be properly estimated.

69. National machineries play a key role in the process of accountability. Experts recommended that national machineries:

70. A specific form of accountability for gender outcomes is that of audit and gender budgeting. Experts recommended that governments:

71. The experts recommended that parliaments should also play a role in ensuring accountability of government. Parliaments should set up a Standing Committee to monitor progress of gender mainstreaming and to scrutinize gender related aspects of all government reporting. As already noted, it is expected that ministries will be using gender performance indicators, developed in conjunction with the national machinery, in their reporting to parliament. A Standing Committee should have a secretariat with technical expertise in gender analysis to scrutinise this aspect of reports.

72. Experts noted that in addition to their accountability to parliament, governments should also be held accountable for implementation of obligations entered into under international conventions and to the commitments made at United Nations world conferences, including the Beijing Conference. Experts recommended that:

73. It has been emphasized that the relationship between national machineries and civil society needs to be strong in order to ensure effictive functioning of national machineries. Civil society also plays an important role in monitoring and drawing attention to government accountability for gender mainstreaming. Experts recommended that civil society organizations should:

74. If national machineries are to enjoy sustained support among civil society organizations, they must be held accountable for implementation of their mandate. Experts recommended that NGO representatives be involved, where possible, in reviews of national machineries against performance indicators, and that the institutional channels recommended earlier be utilized.






Ms. Birgitta Aseskog
Project Manager
Nordic Council of Ministers
Ministry of Labour
103 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: 46-8 405 1261
Fax: 46-8 24 71 52

Ms. Soon-Young Chung
Korean Women’s Development Institute
Director,Lifelong Education and International Cooperation Divisions
Seoul, Korea
Tel: 82 2 359 6734
Fax: 82 2 384 7166/7162

Ms. Teresa Valdés Echenique
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales
Leopoldo Urrutia 1950, Ñuñoa
Santiago, Chile
Tel 562 225 6955 / 225 7357
Fax: 56 2 274 1004

Ms. Sawsan El-Messiri
Expert and Consultant on Women and Gender Issues
52 Musadak St. Doki
Cario, Egypt
Tel: 202 3603347
Fax: 202 360 0574

Ms. Zuzana Jezerska
Expert and Consultant on Women and Gender Issues
Urbankova 19
SK-811 04 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel: 421 7 396 845
Fax: 421 7 396 845

Ms. Mona Khalaf
Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World
at the Lebanese American University
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: 961 1 791 645

Ms. Joy C. Kwesiga
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences
Makerere University
P.O. Box 7062
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-41 545040
Fax:256-41 54 35 39 / 534181

Ms. Shirin M. Rai
Senior Lecturer in Politics and Women’s Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
Tel: 44 1 203 52 34 29

Ms. Marian Sawer
Visiting Fellow, Head of the Governance Stream
Political Science Program
Research School of Social Sciences
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
Tel: 61 02 62 49 0 130
Fax: 61 02 62 49 3051

Ms. Silvia Vega
Miembro del Secretariado Ejecutivo de la
Coordinadora Política de Mujeres Ecuatorianas
Coordinadora de la Coalición Política de Mujeres Andinas
Lérida 493 y Toledo Sector La Floresta
Quito, Ecuador
Tel: 593-2 522739
Telefax: 593-2 522 739/598 941/260940

Her Excellency Sra. Josefina Bilbao
Minister and Director
Servicio Nacional de la Mujer (SERNAM)
Teatinos 950
Tel: 56 2 5496100
Fax: 56 2 5496249

Ms. Patricia Vargas
Servicio Nacional de la Mujer (SERNAM)
Teatinos 950
Tel: 56 2 5496100
Fax:: 56 2 549 6249


United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Ms. Angela E.V. King
Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women
2 United Nations Plaza - Room 1220
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212 963 5086/0843
Fax: 212 963 3463

Ms. Dorota Gierycz
Chief, Gender Analysis Section
2 United Nations Plaza - Room 1244
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212 963 5913
212 963 3463

Ms. Christina Janssen
Associate Expert
2 United Nations Plaza - Room 1208
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel:212 963 3787
Fax: 212 963 3462

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mr. José Antonio Ocampo
Éxecutive Secretary
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56-2 210 2672
Fax: 56 2 2080252

Ms. Diane Alméras
Social Affairs Officer
Women and Development Unit
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 562 2102691
Fax: 562 208 1553

Ms. Nieves Rico
Social Affairs Officer
Women and Development Unit
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 210 2691
Fax: 56 2 2081553

Ms. Miriam Krawczyk
Programme Planning and Operations Division
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 210 2547
Fax: 56 2 228 5184

Ms. Sandra Leiva
Unidad Mujer y Desarrollo
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 210 2672
Fax: 56 2 208 1553

Ms. Adela Britos
Unidad Mujer y Desarrollo
Casilla 179-D
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 210 2672
Fax: 56 2 2081553

Ms. María Angélica Pacheco
Asistente de Información
Casilla 179-D
Tel: 56 2 2102000
Fax: 56 2 08 0252




Ms. Waltraud Dahs
Federal Ministry for Family Affairs
Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Rochusstrasse 8-10,
53123 Bonn, Germany
Tel: 49 228 930 2015
Fax: 49 228 930 4915


Ms. Karen Madden
(for Status of Women Canada)
Human Resources Development Canada
Policy Analyst
Women's Bureau
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase II
Hull, Quebec, Canada KIA 0J9
Tel:819 953 0050
Fax: 819 953 4962


