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The European Commission follows the dual approach of specific initiatives and gender mainstreaming.

Gender mainstreaming is the integration of the gender perspective into every stage of policy processes - design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation - with a view to promoting equality between women and men.

It means assessing how policies impact on the life and position of both women and men - and taking responsibility to re-address them if necessary.

This is the way:

  • to make gender equality a concrete reality in the lives of women and men;
  • to improve policy-making by bringing it closer to the citizens' needs.

The European Commission aims at implementing gender mainstreaming as an integral part of its policymaking, including via the impact assessment and evaluation processes.

The manual on gender mainstreaming provides an effective guide to all actors, especially those working on employment, social inclusion and social protection policies in the EU countries, to better implement gender mainstreaming in these policies and thereby better serve the needs of citizens, both women and men.