The five principles of gender mainstreaming

The following five principles hold true for all gender mainstreaming activities and implementation measures.

1. Gender-sensitive language

  • Texts referring to or addressing both women and men must make women and men equally visible. This applies to, amongst others, forms, documents, telephone directories, texts on the intranet and the internet, advertising for events, folders, posters and films.
  • Attention must also be paid to a gender-sensitive choice of images when preparing public relations material.
  • Leitfaden für geschlechtergerechtes Formulieren und eine diskriminierungsfreie Bildsprache: 1,4 MB PDF (German)

2. Gender-specific data collection and analysis

  • Data must be collected, analysed and presented by gender. Social dimensions, such as age, ethnicity, income and level of education should also be reflected where possible.
  • Gender-specific analysis of the initial situation must provide the basis for all decisions.
  • Gender-sensitive statistics: Making life’s realities visible: 2.4 MB PDF
  • Data excellence in the Vienna City Administration: Gender statistics and data on equality: 155 KB PDF

3. Equal access to and utilisation of services

  • Services and products must be assessed as to their different effects on women and men.
  • It is important to identify:
    • Who uses the services (women or men or both)?
    • Who are the clients (women or men or both)?
    • Who are the target groups?
    • Do women and men have different needs?
    • Are the different circumstances of women and men taken into account when planning and designing services?
    • Have all target groups access to the same sources of information?
    • Who benefits most?
    • Which group would suffer most if they could not use the services offered?
    • Are the offices providing the service structurally gendered and barrier free, (i.e. the waiting areas, lighting, access without steps, signage)?

4. Women and men are equally involved in decision making

  • There are binding targets for a balanced gender ratio at all levels of decision making.
  • Measures and strategies geared towards a balanced gender ratio must be taken at all levels of decision making.
  • This is also important when appointing working groups, project teams, commissions and advisory boards, as well as when organising events, e.g. when selecting speakers.
  • Workplaces must be structurally gendered and barrier free where possible (e.g. gendered signage, sufficient lighting, avoiding potentially frightening situations as in poorly accessible basement archives, access without steps, social rooms for different occupations).

5. Equal treatment is integrated into steering processes

Steering instruments include quality management and gender budgeting, amongst others. It is important to note that:

  • Paying attention to the different circumstances of women and men enhances
    • the success rate,
    • effectiveness and
    • maximum utilisation of staff and funds.
  • All targets related to people are defined in terms of full equality and the targets attained are therefore presented by gender.
  • Controlling routine as a matter of course includes gender-specific evaluation of results and a systematic steering of the gender ratio, in other words, the development and implementation of (new and adapted) targets, strategies and measures.


In 2010 posters depicting the "most creative" excuses and folders on the principles of gender mainstreaming were published in support of the campaign "Keine Ausreden! Wien ist Gender Mainstreaming." (no excuses - Vienna is gender mainstreaming).

Contact for this page:
City of Vienna | Office for Gender Mainstreaming
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