United Nations System


Ms. Lieve Daeren
Associate Expert on Gender Issues, Multidisciplinary Team
C/o Mr. Victor Tokman, Assistant Director General of the ILO
Regional Director for the Americas
Las Flores 295
San Isidro Apartado Postal 3638
Lima, Perú


Ms. Maria Luisa Jáuregui
Regional Specialist on Education for Women
Enrique Delpiano 2058
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 655 1050 Ext. 26
Fax: 56 2 655 1046


Ms. Soledad Larraín
Tel: 562 231 4210
Fax: 562 231 2360


Ms. Aparna Mehrotra
Deputy Chief
Regional Programme Division for Latin America and the Caribbean
New York, N.Y.
Tel: 212 906 5422
Fax: 212 906 5363


Non-Governmental Organizations

Disabled People’s International

Ms. Paulina Cavada
Santiago de Chile
Tel: 56 2 678 2105
Fax: 56 2 678 2098

Ms. Anneli Joneken
Chairperson of the Women’s Committee of
Disabled Peoples International
Fax: 46 8 626 8567

Soroptomist International

Ms. Myriam Coto
Empresaria Secretaria Administrativa
Presidenta Electa Soroptimist Internacional Miembro de la
Sociedad de Mujeres Profesionales y de Negocios
Nocedal 6498, La Reina
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 2776303

Ms. Sylvia Fernandez
Presidenta Club Santiago
SIA Santiago
Camino Las Nieves 1478
Las Condes
Santiago, Chile
Fax: 56 2 226 1624

Ms. Katherine Garcia
Marchant Pereira 1460
Apartamento 503 Providencia
Santiago, Chile

Bahai International Community

Ms. Bani Dugal Gujral
Office for the Advancement of Women
866 United Nations Plaza Suite 120
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: 212 803 2500
Fax: 212 803 2566

Instituto del Tercer Mundo

Ms. Susana Rostagnol
Jackson 1132
Montevideo 11200
Tel: 598 2 4096192
Fax: 598 2 419222

Zonta International

Ms. Olga Arellano Salgado
Santiago, Chile
Fax: 56 32 66 3778

Women’s Studies Center

Ms. Rosalba Todaro
Purisima 353
Santiago, Chile
Tel: 56 2 777 1194
Fax: 56 2 735 1230




Background Papers:

EGM/NM/1998/BP.1    National Machineries for Gender Equality- A Global Perspective
                                        Background paper prepared by the Division for the Advancement of Women

LC/R.1837       The Institutionality of Gender Equity in the State: A Diagnosis for Latin America and the                             Caribbean       Background paper prepared by the Women and Development Unit of ECLAC

Experts' Papers:

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.1    The Life and Times of Women's Policy Machinery: Lessons from Australia
                                        Prepared by Marian Sawer

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.2    National Machineries and Exemplary Cases Strategy: Lessons Learned from                                          Experience in the Republic of Korea        Prepared by Soon-Young Chung

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.3    National Machineries for Women: the Indian Experience
                                        Prepared by Shirin M. Rai

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.4 Some Aspects of Gender Awareness Problem Linked to the National Machineries in the                                     Countries of Central and Eastern Europe     Prepared by Suzana Jezerská

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.5 The Organizational, Political and Cognitive Contexts of National Women's Machineries
                                            Prepared by Nuket Kardam

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.6 National Machinery for Gender Equality in Sweden and other Nordic Countries
                                            Prepared by Birgitta Aseskog

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.7 National Machinery in Egypt, Problems and Challenges
                                                    Prepared by Dr. Sawsan El Messiri

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.8 The Case of Uganda           Prepared by Joy C. Kwesiga

EGM/NM/1998/E.P.9 Mecanismos Nacionales: Estrategias para el avance desde el Movimiento de Mujeres                                        Prepared by Teresa Valdés

EGM/NM/1998/E.P10 Papel del Movimiento de Mujeres en la Institucionalización del Enfoque de Género en las                                       Políticas Públicas. La Experiencia Ecuatoriana            Prepared by Silvia Vega

EGM/NM/1998/E.P11 The National Women Machinery: The Lebanese Case    Prepared by Mona Chemali                                        Khalaf

Observers' Papers:

EGM/NM/1998/OP.1 Recommendations to the Expert Group Meeting on National Machineries for Gender Equality by NGO Committee on the Status of Women Task Force on Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women        Prepared by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women

EGM/NM/1998/OP.2 Reunión de Expertos de las Naciones Unidas sobre Maquinarias Nacionales para la Igualdad en el Género          Prepared by Paulina Cavada



Monday, 31 August

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Registration of participants
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.



11:30 a.m - 12:00 p.m.

Opening ceremony

Election of officers

Adoption of agenda

Coffee break

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Presentation by the Division for the Advancement of Women: Substantive introduction to the meeting
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.




4:30 - 4:45 p.m.

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Presentations and discussion: The situation of national machineries after Beijing (Analysis of location, resources, activities, relation to civil society, capacity to mainstream gender and suggestions for new initiatives)

Coffee break

Continuation of discussion


Tuesday, 1 September

9:30 - 11:45 a.m.


11:45 - 12:00 p.m.

Presentations and discussion (cont.):

The situation of national machineries after Beijing

Coffee break

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Identification of three major issues for working groups to analyze and draft recommendations.

