Maria Antonietta Confalonieri

The evolution of gender equality policies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Gender Equality Policies, Gender Mainstreaming, Affirmative Actions, Equal Treatment, Equal Opportunities

The evolution of gender equality policies can be depicted as the subsequent emergence of three different approaches: equal treatment, equal opportunities and affirmative actions, and gender mainstreaming. Each of these approaches is characterized by distinct cognitive and normative assumptions and specific policy instruments. However, rather than considering them as different policy paradigms, it is important to highlight their complementarity and to specify how the new perspective combines with the previous by introducing new policy tools. This essay presents the three approaches and distinguishes between them in light of their main components. In particular, it highlights how from distinct cognitive and normative premises are derived very different policy implications: while equal treatment relies on regulative policies, the fostering of equal opportunity requires the introduction of redistributive policies, and, lastly, gender mainstreaming – calling for the integration of a gender perspective in each phase of policy-making – implies the production of constitutive policies reframing the decision-making arena.

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