Gender Budgeting

This brief publication from the European Institute for Gender Equality introduces a general audience to the concept of gender budgeting by providing a legal and practical definition, examples and recommendations for implementation and the objective benefits of instituting gender budgeting in public finance. While recognising how needs can vary based on gender and addressing this in the budgeting process, it also increases accountability and transparency in the budgeting process and improves effectiveness by bringing a performance- and results-oriented approach.

Gender budgeting is at its core assessing budgets through a gender perspective, looking at how situations and experiences of those affected by the allocation of resources differ based on gender, and incorporating this clearer, more specialised view into the process of allocating funds. The EU commitment to gender budgeting is part of its commitment to gender mainstreaming as expressed in the TFEU, and the European Parliament and EU Council regularly call on the Member States to implement it as well. Important factors enabling public sector gender budgeting include political commitment from leadership and institutions, sufficient base technical capacity of civil servants, the involvement of third parties from civil society, and crucially, accurate sex-disaggregated data to ensure outcomes are measurable. In practice the process involves gendered analysis of budgets throughout the budgeting cycle, financial restructuring and amending policies when necessary, monitoring and evaluation of outcomes, full transparency, and facilitation of stakeholder participation. 

In implementation, there are a variety of approaches to gender budgeting elaborated upon, including more general approaches such as mainstreaming gender perspectives into the whole process of public finance management to more targeted approaches such as wellbeing gender budgeting which examines the impact of resource allocations through its measurable effects on human wellbeing for men and women. Throughout the document, examples of specific cases are given from national and local governments throughout the EU, including Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Spain. The document closes with a look at the benefits of gender budgeting and how it is an objectively positive contribution to the budgeting process. It improves accountability and transparency due to the importance of examining and correcting inequalities and thoughtful resource allocation. Moreover, it improves results as well with its orientation towards performance and impact measurement. 

This is a useful resource for those new to the topic of gender budgeting and to those interested in learning about examples of good practice.

 Reference: European Institute for Gender Equality, EIGE (2019). Gender Budgeting


PDF | 18 pages

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