Suggested areas:

(1) Legal mandate, location in the political system and resources

(2) Activities of national machineries and their relationship with civil society

(3) Capacity to mainstream gender issues and/or other areas, to be decided in plenary

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 - 4:30 p.m

4:30 - 4:45 p.m.

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.

Working groups on issue (1)

Coffee break

Working groups continue.

Wednesday, 2 September

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Reports from working groups, discussion and summary of key issues
10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Coffee break

Working groups on issue (2)

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.


4:00 - 4:15 p.m.

Reports from working groups, discussion and summary of key issues

Coffee break

4:15 - 6:00 p.m. Working groups on issue (3)

Thursday, 3 September

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Reports from working groups, discussion and summary of key issues

Coffee break

10:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Drafting groups to prepare the final report and the recommendations, based on the previous discussions. Elaboration of recommendations for (a) governments, (b) national machineries, (c) international organizations and (d) groups from civil society
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

4:30 - 4:45 p.m.

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.

Drafting groups continue

Coffee break

Drafting groups continue

Friday, 4 September

9:30 - 10:45 a.m.


10:45 - 11:00 a.m.

11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Presentation and discussion of the report and the recommendations in plenary

Coffee break

Press Conference

Continuation of discussion

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 - 4:15 p.m. Adoption of the final report and the recommendations
4:30 p.m. Closing session

Coffee break



In line with the Beijing Platform of Action, the experts noted the important role being played by National Machineries for the Advancement of Women. Discussions at the meeting, and the various case studies indicated that the potential of these machineries is not yet fully exploited. Reasons for this differ from one country to another, but areas of commonality were clearly identified as the main report demonstrates, and there are basic aspects where external assistance is called for.

The appended sample proposal on "Strengthening National Machineries for the Advancement of Women" highlights these major areas of concern and provides the relevant framework that National Machineries can utilize to address the constraints they currently face. The focus is on gender mainstreaming, monitoring progress in the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action and funding.

The experts recommend wide circulation of this sample proposal. It opens channels for National Machineries to be more proactive in executing their role. The experts note that the proposal can be adapted to national priorities. They commend the Division for the Advancement of Women for this initiative. In this connection, it is recommended that donor countries, the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programs respond positively to national machineries when they request funding under this or similar proposals.


Sample Project Proposal

Project Number:

Project Title: Strengthening National Machineries

for the Advancement of Women

Project Duration:

Project Sites:

Sector: Women in Development

Executing Agency:

Cooperating Agency:

Implementing Agency:

Estimated Starting Date:

Funding Agency:

Government inputs:


Brief Description:










On behalf of: Signature Date Name/Title



A. Context

1. Description of the Sub-sector

As one of the twelve critical areas of concern addressed in the Beijing Platform for Action, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women have received attention by governments and the international community in recent years. National women's machineries for the advancement of women have been established in almost every Member State, inter alia, to design, promote the implementation of, execute, monitor, evaluate, advocate and mobilize support for the policies that promote the advancement of women and gender mainstreaming. However, these machineries are diverse in form and uneven in their effectiveness, and in some cases marginalized. The Beijing Platform for Action stated that "...[institutional] mechanisms are frequently hampered by unclear mandates, lack of adequate staff training , data and sufficient resources, and insufficient support from (national) political leadership." Despite the progress achieved in creation of national machineries and intensification of advocacy efforts, the overall situation described above does not appear to have changed appreciably.

2. Prior and ongoing activities

In keeping with the objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action, a number of initiatives supported by international assistance have sought to examine the needs of national women's machineries and the constraints they face in implementing their mandates, and to assist them in designing appropriate organizational structures and effective strategies. The following activities undertaken by the United Nations system are illustrative of these actions:

The Directory of National Machineries for the Advancement of Women was compiled by the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW). It is updated regularly from questionnaires submitted to national women's machineries, and distributed to all national machinery offices. The directory aims to facilitate and promote the exchange of information and experiences among national women?s machineries or equivalent bodies dealing with the advancement of women throughout the world.

The Regional Project RER/95/012 "Women in Development in CEE and CIS," a two-and-half year project, which was carried out from August 1995 to December 1997, was designed to assist in the establishment of national women's machineries in CEE and CIS countries. Gender in Development Units were set up in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Slovakia. The objectives of the project were to identify needs and to build networks.

3. Legal and structural framework

This section of the project document describes the legal and institutional arrangements between the host government and the implementing agency for carrying out the project. It will be developed in agreement with the cooperating partners. For example, it will identify the government counterpart agency and the channels of communication.

4. Identification of existing capacity and needs

One of the primary objectives of the work of national machineries for the advancement of women is to create cultural change leading to the provision of an enabling environment for women's full participation in social, economic and political lives. As noted earlier, existing national women's machineries lack capacity and resources. Initiatives in support of this objective call for a wide range of activities from training courses on gender mainstreaming to the development of statistics and indicators to development of advocacy skills and strategies. Actions called for to properly address the constraints the national women's machineries face in implementing their mandates and to assist them in designing appropriate organizational structures and effective strategies require long term commitment by the governments in order to ensure the sustainability of the institutional arrangements and the effectiveness of the programmes. In reference to women's full participation, women NGO's cooperation should be sought after for the initiating phase of planning and designing to the implementation of the project. Given the different national contexts, priorities, and resources available, different strategies would be required.

The following proposal therefore, contains illustrative activities that can be undertaken together or as independent activities, based on individual country needs assessment and funding possibilities. Experience to date reveals that in the area of training, assistance to international community could produce benefits in terms of strengthening capacity of national women's machineries. It focuses primarily on the needs in the areas of training. Actions may include the following: training to strengthen the national machinery, in areas such as negotiation skills, networking, preparation of project proposals, media and publicity campaigns, resource mobilization, and gender mainstreaming.


B. Project Justification

1. Problems to be addressed

While all existing national women's machineries aim at the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, their terms of references, location, composition and resources vary considerably. However, they face similar problems such as marginalization of women's issues and programmes, non participation at the decision making level of the national plans, lack of information and human and financial resources. Given the cross-cutting nature of the issue of women and gender in development, the national women's machineries need to be given training and proper technical support in order to reach their full potential in undertaking their responsibilities effectively and efficiently. Capacity building in national women's machineries involve the overall development of the technical, management, administrative and research systems and sub-systems, so that these bodies would become permanently self-reliant in formulating and implementing development plans and policies for planning, organizing resources, establishing linkages and producing outputs. Specifically, the project will address the following main problem areas where the national women's machineries need strengthening to build up their capacity in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action:

1.1. National women's machineries need skills and tools for mainstreaming gender issues in national programmes. The position of the national women's machineries often are marginalized and the capacity of personnel in the national machineries are inadequate to support the broad range of tasks of gender mainstreaming. The UN technical assistance programme and the international community could assist in equipping the national machineries with the skills and tools necessary by:

* providing training to national machineries on gender analysis methodologies;

* assisting the national machineries to develop gender disaggregated data. This will be done in collaboration with national statistical offices where they exist. The data would be used as the basis for national planning, resource allocation and accountability. Although the importance of collecting gender desegregated data has been recognized, the statistics have often not been compiled adequately;

* conducting training courses on gender mainstreaming, its theories and best practices;

* conducting advocacy skills training, including public speaking.

1.2. Capacity building in monitoring the implementation of Beijing Platform for Action and CEDAW:

* National machineries are entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of Beijing Platform for Action and CEDAW. However, national plans to empower women including utilizing the instrument of CEDAW are not well publicized and understood; nor are the ways for their implementation clear. This is largely due to the fact that national machineries often do not have the full access to information and even less resources in outreach activities. There is need to establish better linkages with line ministries, government agencies, civil society, the international community, and last but not least women NGOs. UN technical assistance programmes could assist the national women's machineries to:

* strengthen institutional linkages with line ministries, government agencies in order to facilitate information flow on government policies and programmes affecting the situation of women;

* develop plans and skills in the conduct of mass media campaigns, including developing strategies to gain support from and build alliances with women's groups through regular information dissemination to women on their rights and entitlements via media and Internet, and to develop channels for feedback from women's NGOs. UNDP can assist member states in this project;

* conduct workshops on CEDAW to enhance awareness to support monitoring and reporting.

1.3. The national women's machineries have a number of responsibilities, yet they have a lack of resources, limited in staff and financial allocation. Therefore, they may need to develop a methodology to attract resources, and to track budget allocations and resource expenditure.


2. Expected end of project situation

At the end of the project activities, it is expected that there would be improved capacity of national women's machineries. They will be equipped with manuals, guidelines and other training materials to better perform their tasks in mainstreaming gender, implementing the Beijing Platform for Action and monitoring progress made. They will also experience enhanced collaboration with other government offices, civil society and NGOs.


Beneficiaries and participants of the project

National women's machineries; government departments and women's NGOs.

4. Project strategy and institutional arrangements

Project strategy is done through mainstreaming, the capacity building and the strengthening of national machineries to mainstream gender concerns. It applies to the integration of gender issues into all dimensions of development theory and practices, and necessitates a change in the methods of working at all levels. Women's issues are accorded a higher profile and enhanced access to funding where national women's machineries are located within a higher level of government. The starting point for the formulation of this strategy is an analysis of the existing national policy framework for women. In the absence of a framework, there needs to be a dialogue with government concerning the need for a national policy or at a minimum a statement of intent concerning the equality of men and women. Targeting training of trainers, government decision makers, and women leaders is an integral part of the mainstreaming strategy. Several national women's machineries have cooperated with local academic institutions both to develop women's studies courses as academic subjects and to provide in-service training for their management staff. Government's understanding of the role of women at policy and decision making levels in key economic and planning ministries varies considerably. Interpretations of decision-making are extremely flexible, which makes it difficult to ascertain progress. Thus, training provided to different levels of government personnel on gender sensitization, on women's perspectives in the changing productive, economic and social conditions, as well as women's know-how, initiatives and capacities could be instrumental in the implementation of mainstreaming Gender in Development.

Specification of institutional arrangements between government and the UN Agency concerned with implementing this project will be negotiated according to government and UN agency's agreement. UN Resident Coordinators can play a central role in this respect.

