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What is mainstreaming?

‘Mainstreaming’ equality means making sure that equality is considered at all stages of development and delivery of public services, and by everyone involved in those services. It means that equality is no longer a bolt-on extra, but runs throughout service provision, and that it is understood that public services have failed if they do not deliver equitably for all sections of the community.
Equality network

“The concept of “mainstreaming” is based on the philosophy that the achievement of equality should inform all aspects of the work of all the individuals within an organisation as they go about their business. The mainstreaming of equality is the route to achieving an equality based culture throughout an organisation. ”
Scottish Parliament Report on Mainstreaming Equality

What is equality & human rights mainstreaming?

Making all aspects of equality & human rights principles an integral part of all aspects of your organisation e.g. policy and practice (internally and externally)

A dynamic, ongoing process requiring commitment, reflection, action and engagement

Systematically identifying the consequences of a proposed action (or inaction) on different groups of as a matter of course and addressing any negative outcomes as the action is developed, taking account of the different circumstances in which they operate and valuing their difference and diversity.

What it’s not

  • It’s not a checklist to tick boxes
  • It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts
  • It’s not a one-off exercise
  • It shouldn’t be lots of additional work
  • It shouldn’t be difficult or expensive

Mainstreaming examples

  • Equality proofing budgets
  • Integrated risk / audit reports
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