Gender mainstreaming was established as a major global strategy for the promotion of gender equality in the Beijing Platform for Action at the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. It is the integration of gender perspectives and needs in legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It makes women's, as well as men's, concerns and experiences an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all legislation, public policies and programmes. Through such gender-sensitive decision-making processes, gender mainstreaming seeks to ensure that women and men have equitable access to, and benefit from, society's resources and opportunities, with the aim of achieving women's advancement and gender equality.
In 2002, the Women's Commission developed a Gender Mainstreaming Checklist to assist government officers in implementing gender mainstreaming. Since then, with the advice and support of the Commission, the Government started to promote gender mainstreaming in bureaux and departments. As announced in the 2015 Policy Address, the Chief Executive has accepted the recommendations of the Women's Commission that, starting from 1 April 2015, all bureaux and departments should refer to the Gender Mainstreaming Checklist and apply gender mainstreaming when formulating major government policies and initiatives. In 2016, the Chief Executive announced in the Policy Address that the Government will implement a pilot scheme to encourage the non-governmental organisations in the social welfare sector to refer to the Checklist and apply gender mainstreaming when formulating policies and programmes.
More information about the concept, its application and promotion can be obtained from the gender mainstreaming webpage produced by the Labour and Welfare Bureau.