5. Reasons for assistance from DAW

Grounded in the vision of equality of the United Nations Charter, the Division for the Advancement of Women, as part of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat, advocates the improvement of the status of the women of the world and the achievement of their equality with men. DAW is a catalyst for advancing the global agenda on women's issues and for mainstreaming gender in all sectors. Under the Division, there are four main branches: I) Gender Analysis Section conducts research and develops policy options, fosters interaction between governments and civil society and provides substantive servicing for UN intergovernmental and expert bodies, ii) Women's Rights Unit assists in breaking down the barriers between human rights and development and fosters the attainment of women's human rights as an integral part of development, iii) Coordination and Outreach Unit raises awareness, promotes international standards and norms and sharing of best practices, and strengthening communication between the international and national policy-making processes and the women of the world, and iv) Gender Advisory Services Unit provides governments with advisory services and technical support in the activities related to gender in development. These services, together with those offered through the WomenWatch databank on the Internet (a joint initiative by DAW, UNIFEM, and INSTRAW), can support UN system-wide cooperation at country level in information sharing, advisory support, policy development, and institutional capacity development at various levels.

6. Counterpart Support Capacity

Specific activities will be identified based on examining the capacity of the requesting country, including, inter alia, national machineries in house capability, linkage to and work of local and international organizations.

Project Objectives, Outputs and Activities

***NOTE: Group of activities under each Immediate Objective could be selected and developed into full fledged independent projects, subject to needs identified by the governments and resources available. They also may be treated as sequential phases in a larger project.

Immediate Objective 1. Assist national women's machineries in mainstreaming gender in national policies and programmes through providing skills training and tools for gender mainstreaming.

Output 1.1. Training modules and materials on gender analysis

Activity 1.1.1. Assess need for training modules tailored to local needs and conditions.

Activity 1.1.2. Develop suitable gender analysis training material and modules.

Output 1.2. Development of statistics and indicators

Activity 1.2.1. Assess existing gender statistics and indicators in country.

Activity 1.2.2. Identify areas for collecting gender disaggregated data.

Activity 1.2.3. Propose necessary training of relevant personnel to carry out data


Activity 1.2.4 Develop training materials and modules for indicators.

Output 1.3. Development of methodologies and guidelines

Activity 1.3.1. Assess and collect existing guidelines relevant to women and gender

equality at national level and intra-ministerial level.

Activity 1.3.2. Identify actors and partners in the implementation of guidelines.

Activity 1.3.3. Develop guidelines/directives with the participation and full

consultation with the partners identified.

Output 1.4. Training of trainers courses on gender mainstreaming, its theories and best practices Activity 1.4.1 Select international consultant.

Activity 1.4.2. Prepare training materials.

Activity 1.4.3. Identify local resource persons and local trainers as participants.

Activity 1.4.4. Conduct training courses.

Activity 1.4.5. Test run on selected senior government officials and decision makers.

Immediate Objective 2. Assist the national women's machineries in building their capacity to monitor the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and CEDAW activities.

This could be achieved through strengthening national women's machineries interaction with media and communication systems including the establishment of an electronic network, in order to build greater constituency/advocacy groups.

The objectives of such a network are three-fold, first, to facilitate dialogue among countries of similar political, social and cultural backgrounds in order to share experiences and find better practices to enhance the effectiveness of these machineries; second, to strengthen the capacity of these machineries through training over Internet and, thirdly, to monitor progresses in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action at international, regional and national levels. This last goal is particular value for the follow-up of the Fourth World Conference on Women since it will provide a cost effective means in the preparation for the Review of progress achieved by the year 2000.

Output 2.1. Publicity campaign strategy and plan of action

Activity 2.1.1. Identify critical areas and resources.

Activity 2.1.2. Training in conducting publicity campaign strategy and public speaking.

Activity 2.1.3. Development of audio-visual and other materials advocating selected priority issues, such as women?s health or education.

Activity 2.1.4 Training in development of appropriate approaches to mass media for optimum effectiveness.

Output 2.2. Electronic network linkages

To further improve the organization of the information available as well as the exchange of information between the national machineries with other intergovernmental, governmental agencies, civil societies and women's organizations, an information network through Internet could be established to link up with the above mentioned organizations. In addition to enabling the national machineries to access information and databank on the internet such as contact persons, focal points and gender experts in governments and in women's organizations, and current information on various meetings , the linkage could be used in a proactive manner as a tool for publicity campaigns, or as a forum for consultation and feedback from the women's groups. It is also envisaged that the United Nations could organize training through Internet and tele-conferencing amongst the senior officials who are responsible for national machineries to share experiences and to discuss possible cooperation. Recently, a joint initiative by DAW, UNIFEM, and INSTRAW has developed a UN Internet gateway, WomenWatch, to provide information including on global conferences, regional action plans and statistical data disaggregated by sex.

Activity 2.2.1. Identify national capacity for establishment of databank

Activity 2.2.2. Establishment of databank on information relevant to gender, including directory of women's NGOs

Activity 2.2.3. Conduct training on operating and maintaining the network

Activity 2.2.4. Create a website on gender issues

Activity 2.2.5. Training on setting up tele-conferencing

Output 2.3. Baseline study on institutional arrangements and available resources

Activity 2.3.1. Assist the personnel of national women's machineries in designing the above baseline study.

Activity 2.3.2. Consult ministries, government agencies, and identify existing and potential resources.

Activity 2.3.3 Prepare organigram to show existing structures and possible linkages with other government agencies.

Immediate objective 3. Strengthen the national women's machineries capability in resource mobilization

Output 3.1. Baseline study on institutional arrangements and available resources

Activity 3.1.1. Assist the personnel of national women's machineries in designing the above baseline study.

Activity 3.1.2. Consult ministries, government agencies, and identify existing and potential resources.

Activity 3.1.3. Prepare organigram to show existing structures and possible linkages

with other government agencies.

