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What are the pros and cons of gender mainstreaming in world politics today?

Discussion

One of the most discussed topic in the scenario of the world politics is the case of gender mainstreaming. As the world advances towards a progressive society promoting peace and neutrality, it is also essential to achieve world equality in all stages of the society. Allowing women to enter into every sphere of social and political life is the most progressive step that the world can take to advance into the next level of societal development. The present global patterns display high rates of inequality between men and women, where women are still subjected to violence from men (Walby 2005). These are evident not only in the third world countries but also in the developed nations. These types of issues are addressed by the means of gender mainstreaming. However, in this discussion the analysis will focus on the different development phases of the gender mainstreaming and how it is relevant to the world politics. It also discusses the different policies and treaties and the socio-economic goals that are influenced by gender mainstreaming. This can further help in identifying the pros and cons of the gender mainstreaming and how it can enhance the lives of the people globally. Lastly, the conclusion summarises the discussion and provides a brief insight about the pros and cons of gender mainstreaming in world politics.

The Gender mainstreaming is proposed with the ultimate aim of achieving gender equality in the society. Hence, gender mainstreaming can be considered as an approach to social policies or activities with a perspective of gender issues. It is essential to assess the implications of both men and women in the plan of action and measure their contribution ability equally along with the dimensions of the framework of the work (True and Mintrom 2001). This helps in the determination of the gender equality in all the spheres and also ensures that both the genders receive equal benefits from the plan of action.

Gender mainstreaming can be looked upon from different angles according to the context of the plan of action which are mainly, Institutional perspective and discursive perspective.

Institutional perspective approaches the mainstreaming issue from an organizational point of view. The organizations can be defined as the different international organizations which directly contribute to the political sphere or any other type of organizations. From the political point of view, it can be observed as to how both men and women can equally contribute to the different international policies, their making and application. This can help to identify a broader aspect of the gender roles and how they approach to the different problems. This also opens up different approaches towards the international politics and the treaties that influence the development of the political scenarios internationally.

Gender Mainstreaming

The discursive perspective looks into the gender mainstreaming through a more formal approach that can be seen as a result of the power relations that can occur from the institutional approach. The difference of language or the approach towards the formal perspective of document making or treaties or any other international resolutions is the key issues that can be approached from the discursive perspective (Daly 2005). This approach helps in the better analysis of the gender mainstreaming into literature. The literature reviews produce a more critical analysis of the gender mainstreaming and how they affect the ideas and the societal development.

These approaches are complimentary to each other. One of them gives a more practical approach towards the issue of mainstreaming while the other one helps in the highlighting of the key aspects of the mainstreaming from a critical point of view. However, as these focuses on the different aspects of establishing gender equality, they can also be seen sometimes from a feminist point of view. The liberal feminism is more similar to the institutional perspective as it highlights the rational inclusion of the women equality by the contribution of women in the politics and their active participation in the international policymaking (Tolhurst et al. 2012). The post structural feminism has a more theoretical approach towards the mainstreaming which focuses on displacing the male authority by the active methodologies of gender equality in the international politics.

It is important to highlight the different global issues and trends in order to understand the importance of the application of the gender mainstream and how it can impact the fundamental necessity of gender equality which is almost absent in the present international scenario.

  • One of the most important aspect of gender inequality in the modern world in the inequality in the political power. Women are generally not very well represented in the local or international politics. It is evident from the lower number of female political heads compared to the number of male political heads. This tends to shift the decision making ability of the international politics towards the male dominated organizations (Parpart 2014). This generally overshadows the priority of the women in the politics. Their perspectives and insights into the different policymaking which could have highlighted the essentially different needs of the women are overlooked. This evolves into a more gender biased policy making system where the priorities of a particular community are subdued and are even justified with the male reasoning and male approach towards the different policies of the society.
  • Secondly, as we discuss the gender biasness in world politics and the issue of gender mainstreaming, it is very essential to understand that from where this gender inequality actually arises from. It is the activities at the most basic form of the organization that is the households that highlights the inequality between genders. Still, in this modern world it is seen that in most of the households around the world the prevalence of the male dominance (un.org 2002). The women are seen to be subjected to domestic violence and they are sometimes denied some of their required entities such as education or the right to a healthy life. This deprives the women from participating in other developmental activities. Gender mainstreaming can address these issues as a part of the social developmental structure.
  • Another aspect which highlights the necessity of the gender mainstreaming is the existence of the difference in the availability of the legal status and the entitlements. The national constitutions and the international laws are always in favour of providing equal status to both men and women. However, it has been seen that the different perspectives of the individual laws and the employment opportunities and divided on the basis of the gender discrimination (un.org 2002). These issues are derogatory for the social structure as these issues have a negative impact on the social structure of the society and also slows down the economic progress as half of the economy’s contribution is blocked by these regulations. These issues thus have an impact globally, as the active participation of the entire working committee is not utilized for the sustainable resource management.

A discursive approach can be taken for the successful understanding of the gendered mainstreaming into the political scenario. The evaluation of language and the literature reviews of mainstreaming ideas can be used as the decisive parameters of how the women are utilized for the political decision making.

It can be seen in the historical policies and government regulations that the women have been essentially disempowered. The international treaties were all decided and formulated by the male political heads and hence the active participation is seen a negligible (un.org 2002). However, it is essential for the gender mainstreaming to take place in a strong and regular basis to encourage the participation of women into the world of politics and decision making in order to enhance the political scenario with a broader outlook and innovative ideas. This will also help in the advancement of women. The participation of women can highlight the different issues and wants of the women, such as the protests again domestic violence or sexual violence or the urge of the women to actively participate and contribute to the development of the society.

Gender Issues and Trends

These policies of mainstreaming would act as a major blow to the patriarchal system that has been dominating the world from its very beginning. It is only through the gender harmony and communal stability that decrease the burden of the society and help in the achievement of the social balance. Gender mainstreaming can lead to the development of policies that can help in the prioritizing of the society which can provide opportunities for the oppressed women and promise to build a better society for everyone equally in the future.

The Gender mainstreaming induces the change in the organizational structure as the participation of the equal workforce balances the power politics and forms a more rational institution built upon steps of an undivided society. The co-operation of the gender opens the possibilities of the use of more sustainable policies which can evaluate the existence of every individual and not just a certain section of a society (un.org 2002). The broadened outlook of the participating force and the insights of the gender mainstreaming literature in the time of international policy making can develop a different breed of social bureaucrats who will use the policy making tools in a more sustainable approach.

The gender mainstreaming allows the men and women to divide the burden of policymaking and focus on the different aspects of the policies. While men can be seen to be more involved in the policy development of the international affairs and treaties, they are seen to be less interested about policies which are focused on the gender equality, labour division and other social norms. Women who are involved in the politics are seen to be more involved in the policies which address the equality in the society and creating a better social life (Chant and Sweetman 2012). They seem to be less respondent about matters which involve the economic turnovers or the financial matters or other matters of defence. While the social and political life both are important for the development of the society, it can be seen that the active participation of both the genders can create policies which can focus on the overall development of the society from all spheres.

The discussion focuses not only on the social impacts of gender mainstreaming but also on the socio-economic goals of the society. The analyses of the social impacts have been seen to be quite evident from the facts that the active participation can develop the overall social structure (un.org 2002). At the same time it is also practically evident that if the active participation of the overall work force takes place the poverty level of the society and the socio-economic development takes place.

The Road to Politics

It is important to understand that it is not only the responsibility of the male community for the economic development but it can only be achieved by the inputs of the opposite gender. The United Nations is always focused on the incorporation of women in the economic policies by developing research methodologies of gender perspectives. The inclusion of women in budget policies and budget processes has the project’s clarity of gender mainstreaming and accordingly follows the guidelines of the social policies.

It is often argued whether gender mainstreaming is necessary or how can gender mainstreaming perspectives influence the economic policies and decisions. Different training programs on the guidelines of the literature discussing the liberalism and statistics on the benefits of gender mainstreaming (un.org 2000). These can help in identifying the socio-economic aspects of the gender mainstreaming and further help in the identification of the pros and cons of the issue.

Gender mainstreaming is the establishment of equality among the genders therefore it is obvious that there are more pros about the theme. It is a universal truth that the genders must enjoy equal rights and there should not be any discrimination among the genders. If there is large scale discrimination then the social balance is destroyed and the society will fail to protect the people living.

(1) The first positive point about gender mainstreaming is the kind of society that it aims to establish it is obvious that a society which is having equality will be peaceful and just. When women of the society are educated and having equal rights as their male counterparts, they will help in creating a very balanced social order and will result in the upliftment of the society and the community along with the nation they are living in. When the women of the society are not educated or empowered it is like half of the society is not empowered and this is a very negative situation for the nation as a whole. The larger part of the population of the nation must be empowered, knowledgeable and skilled.

(2) Gender mainstreaming is essential for overall progress and development of the nation. A country and this world as a whole develop by various means. There are economic, social, cultural aspects of development. Economic developments happens when the nation is strong in its business activities, which is again possible when there is social justice prevailing, and that is possible when the cultural roots of the people are respected (Lombardo and Williams, 2016). Cultural roots are essentially related individual identity formation. Gender mainstreaming and establishment of equality helps on asserting the identity formation of the different genders. In today’s times not only women empowerment is mentioned in gender mainstreaming but also the rights of other genders.

Development of Policies

(3) In the United States of America the workforce constitutes 50 per cent of the workforce population. But among the top executives there are only 4 per cent of women (Bohnet 2016). This situation does not reflect a very bright situation for the women workforce. Some researchers have even suggested that women managers are better in getting their work done than their male counterparts. When the women workforce constitutes 50 per cent of the population it is naturally expected that the percentage of women in top executive positions must also be 50% but that is not the case in real life scenario. When this situation is corrected there will be more equal distribution of work among the genders and there will be more empowered women in the social arena.  Therefore the wealth accumulation per family will be greater if the male and female counterpart of every household have equal income. This will help in better wealth management and distribution among the population of the country. “Gender equality not only gives women their inalienable rights, but it benefits humanity as a whole. It can help tackle the crippling poverty, illiteracy and abuse that have afflicted nations across the world.”

