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In this article, I aim to examine the ways in which gender concerns have been ‘mainstreamed’ into government activities. I focus on three countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. While gender mainstreaming policies are in place at the national level in these countries, the ‘evaporation’ (Longwe 1995) of such policies at the lower levels has been a problem. The article concentrates on challenges of implementation which exist at provincial/commune and department levels. Drawing on the experience of middle- and low-level government officers, I argue here that policy evaporation occurs partly because of lack of political commitment to gender mainstreaming at different levels. Another problem is that the concept of gender mainstreaming itself remains vague, and is thus difficult to translate into action.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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