The Mechanisms of Global Spreading of Gender Mainstreaming Policies

Although the international system in which states operate is an arguably anarchical space, over 100 countries, and thus the majority of nation-states, introduced policies in favour of and aiming at the advancement of women. The implementation of gender-sensitive legislation has spread globally since the 1970s, throughout very dissimilar states and passed by governments with varying orientations, priorities and outlooks. Therefore the question arises, how the diffusion of gender related policies works. Neither is a global government acting and setting an agenda, nor can a shared cultural background be pointed at to explain the mechanisms of this policy diffusion.

This paper will briefly outline the historical background and beginnings of a feminist movement in favour of legislation empowering women and then examine the role of NGOs in influencing and pressuring states to adopt policies. Then it will move on to identify factors that forwards the adaptation and talk about the English School as a driving school of thought behind the logics of these processes. In two short case studies, I will point out the shortcomings of this model.

The global spreading of gender mainstreaming policies is a sublime example of how the global system has become and still is becoming a global society in which actors, such as individuals and collectives, NGOs and pressure groups, shape and form the world we live in today.

Natalie Werner

 1st Year International Relations, BA





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