Displacement and Empowerment: Reflections on the Concept and Practice of the Council of Europe Approach to Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Equality
This article measures one of the foundational texts of gender mainstreaming, namely, the final report of the Group of Specialists on Mainstreaming (Council of Europe 1998) against theoretical concepts of displacement and empowerment. While the Council of Europe process approach is shown to be a fundamental “displacing” asset, there are important shortcomings, such as its consensualist premise, lack of space for oppositional politics, and general technocratic understanding of gender mainstreaming, hindering empowerment. The ambivalence of its articulation of the goal of gender equality is particularly problematic in view of the logic of the dual agenda in gender mainstreaming. More explicit power analyses are highly needed.