Output 3.2. Training session on technical cooperation

Activity 3.2.1. Draft training programme.

Activity 3.2.2. Prepare training materials.

Activity 3.2.3. Invite local resource persons and trainees including local women NGOs as appropriate.

Activity 3.2.4. Conduct training workshops on concept of operational activities, project document preparation, resource mobilization.

D. Work Plan

A more detailed workplan to be developed based upon country requirements and actions selected for implementation.

E. Project Budget

Proposed budget for Objective 1

1. International Input                                              Thousands

A. International consultants                                                 $

B. National professional project personnel                          $

C. Travel                                                                           $

D. Administrative costs                                                      $

E. Training materials                                                          $

F. Misc.                                                                            $

2. Government Input : Government will provide training facilities and administrative support costs, salaries of trainees, and in-country travel.

Proposed budget for Objective 2

1. International input :                                              Thousands

A. International consultant 2 months                                  $

B. travel                                                                            $

C. equipment (Optional)                                                    $

2. Government input: government will provide salaries for National project personnel, and administrative support costs.

Proposed budget for Objective 3.

1. International Input                                              Thousands

A. International consultants                                              $

B. National professional project personnel                       $

C. Administrative support .                                              $

D. travel                                                                          $

E. Training materials                                                         $

F. Misc.                                                                          $

2. Government inputs

Government will provide training facilities and administrative support costs, salaries of trainees, and in-country travel.


In accordance with the Expert Group Meeting's decision that best practices described in the expert's papers should be included in a separate annex, the following excerpts are set out below:

Role of national machinery in mainstreaming gender

(from the paper of Ms. Marian Sawer)

"The functional priority given to gender audit of all policies meant in turn a related structural focus on locating women's policy machinery within the central policy co-ordinating agency of government [,....]linked to a network of departmental women's units responsible for monitoring policy at the point of initiation.[...]"

"Australian feminists decided against a self-standing bureau or ministry on the grounds that it might simply become a "waste-paper basket for women's problems" and an alibi for gender-blind policy in the rest of the government. It was also perceived that a self-standing minstry would lack policy clout and have difficulty in accessing crucial Cabinet submissions and Cabinet processes.[...]"

"While women's co-ordination units [...] focused on across-the-board gender analysis of policy rather that program delivery, they were also responsible for co-ordinating cross-portfolio initiatives and for development of new policy to the point where it could be handed over to another agency for implementation."

(from the paper of Ms. Teresa Valdés)

"Al finalizar el primer gobierno democrático, el SERNAM contaba con una red institucional a lo largo de todo el país y podía mostrar avances en su capacidad de formular políticas. Un ejemplo de ello fue la elaboracíon de un Plan de Igualdad de Oportunidades para las Mujeres (SERNAM 1995), herramienta de política estratégica. En él se establecen prioridades de acción y su finalidad es facilitar el diseño de políticas públicas en favor de las mujeres, orientando la acción de distintos actores estatales para que incorporen estas propuestas en las políticas sectoriales. Este plan fue incluido como parte del programa para el actual gobierno y asumido éste vez en el poder."


(from the paper of Ms. Shirin Rai)

"The National Commission for Women in India is a cross-consultative body on women's interests. It includes women from different backgrounds - those who have been active in the women's movements, party women, and bureaucrats. It is a permanent Commission with a chair and a working committee of five members. The Committee is representative of different regions, and operates the caste based quotas mandatory in government institutions [...]. The "parent ministry" of the Commission is the Ministry for Women and Child Development, but the Commission liaises closely with other ministries too, depending upon the intervention in policy that it decides to make."

"In the work if its founding chair, the functions of the Commission include: 'to review, investigate, examine and recommend.' [...]. The Commission presents its findings on particular issues to the appropriate level of government/ministry. Lobbying individual political leaders for change is an important part of the Commission's work."


Nordic Countries
(from the paper of Ms. Birgitta Aseskog)

"The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a project in order to develop methods and tools for mainstreaming a gender perspective into labour market policy and youth policy in the Nordic countries. The project started in March 1997 and will finish in December 1999. The main purpose is to develop and test different methods and try to find a model for mainstreaming a gender perspective into normal policy processes. The organisation of the project is like an umbrella, under which lots of activities take place. The most important activities are mainstreaming projects at local, regional or central level in each country. At Nordic level, common activities, such as seminars, working groups, study visits and programmes for the exchange of experience, are arranged in order to support the development of the national projects. A project leader has been appointed for the co-ordination of the Nordic project and a group of reference, with representatives from all the Nordic countries, follows and supports the development of the project. Project leaders are also appointed for all the national projects."


Slovak Republic
(from the paper of Ms. Suzana Jezerska)

"In Slovakia, in 1996 the Co-ordinating Committee on Women's Issues was established. The committee serves as advisory, co-ordinating and initiative organ of the government and is chaired by the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. Members of the Commission are representatives of the National Council, NGOs, trade unions, central state administrative bodies, research institutions, churches and experts dealing with the problems of women, children and family."


(from the paper of Ms. Birgitta Aseskog)

"[...] since there is a conviction in Sweden that a policy for equality cannot be developed independently of other policy areas, each Minister in the Swedish Government is responsible for promoting, analysing, evaluating and following-up the work for equality in his or her field of responsibility. Since 1994 onwards the Prime Minister has declared in the annual statement of government policy that the gender equality perspective should be taken into account in the preparatory proceedings of all decisions by the Cabinet. This written statement is an important legitimate base for the implementation of mainstreaming methods. It is often referred to in the dialogue on gender issues between the Equality Affairs Division and the ministries.

