This paper proposes a new paradigm of transforming the mainstream for the UNIFEM Strategic Business Plan 2004-2007. It builds on the earlier technical approach of mainstreaming a gender perspective through gender tools, and on the political approach of mainstreaming women’s participation in decision making. Both these approaches implicitly accepted the underlying mainstream agenda as a given, and expected change to result from the mainstreaming processes. In contrast, the new paradigm explicitly seeks to transform the mainstream agenda as a prerequisite for the realisation of the advancement of women and gender equity. It directly links a rights-based approach to the realisation of women’s human rights through the transformation of gender relations, which also become an explicit target. The approach is based on an acknowledgement that women’s human rights can only be realised through the transformation of gender power relations at all levels.