Gender budgeting means preparing budgets or analyzing them from a gender perspective. Also referred to as gender-sensitive budgeting, this practice does not entail dividing budgets for women. It aims at dealing with budgetary gender inequality issues, including gender hierarchies and the discrepancies between women's and men's salaries. Gender budgeting allows governments to promote equality through fiscal policies by taking analyses of a budget's differing impacts on the sexes as well as setting goals or targets for equality and allocating funds to support those goals. This practice does not always target intentional discrimination, but rather forces an awareness of the effects of financial schemes on all genders.
In public finance, there is insufficient evidence paid by policy makers and gender activists regarding the taxation section as gender activists should certainly be concerned about the revenue side of the budget. There is a direct relationship between government expenditure and taxation; when there are no sufficient revenues, the expenditure programs will be unfunded and the chances to reach gender equity are less since taxes are the essence of government profits. Henceforth, countries with insufficiently low revenues are generally unable to enhance public and social services which increases the burden on women to provide more care and social provision. In turn, women tend to fall outside the income tax threshold as they earn lower incomes than men. It is implemented by ministry of women and child development.
Three principal activities have been recognized as gender budgeting sensitive:
- At the institutional level, the goal is to understand policies promoted by governmental institutions and how these affect gender inequalities within a specific society.
- Analysis of the institutional budget, in order to see whether gender mainstreaming activities are included.
- Planning as well as implementing a gender-based budget that will focus on gender-related issues.
Point 3 most likely includes the restructuring of the existing budget to deal with gender-related issues.
Gender budgeting depends on including a gender perspective when addressing funding allocations and programs.
The movement towards gender equity has gained impetus over the past 25 years throughout the world as the international community has dedicated itself publicly to promote gender equity realizing that equality between gender is essential for social development and economic growth. The “International Bill of Rights for Women” or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly setting an agenda for what constitutes as gender discrimination in hopes to take action to end it. In 1995, The 4th UN conference on Women was held in Beijing which endorsed the obligation taken to end discrimination against women. This particular platform called on governments to integrate gender equality into its implementation of all its budget processes to promote equal and appropriate resource allocation to foster equality. By 2004, 179 out of 191 UN member states bounded themselves to take action to tackle the problem.
Gender Budget Analysis
Gender budget analysis aims at finding out whether women and men can access the same opportunities equally. In gender budget analysis, gaps are addressed so that those who are disadvantaged become empowered. A gender-sensitive budget analysis contains how budgets recognize and answer the needs of men and women, whether they are children, young or adults. Gender budget analysis plays a key role in highlighting discrimination against women and how money is distributed between two groups. This type of analysis contributes to finding solutions to gender discrimination and highlights empowerment or disempowerment among two distinct groups: men and women. Gender budgeting is not intended to look only at female budgets or policies but to rather examine the effects that gender has on all programs and policies.
Depending on the country, there are specific processes that gender budgeting goes through. Nonetheless, in all cases, gender analysis and monitoring must be carried out in principle. The stages for gender analysis are as follows:
i. Administration must prepare budget draft.
ii. Parliament debates the budget.
iii. Budget implementation should be monitored.
iv. Budget implementation should be reported and accounted.
Gender Budgeting in Practice
Gender budgeting in practice aims to prepare separate documents evaluating programs designed by the government for women in which the budget is then presented. These can come in different forms such as official budget proposals or just merely papers sketched from interest groups outside the government zone.
1. Expenditure effects evaluated: Expenditure is evaluated by disaggregating the spending of the government into categories beneficial for women and girls.
2. Revenue effects evaluated: Another recent initiative to assess revenue policies is by aiming to fully end discrimination against women in the personal income tax.
- UNESCO (2015). A Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices (PDF). Paris, UNESCO. pp. 72–75. ISBN 978-92-3-100069-0.
- "What is gender budgeting?". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
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- Valodia, I. 2009. Gender, poverty and taxation: An overview of a multi-country study of gender and taxation. Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, (81), 137-147. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27868988
- "Gender budgeting". EIGE. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
- Rubin, M., & Bartle, J. 2005. Integrating Gender into Government Budgets: A New Perspective. Public Administration Review, 65(3), 259-272. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3542503
- "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women". www.un.org. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- United Nations. 1995. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Retrieved from www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/ plat2.htm
- Balmori, H. H. 2003. Gender and Budgets, Overview Report. BRIDGE (development - gender) Brighton, Institute of Development Studies. http://www.eldis.org/v le/upload/1/document/0708/DOC19156.pdf (Accessed 5 July 2014.)
- Quinn, S. 2009. Gender Budgeting: Practical implementation handbook. Strasbourg, Council of Europe, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs.
- Elson, D. 2005. Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW: Report highlights and key conclusions. NY, United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). http://www.iwraw-ap.org/resources/pdf/ MonitoringGovernmentBudgetsComplianceCEDAW_summary_eng.pdf (Accessed 5 July 2014.)
- Stotsky, Janet Gale (2006-10-01). Gender Budgeting. International Monetary Fund. p. 12. ISBN 9781451864922.
- Klatzer, E., & Stiegler, B. 2011. Gender budgeting - an equality policy strategy. (12), 8.
- Stotsky, J. G. 2007. Budgeting with Women in Mind. 9.
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