Gender Mainstreaming in Legal and Constitutional Affairs

A Reference Manual for Governments and Other Stakeholders

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This is one of the sectoral guides that are part of the Gender Management System (GMS) resource kit, a series of publications presenting GMS. GMS is an innovative system developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat for gender mainstreaming. The system is a comprehensive network of structures, mechanisms and processes for bringing a gender perspective to bear on all government policies, plans, programmes and projects. The kit consists of a handbook which presents the GMS in detail; sectoral guides to gender mainstreaming in specific sectors; and resource documents to assist the user in gender analysis, monitoring, evaluation and other aspects of gender mainstreaming. Each sectoral guide also has a corresponding Quick Guide a short, userfriendly publication presenting the essential points. It is designed for policymakers, planners, field staff and other government personnel involved in gender mainstreaming, as well as for academic users, NGOs, the private sector and others who have a stake in advancing gender equality and equity.

This manual offers guidelines for mainstreaming gender into the legal and constitutional affairs of states. Its main objective is to assist governments in advancing gender equality in their countries. Gender mainstreaming in the state’s legal and constitutional structures is a corollary to mainstreaming gender in development and ensuring equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men. Major factors for achieving real change include political will and commitment of resources, concrete and realistic targets, programmes grounded at the national level based on local contexts and evaluation.



Using a Rights-Based Approach Gender Mainstreaming

Policies for gender mainstreaming in the legal and constitutional sector must be developed in the context of respect for women's and men's human rights. Since the human rights discourse did not initially focus on women's human rights, an understanding of the international legal requirements for the guarantee of these rights is an important basis for gender mainstreaming.


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