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What is the difference between Gender Mainstreaming, specific equality policies and the fight against discrimination?

The fight against discrimination based on sex aims to prohibit and eliminate any legal measure which implies differential treatment of men and women and is likely to produce or reinforce inequalities between men and women.

It is considered that there is inequality between men and women when men and women are in respective different situations and that these differences have consequences on their access to resources (money, work, responsibilities, health/well-being, security, knowledge, mobility, etc.) or on their exercise of fundamental rights (civil, social and political rights).

Specific equality policies aim to correct the inequalities observed in particular political areas, by means of specific measures (i.e. quotas on electoral lists).

Gender mainstreaming is “the (re) organization, improvement, development and evaluation of decision-making processes, with the aim of incorporating the perspective of equality between women and men in all fields and at all levels, by the actors generally involved in the implementation of policies” (Council of Europe).

It aims to prevent public policies from producing or reinforcing inequalities between men and women. It is, therefore, a continuous and transversal process which consists in assessing the ex-ante and ex-post impact of public policies on the respective situation of women and men.

For more information about LGBT-related sex discrimination claims, see

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