The Beijing Platform for Action prioritised gender mainstreaming as the mechanism to achieve gender equality. A decade later, policy makers and practitioners are debating whether this has succeeded or failed. This article aims to contribute to this debate by reviewing progress made to date, through a review of gender mainstreaming policies in international development institutions. Categorising progress into three stages — adoption of terminology, putting a policy into place, and implementation — the article argues that while most institutions have put gender mainstreaming policies in place, implementation remains inconsistent. Most important of all, the outcomes and impact of the implementation of gender mainstreaming in terms of gender equality remain largely unknown, with implications for the next decade’s strategies.
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