Following the 1995 UN Beijing conference on women when the ambivalent “gender” concept became the object of an alleged “global consensus”, the normative and operational institutional capacities of the UN and of global governance to advance “gender equality” and empower women were significantly strengthened. Here is the profile of the current gender architecture :
1.- Four “gender-specific entities” :
2.- After Beijing, UN “system-wide gender mainstreaming” took place. As a result, achieving gender equality is now considered as belonging to the “mandate” of all organizations of the UN system (Departments and Offices of the Secretariat, Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies).
3.- Also after Beijing, gender units, gender advisers and departmental focal points were established throughout the UN system, including in the Secretariat.
4.- At the UN Regional level, the Regional Commissions of the UN “support” Member States in addressing gender equality issues from the regional and sub-regional perspectives.
5.- At the UN country level, Gender Theme Groups contribute to and monitor gender mainstreaming in the work of the UN Country Teams.
In spite of the impressive gender machinery already in place, the agents of change want to further consolidate it and give it a “recognized driver”, “authority”, leadership capacity, “accountability” and “predictable financial resources”.
The new architecture will have the following features :
© 2009 Marguerite A. Peeters