Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to meet Sweden’s political gender objectives. SLU and other Swedish higher education institutions have been given a special task to work for increased gender equality by gender mainstreaming their operations.
In Sweden, the general political gender objective is that women and men should be given the same powers and opportunities to affect society and their own lives.
Gender mainstreaming as a strategy involves implementing a gender equality perspective in all decision-making at all levels and in every step of the process. This work must be carried out by regular decision-makers.
How is the work carried out?
Mainstreaming means including a gender equality perspective in all ordinary processes at the university. Consequently, it is included in our operational responsibility.
The prioritised focus areas for 2022-2025 are gender equal career paths and gender equal teaching. For example, SLU has integrated a gender equality perspective in the budgetary process at the department level, in the quality assurance work for education and through educational measures for managers. The measures aim to introduce integrated and in-depth work methods within the scope of ordinary decision-making, preparatory, governance and follow-up processes.
To support this work, there is the JLV Coordination Group, a coordination group with staff from the Divison of Planning, Division of Educational Affairs and the Division of HR.
From 1 July 2019, SLU has a joint organisation for work with gender equality and equal opportunities. Read about the organisation and the intended working method.
The strategic direction document for gender mainstreaming 2022-2025 provides a background and describes the focus areas the university has decided on for this time period.
Gender equality and equal opportunities at SLU
Gender equality and equal opportunities have many points of contact, and in many parts of the active work, the perspectives or working methods do not differ. It is largely in the prevention work against discrimination and inequality that the perspectives come together.
Law-governed vis-à-vis objective-governed
Equal opportunities work is governed by law through the Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination, as well as its requirements regarding active measures promoting equal opportunities.
Gender mainstreaming work is governed by objectives and aims to give women and men the same powers and opportunities to affect society and their own lives.
Individuals vis-à-vis structures
Equal opportunities work aims to counteract discrimination of individuals in their professional lives and education, while gender mainstreaming aims to change structures that have discriminatory effects on women and men.
Grounds for discrimination vis-à-vis gender and intersectionality
The Discrimination Act is based on the seven grounds for discrimination: sex, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation and age.
Gender mainstreaming mainly focuses on conditions for women and men, but it also includes an intersectional perspective, i.e. how other factors (such as ethnic origin) interacts with gender.
Coordination group for gender equality and equal opportunities at SLU
Read more about gender mainstreaming on the Swedish Gender Equality Agency’s website
On the online portal Jämställ.nu, there is a lot of information and practical exercises to work with gender equality.