Another important tool for mainstreaming is the Government's decision (also in 1994) on special terms of reference, stating that all government committees of inquiry should analyse and discuss their proposals from a gender perspective. The gender impact - whether direct or indirect - of proposed changes in the labour market, in the economy, in the welfare system, in education, etc. should be described. If the committee or the special commissioner considers it impossible or unnecessary to do so, the reason must be stated. Training courses are offered to all special commissioners and their secretaries in order to help them fulfil the requirements.

The Equality Affairs Division has overall responsibility for developing tools and mechanisms for mainstreaming and for supporting and pushing through the work for equality at national and regional levels. The division also reviews proposals for government bills and other government decisions emanating from various ministries. This is to ensure that a gender perspective has been taken into account and to monitor the work towards fulfilling the target of an even distribution of women and men in committees and state boards. It is important to note, however, that the division's role is to promote, encourage and support. The actual work of ensuring that the gender impact is considered in the administrative proceedings, for example in planning processes and budgeting, rests with each ministry.

At regional level the County Administrative Boards, which are government authorities, are responsible for mainstreaming the gender perspective in all policy fields. The County Administrative Boards have employed gender experts to start, support and monitor the process of mainstreaming a gender perspective in ordinary policy processes in all relevant areas. A medium-term strategic plan (1997-2000) for the equality-promoting work has been designed by each Board and submitted to the government."

"The cornerstones in the mainstreaming strategy are:

- Responsibility at the highest level. Strategies and tools are needed to make it clear that overall responsibility for the implementation of gender mainstreaming rests with the highest level of government and public administration.

- Making gender visible. To this end, statistics disaggregated by sex are indispensable. The government has therefore given instructions to Statistics Sweden to present all official statistics, which are based on individuals, disaggregated by sex. The same goes for public authorities who produce statistics in their fields or who are buying statistics from Statistics Sweden.

- Increase the knowledge of issues related to gender equality. A mainstreaming strategy implies that not only gender experts but also the ordinary staff will deal with equality issues as part of their daily work. In order to do this they need knowledge. What it is most important is that the top level management have sufficient knowledge to fulfil their duty to mainstream a gender perspective in their field of responsibility. Awareness-raising and training seminars on gender equality for top-level management were first arranged by the Equality Affairs Division in 1994. Most of the Ministers, State Secretaries, Political Advisors, special commissioners and Press-Secretaries in the Cabinet Offices have already attended. The training is now being extended to all top managers of the public authorities. The main aim of the training is to provide basic facts on the situation of women and men respectively in Swedish society and to discuss equality issues in relation to the national goal for equality.

- Develop methods and tools. Although each ministry is responsible for the development of methods and tools for the integration of a gender perspective in their field of responsibility, the Equality Affairs Division has an overall responsibility to encourage and support the development. To this end a "flying expert" on gender issues has been engaged to help some of the ministries develop tools and routines which ensure the integration of a gender perspective in policy processes (such as gender statistics, training courses, checklists, follow-up procedures). An analytical tool to check gender relevance and assess the different effects on women and men of policy proposals has been developed and distributed to the ministries.

In order to stimulate the development of tools for gender mainstreaming, a working-group chaired by the State Secretary for Equality Affairs and with representatives from central, regional and local level was set up in January 1998. The task of the group is to develop the gender training program, develop tools for gender impact assessment and methods for monitoring and evaluation. Funds have been allocated for seminars, hearings, research and trial projects.

Monitoring and follow-up. The State Secretary for Equality Affairs meets regularly with her colleagues form other ministries to discuss, inter alia, gender impact analyses and promotion and evaluation of measures undertaken. In order to supply Parliament with information on the development of the mainstreaming process in the Government, all ministries had to review and report on their equality work (from 1994 to 1996) to the Minister for Equality Affairs"


(from the paper of Ms. Joy Kwesiga)

"Within one decade, notable achievements have been realised:

Formulating a national gender policy aimed at providing policy makers and other key actors in the development field with reference/guidelines for identifying and addressing gender concerns.

Training in gender planning analysis skills for stakeholders: To-date, the training has targeted at Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments, District technical staff, Magistrates and State Attorneys. In addition, five training manuals have been developed for the different target groups. A detailed interview of 25 key civil servants testified that this has made a change in their general outlook towards gender and other forms of inequality [...].

Five sector policies reviewed from a gender perspective: The ministry has initiated a programme aimed at making Sector Policies and plans gender responsive. It examines whether women and men participate and benefit equally from the development process.

Publication of gender disaggregated data: Publishing facts and figures on the situation of men and women to substantiate arguments on the disadvantaged position of women vis-à-vis men.

Gender mainstreaming in National District Programmes and budgets: The ministry works through planning mechanisms at National and District levels to support the integration of gender and develop indicators on how women and men are benefiting. This is very important under the new decentralised system. [...]

Legal education for women: A programme to sensitize women on their legal rights has been on-going for at least five years. [...]

Gender experts in Uganda: Civil services staff capacity to address the issue of gender and women in development has been expanded. They provide technical support in government ministries and development agencies.

Advocacy/awareness on gender issues: A lot of awareness has been created among the Ugandan public on gender issues. This is reflected in the level of discussion that goes on both in the media and other fora. Evidence of this is the public outcry at current attempts to marginalise the gender component of the restructured Ministry. [...] The visible national machinery has played a strong part in stimulating such concerns."

