Beyond the `Grim Resisters': towards more effective gender mainstreaming through stakeholder participation

Gender experts who formulate planning frameworks, and strategies for mainstreaming gender issues in organisational policies and programmes usually characterise non-expert policy makers and planners as either active resisters or passive implementers rather than as capable change agents. Because of this, more resistance to gender mainstreaming is encountered than is necessary, and mainstreaming programmes often fail to take into account the needs and contributions of planners as stakeholders. The paper discusses these shortcomings and presents cases from the UN system in which the author was involved, where organisational change and mainstreaming were based on stakeholder participation that began to overcome some commonly identified limitations. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections