GENDER MAINSTREAMING AND MULTIPLE DISCRIMINATION
After a busy September we began the series of October seminars with a working discussion on gender mainstreaming and multiple discrimination, to which we invited the director of the Office for Equal Opportunities, the Advocate for Equal Opportunities and other staff from the Office for Equal Opportunities and representatives of the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office. Also invited were other members of the Government Council for the Implementation of the Principle of Equal Treatment. Ingrid Nikolay-Leitner, the head of the Austrian equal opportunities office, and Dieter Schindlauer, the founder and director of ZARA, the most important non-governmental organisation for the struggle against racism in Austria, also took part in the discussion.
The discussion centred on open questions raised in connection with the horizontal approach to the elimination of discrimination and the occurrence of multiple discrimination. We also gave special consideration to issues of extending approaches and policies created within the context of encouraging gender equality to other groups in society that are particularly sensitive because of characteristics that represent a possible basis for discrimination. Owing to the absence of a suitable term in the Slovenian language, we should point out that there was discussion of policies for which the term diversity mainstreaming is used in the European context.
Certain institutional similarities exist between Slovenia and Austria, since in both countries there are bodies that were originally charged with monitoring the situation and the development of gender equality policies but which on the basis of antidiscrimination legislation have gained additional, significantly wider functions. Thus they have found themselves facing new opportunities, challenges and tests.