Critical reviewers of gender mainstreaming as a practice agree that its transformatory potential has remained unfulfilled. This paper, based on radical readings of three conferences organised to review gender mainstreaming argues that gender has been institutionalised in development organisations although not as gender and development theorists and practitioners would have liked. This paper uses the critical readings to excavate the technologies of power of development governmentalities that structure the institutionalisation process and frame feminist practice. It shows how radical feminist projects of transformation become complicit with the imperatives of development categories and projects. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.