(4) Gender equality also helps in breaking down “rigid gender roles”. It is seen that generally there are gender roles which are assigned to each genders as per the social perception. More number of men are working in the defence department than their opposite gender again in the field of beauty and health care giving professions more women are expected to work. This rigid gender stereotyping results in putting barriers to a particular gender wanting to work in a particular profession.  When this typical idea of gender roles which are rigid is broken down the social system surrounding occupations becomes more fluid and flexible and the platform opens up for more number of people.

Acknowledging the fact that gender equality is necessary for a developing and just society, however there are various ways gender equality can be wrongly utilised by a certain section of the population or it may be misinterpreted. The following are the possible cons or negative aspects of the gender mainstreaming.

(1) The male and female genders have their own specialities and abilities. It is generally seen that the male body is created with stronger physical traits and the women are mentally stronger with more patience and steadiness of mind. Therefore it would be imbalance if those works which are not meant for the women body are enforced upon them and vice versa. There can be always exceptions but the above characteristics of men and women are what are generally seen among the greater part of the population.  Therefore the gender must be respected and kept in mind before assigning a particular task to an individual there cannot be a proper flow of work where an unsuitable task has been given to a wrong gender (Bacchi and Eveline 2015).

(2) The concept of women empowerment can be misused by a section of the population. There are many cases it is seen where there are false cases against men. Often it is seen that some men are really put behind bars in false charges, and later it is found that the allegations are wrong. Therefore to establish equality the government must not enforce laws that hamper the rights and lives of the other genders. Equality must mean that all the genders are given equal treatment in the eyes of law and there are no laws which give upper hand and partial treatment to one of the genders. When the men, women and all other genders are equally empowered the whole humanity is empowered and it gives rise to a society of justice devoid of partial thoughts (Mukhopadhyay 2014).

(3) When a person gets into a job that is mainly dominated by the other gender there may be a problem in adjustment. It is very important to get along with the peer group in the work place and connect with the people one works with. When gender mainstreaming is narrowly applied in the workplace it may hamper the way work is done and either of the genders may feel frustrated in a job role that they do not think matching their characteristic features. It is difficult to change a social perception that is widely held. Though with time people are getting adjusted to all the genders working in all kinds of profession, however physical and mental comfort of the genders in a particular role is very important to ensure that the responsibility is performed well.

(4) Gender mainstreaming may lead to the idea that women and men are just the same and there is no difference among these genders. However this is not the case. Men and women are physically and mentally very different from each other. That difference must be recognised. Equality may be equal rights before law and equal rights towards national resources. Physically men and women have different physical features and mental characteristics. They are created for different purposes. These purposes must be served to maintain a natural balance in the society. However there are various areas where there is a possibility of the implementation of gender mainstreaming without hampering the natural role of the genders.  There must be awareness programs about the various pros and cons of gender mainstreaming so that the people must understand the benefits of its implementation and to what extent this may be implemented.

Gender mainstreaming has a lot to deal with people’s issues and social causes (Baines, 2017). However sometimes it is difficult to understand what role gender mainstreaming plays in programmes dealing with technical or scientific subjects such as international trade, exchange rates or climate change. The way towards understanding the influence of gender mainstreaming on the people in general one must understand the role each gender plays in the larger social context. In present days there are misunderstandings about gender roles, and often there are serious discrimination and sometimes there are too rigid gender mainstreaming in its literal sense. In both of these cases there may be problem of implementation and distribution of the various elements of gender mainstreaming. According to the United Nations “proposed climate change programmes do involve people – as consumers, as advocates, as representatives of industry - and it is important to understand the gender dimensions of these processes and the policies and programmes put in place to address them.” (Alston 2014)

Gender Mainstreaming is a widespread and sensitive concept that has its expansion in all social fields. It has to be dealt keeping in mind all the pros and cons and must not be forced.

Conclusion:

The present worldwide examples show high rates of imbalance amongst people, where ladies are still subjected to brutality from men. These are apparent in the underdeveloped nations as well as in the advanced countries. These sorts of issues are tended to by the methods for gender mainstreaming. However, in this paper the investigation has centred on the distinctive improvement periods of the sexual orientation and gender mainstreaming and how it is significant to the world legislative issues. It likewise talks about the distinctive strategies and bargains and the financial objectives that are impacted by sexual orientation and gender mainstreaming. This can additionally help in distinguishing the advantages and disadvantages of the gender equality and mainstreaming and how it can upgrade the lives of the general population all around. It can be concluded by stating that there are various pros and cons of gender mainstreaming, however it is one of the very important phenomenon of the present day world. Men and women must be given equal rights and treatment; however it must also be ensured that the system may not corrupt and the concept is misused.

References:

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