National women’s machinery
State-based institutions to advocate for gender equality
in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?

This chapter considers the effectiveness of National women's machineries (NWMs), examining their record of promoting women's interests in five countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Morocco and Vietnam. NWMs are created on the premise that the state must take a lead in promoting gender equality. The chapter focuses on efforts to integrate women's interests into state institutions. An approach to the promotion of women's interests in national planning documents has been the formulation of separate gender-focused national perspective plans by Women in Development (WID)/Gender and Development (GAD) units. Mainstreaming measures are intended to provoke gender-sensitive institutional, policy and operational changes across the public sector in order to make responsiveness to women's interests a routine part of each sector's activities. The chapter suggests that many of the efforts of NWMs have been weakened by a failure to engage with internal state accountability systems.

Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?

Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women

Editor: Shirin M. Rai

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