Thursday, May 23, 2019

Conceptual framework on gender budgeting

Based on the widely-used definition of gender budgeting of the Council of Europe,24 gender budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary process and means a gender-based assessment of budgets, incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenue and expenditure so as to promote gender equality. In short, gender budgeting is a strategy and a process with the long-term aim of achieving gender equality goals.
Full application of gender budgeting within EU budget processes means full integration of gender perspectives at all stages of the budget and planning processes. Key elements of practical work on gender budgeting in the context of this conceptual approach include: (1) gender-based assessment, which means taking stock and making visible the impacts by means of gender budget analysis as a starting point of gender budgeting work; (2) working towards changes to promote gender equality based on the results of the analysis and potentially identified gender gaps and shortcomings; and (3) organise gender budgeting work through a combination of governmental and non-governmental actors, as analysis of practical experience of gender budgeting work worldwide has repeatedly shown that this supports the achievement of good results.

3.1.  Integration of gender perspectives at all stages of the budget and planning processes
Full implementation of gender budgeting means integrating gender perspectives at all stages, including multiannual and annual budget processes. As budgeting is closely linked to strategic planning, a comprehensive gender budgeting approach should cover the strategic planning process as well. At each of the key stages (planning and budget preparations, negotiation and adoption, implementation, audit and evaluation), there is a range of established gen
der budgeting procedures on how to implement gender budgeting. The conceptual approach for the analysis that follows is one of gradual integration of gender budgeting at all stages of the budget process.

3.2.  Gender budget analysis as a key element of gender budget work
Gender budget analysis is a key element of gender budgeting work and is often the starting point for further work to promote women’s rights and gender equality through budgetary policies. Gender budget analysis contributes to transparency on budget distribution and impacts, which is a central principle of good governance. Different levels and dimensions of gender budget analysis have been identified, namely budget expenditure and revenue, macroeconomic policies and effectiveness of service delivery and investments. In this context, a broad range of different methods and tools of analysis exists, which are frequently adapted to the context of actual gender budgeting work. Based on this approach, this report puts forward recommendations on how to strengthen gender budget analysis in the context of the EU budget-related processes.

3.3.  Gender budget process: towards restructuring and change
Gender budgeting involves a process of change. Gender budget analysis is not an achievement in itself but, rather, one key element in a broader process. A gender budget analysis identifies gender gaps and shortcomings, which serve as a basis for formulating objectives to tackle those gender gaps and gender inequalities and improve gender equality, as well as for defining appropriate indicators to measure progress. This is then the basis for establishing activities and changes in budget allocations (or revenue collection) to achieve the desired outcomes. Regular monitoring based on the indicators defined, as well as evaluation and in-depth progress reviews are important inputs in new planning and budgeting cycles.

3.4.  Gender budget work involving government actors and external stakeholders
Even though the key responsibility for implementing gender budgeting within public budgets and public administrations lies with the regular actors involved in the public
planning and budgeting processes, both literature and practice have shown that gender budget work is most effective where it involves actors inside government alongside external government stakeholders. These different actors have complementary roles in contributing to full gender budgeting implementation. In addition to transparency, participation is another underpinning principle of good governance, thus participation of different stakeholders is also an element of good gender budgeting. The report recommends that support be given to actors with direct and key responsibilities relating to budget processes, who also, therefore, have key responsibilities for gender budget implementation in these processes. In addition, it puts forward proposals for the involvement of other stakeholders considered important in the context of effective gender budgeting

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