From Equal Opportunity to Gender Mainstreaming


Pnina Steinberg

Publisher Van Leer Institute Press
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2013
Series Publications of the Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere (WIPS)

This research report offers an up-to-date portrayal of the role of the supervisor of the status of women in government ministries, on three dimensions: the structural, the experiential, and the interpretational. The structural analysis traces the formal development of the mechanism of the supervisor and the sources of the tensions that are built into it. The well-documented structural tensions have been recognized both by official committees that have dealt with this issue for years and by previous studies. The semi-structured interviews we conducted with 25 supervisors in the preparation of this report allows us to view the daily experiential dimension of the role. The interpretational dimension, distanced from the supervisors’ concrete stories, involves the frameworks of meaning in which the supervisors operate. The range of functioning that the supervisors consider possible becomes apparent from these frameworks. Also apparent is the budding influence of new feminist perspectives that developed after the position was formally defined. The main influence, inculcating gender mainstreaming, may offer tools that are fundamentally different from those used until now to improve the supervisor’s role and to cope with the structural difficulties and daily distress of the position.

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