Our Campaign

Gender equality between men and women is held as both a right and a principle of our society. However, when we look at management boards, households, caregiving and bank accounts, a different picture begins to emerge. We find gaps which still need to be bridged. Full gender equality means that women have access and opportunity to achieve all the same things as men.

From March 2021 through March 2022, we will be publishing various content on the topic of gender equality. It is our goal with this project to explore, consider and discuss this topic collectively with our audience and maybe even find some answers to our questions.

#sendasignal
Our Goals
01 Inform

Inequality is a fact which can be illuminated by many different numbers and statistics. Through our campaign, we seek to educate and inform.

02 Sensitise

Full equality is the goal of our project.
Let’s explore up new horizons together!

03 Mobilise

Inequality affects us all. It is a project for our society as a whole.
Join us in the fight for an equality without gaps!

More information

Instruments

Gender mainstreaming

Gender equality – from niche to mainstream

In many areas of life, women and men still do not have the same opportunities. This is reflected in unequal levels of participation in society, the economy and politics. Women continue to face structural disadvantages today – just think of the gender pay gap or the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in business and politics. Equality of opportunity is a goal enshrined in law, but sadly not yet a reality.

This situation and the influence that it has or could have on existing inequalities must therefore be taken into account in the planning, implementation and evaluation of government measures. This requires a systematic process to ensure that the current situation of the different genders and its societal and economic repercussions are taken into account at every stage of a decision-making process or project. Because even a supposedly gender-neutral approach, or one that does not take into account gender-specific inequalities, can worsen these inequalities and go against the goal of equality which the law is trying to achieve.

Gender mainstreaming

This is where the approach known as gender mainstreaming comes in with the aim of encouraging us to think and act in ways that promote gender equality in our day-to-day work. It is designed to trigger an “equality reflex” that ensures that the gender perspective is included as a criterion in all decision-making processes and an integral part of measures by government bodies before they begin. This means recognising circumstances that are specific to the different genders and designing planned measures so as to consciously combat inequalities and disadvantages, instead of unintentionally maintaining them through a supposedly gender-neutral approach.

It’s time to finally make equality mainstream!

True, “gender mainstreaming” doesn’t sound particularly sexy. Who wants to be mainstream? But despite the clunky name, it’s worth taking a look at what gender mainstreaming really means and what opportunities are created when it is used to serve everyone’s interests. Because a rigorous gender mainstreaming approach leads to higher-quality measures in general, greater innovation, greater utilisation of potentials and more equitable and efficient action overall.

A gender policy strategy

For organisations, gender mainstreaming means looking at all planned measures to review their impact on gender equality and, if necessary, taking proactive steps to promote it. An intersectional approach should be adopted, meaning that, as well as gender, other dimensions of diversity such as ethnicity, religion and age should be taken into account.

There is no gender-neutral reality

Equal opportunities do not necessarily mean treating everyone the same. When the status quo is already unequal, treating people of different genders the same – or acting “gender-blind” – creates the risk of maintaining or even worsening the imbalance. To have a lasting effect, gender policy must take these inequalities into consideration from the beginning and actively combat them.

No gender mainstreaming is not an option

Inequality can be measured. It is clearly reflected in figures such as the gender pay gap (18% in Germany in 2020) or the disparity in leadership (24.6% of leading roles were held by women in Germany in 2021).

This means that institutions must systematically break down their statistics by gender. The advantage of gender-specific data analysis is that it allows us to visualise complex societal phenomena and to make measures more targeted and goal-oriented.

Gathering data as a basis for action

Inequality can be measured. It is clearly reflected in figures such as the gender pay gap (18% in Germany in 2020) or the disparity in leadership (24.6% of leading roles were held by women in Germany in 2021).

This means that institutions must systematically break down their statistics by gender. The advantage of gender-specific data analysis is that it allows us to visualise complex societal phenomena and to make measures more targeted and goal-oriented.

An ongoing commitment

Gender mainstreaming is a shared, cross-cutting task that concerns all areas of an organisation, not just something to be promoted by special equality officers or departments. It is a “work in progress” that forms an integral part of an organisation’s ongoing development, because equality itself is not a state of being but an ongoing process. While this means that our work will never be done, it also means that everything will always be changing – hopefully for the better.

Gender mainstreaming in four steps

Gender mainstreaming is a method that can help us to incorporate greater gender equality into processes in both institutions and businesses.

In four steps, we will show you how you can establish robust structures that promote and embed gender equality.

1

Analysis

What gender-specific inequalities exist?

What are their causes?

What factors influence them?

2

Setting aims

What measures will be taken in order to create equal opportunities?

What criteria should apply to the selection of specific projects?

3

Implementation

What measures will be taken in order to create equal opportunities?

What criteria should apply to the selection of specific projects?

4

Evaluieren

When data are collected, are they always broken down and recorded by gender?

Were the aims reached?

How will the results feed into ongoing implementation?

Where is there still room for improvement?

Making people equal, not the same

Equality does not necessarily mean that everyone should be treated the same, much less that they should be made to be the same. Gender mainstreaming takes into account the different situations that women and men exist within. A distribution of roles that creates a greater burden or other disadvantages for one gender cannot be reinforced by government measures. Practical disadvantages that typically affect one gender, on the other hand, can be counterbalanced by supportive measures.

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More than Symbolism!

Post your questions, hopes and demands via our hashtag #sendasignal or send us an e-mail with your story to hallo@zeichensetzen.jetzt and join the campaign.

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