What kind of strategies have encouraged men to promote gender equality in institutions such as the parliament? The parliament is a gendered institution which has been dominated by men throughout history. Women’s place in the public sphere was unheard of at the beginning of the 20th century, but feminist movements have played a key role in advancing women’s participation. However, this paper argues that gender mainstreaming can only be effective by involving men in changing gendered institutions.
The paper examines and discusses qualitative data from primary research conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and data from an e-discussion by the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics).
The paper uncovers effective strategies for encouraging men to promote gender equality. These include:
- the appointment of men as chairs or members of gender equality bodies of the parliament
- inviting men to participate in public activities and outreach, such as public consultations and celebratory activities for International Women’s Day
- emphasising the wider social benefits of gender equality without limiting the debate to ‘women’s issues’
- direct consultation with the strongest opponents
- sharing with men the responsibility for the gender equality agenda
- creating male champions