Links of national machinery with civil society

(from the paper of Ms. Marian Sawer)

"Meditation by femocrats both in co-ordinating and line departments contributed to the ability of women's services to resist pressure be become conventional service deliverers and to persist in modelling feminist organizational forms. Most women's services [...] were government-funded but largely run on semi-collectivist lines by community-based groups. Representatives of such services were brought into policy advisory bodies and played an important role in policy development and law reform"

(from the paper of Ms. Teresa Valdés)

"Los acuerdos alcanzados se vaciaron en un texto y el día 23 de septiembre de 1997 el gobierno se comprometío públicamente, con la firma de esta Acto de Compromiso, a impulsar medidas para asegurar el ejercicio del poder y la toma de decisiones por parte de las mujeres. Se llevó así a cabo la Primera Sesión de Foro Nacional para el Seguimiento de laos Acuerdos de Beijing.

La firma de esta Acta de Compromiso es, por ende, la expresión de un acuerdo político entre la sociedad civil y el Gobierno en pos de avanzar hacia la equidad entre los géneros [...]."

"Tras las firma de Acta, el Ministro Secretario General de la presidencia, Juan Vullarzú, reiteró la prioridad que para el Gobierno tiene el plan de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujer, y su inclusión en el proces de modernización de Estado junto con otras medidas específicas tendientes a concretarlo en cada una de las actividades e iniciativas prioritarias de los distintos Ministerios."

"Al completarse casí un año de esta Acta de Compromiso, el escenario ha cambiado, también algunos de los ministros. El Grupo Iniciativa se apresta a visitar a los antiguos y nuevos interlocutores de modo de fiscalizar el cumplimiento de estos compromisos."

(from the paper of Ms. Silvia Vega)

"La estrategiia para lograr incorporar el enfoque de género en las políticas públicas desde la acción organizada del movimiento de mujeres se valida si entendemos que tal proceso de institucionalización del enfoque de género supone dimensiones téchicas y politicas, y abarca distintos ámbitos y mecanismos. Mientras las instancias especializadas del Estado tienen und función más específicamente técnica, el rol que le corresponde al movimiento de mujeres es el de proponer, presionar, negociar, vigilar, movilizarse, denunciar, etc. es decir, un rol más específicamente político."

"Para plantearse una estrategiea de incidencia en el Estado desde el movimiento social de las mujeres es indispensable habe desarrollado un proceso interno al movimiento social de definición de propuestas en base de análisis de los principales problemas de las mujeres, lo que en el caso ecuadoriano fue la definición de la Agenda Política de las Mujeres - y las Agendas Locales-. Esta constituye la guía de la acción, la que señala las áreas prioriarias de intervención y las propuestas a plantear."

(from the paper of Ms. Mona Khalaf)

"It became evident, once the separate workplans [of the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) and the NGO Committee] were ready, that a unified and coordinated strategy would be much more efficient in improving the status of the Lebanese women and achieve gender mainstreaming. Using their individual workplans, the NCLW and the NGO Committee drew a unified strategy vision called the Lebanese Women's National Strategy. Its implementation is to be carried out by both the NCLW and the NGO Committee 'through complementary activities aimed at achieving commong goals' (The Lebanese Women's National Strategy)."

Republic of Korea
(from the paper of Ms. Soon-Young Chung)

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the post-80s advancement of women was a joint production of the machineries and women's organizations. The machineries [...] allocated government funding to women's organizations; the women's organizations participated in the machineries' projects; and both sides held regular consultative meetings and cooperated in national activities."

(from the paper of Ms. Birgitta Aseskog)

"Although NGOs are not considered part of the national machinery for gender equality, Women's organizations are nevertheless a vital factor in influencing attitudes and awareness of gender issues. They also have an important role as pressure groups for the development of equality policy in the Nordic countries. Co-operation between the governments and the NGOs is very close. Governments give financial support to women's organizations, and representatives of NGOs are included in official national delegations to international fora."


Mechanisms to hold governments accountable for gender mainstreaming

(from the paper of Ms. Marian Sawer)

"Another Australian invention is was the women's budget process. This was a major co-ordinating exercise, pioneered at the federal level in 1984, whereby all departments and agencies were required to account for impact of their activities on women in budget documents. The Women's Budget Program was a world-first in terms of educating bureaucrats to disaggregate the impact of their 'mainstream' programs rather that simply highlighting programs for women. [...] Departments were not allowed to escape with unsubstantiated claims that because their policies were directed towards some public benefit such as the health of the economy, they would have the same impact on women and men. Departments were required to maintain gender-disaggregated statistics relevant to all their policies and programs."

(from the paper of Ms. Birgitta Aseskog)

"Although the main principles and the goals are the same, the Nordic countries have chosen somewhat different ways of establishing gender equality by law. Also, the systems of law enforcement and organizational structures differ to some extent. In Norway, Sweden and Finland, a Gender Equality Ombudsman ensures that the relevant Act on Gender Equality is duly complied with, while other bodies (for example, councils) draft policy on this issue and related matters. In Denmark and Iceland, a Gender Equality Council is responsible for both drafting the policy and the implementation of the relevant legislation. [...] All the Nordic countries,[...] share the defining feature that work on gender equality is overseen by public offices connected to and set up by the central authorities."