Guest blog by Carmen Martínez
Last month I attended Scottish Women’s Budget Group’s webinar ‘Introduction to Gender Budgeting’, the first of a new training series on gender responsive budgeting organised by the group.
Aimed at both professionals and the general public, the webinar explored the concept of gender budgeting and demystified some of the prejudices associated with the term. Through a combination of videos, theory and group discussions, the organisers succeeded in creating the perfect setting for us to learn, debate and above all, to challenge the traditional viewpoint where budgets are gender neutral.
1) It is not about having separate budgets, just a more equal one.
Gender budgeting looks at the gendered impacts of fiscal policy. Its aim is to promote gender equality by taking into consideration the lived experience and needs of women and men, girls and boys in every stage of the budget process.
It involves in-depth analysis of expenditure and revenue raising policies, and most importantly, it challenges the system of national accounts by making care and unpaid work visible, advocating for adequate budgetary funds to finance a high-quality social security system.
2) Benefits of embedding gender in the budgetary process.
Gender responsive budgeting shows a strong commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s rights. It also improves accountability and transparency, principles which are vital for the good management of public finances. Likewise, it improves performance and results by effectively linking resources with the implementation of policy objectives, benefiting both women and men.
3) Reasons for getting involved with the SWBG.
This approach to analysing budgets is not new. In fact, examples of it can be traced back to the 1980’s. Its full implementation is however not without challenges.
Gender budgeting needs gender-disaggregated data and, most of all, political will. How to overcome reluctance to accounting for gender when discussing fiscality? On the one hand, by raising the profile of this distinct way of designing budgets. On the other hand, by engaging civil society (you) in policymaking, making the case for gender analysis in every stage of the budgetary process, ensuring women’s voices are heard and their needs reflected in the budget.
The Scottish Women’s Budget Group has a number of training events in the pipeline. Whether you are looking to learn more for your work, a community group you're involved with or you are simply a curious newcomer keen on learning more about the intricacies of gender responsive budgeting, you can stay up to date with future events by joining their mailing list here.
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