Gender budgeting is a strategy to achieve equality between women and men by focusing on how public resources are collected and spent. The Council of Europe defines gender budgeting as a ‘gender based assessment of budgets incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality’.
At EU level, the European Parliament is ultimately responsible for the EU budget and the European Commission Directorate-General for Budget for its execution. EU Member States’ parliaments and public administrations are responsible for their national and sub-national budget cycles.
Effective implementation of gender budgeting requires political commitment matched with a technical capacity for gender mainstreaming. Engaged leadership is of particular importance to ensure that gender equality is integrated into the planning and budgeting processes and that public budget revenues and expenditures benefit women and men equally.
Key enabling factors for gender budgeting include: political will and political leadership; high-level commitment of public administrative institutions; improved technical capacity of civil servants; civil society involvement; sex-disaggregated data.
Why is gender budgeting important?
Gender budget analysis contributes to improved information on the potentially different situations and needs of women and men, as well as on distributional effects and the impact of resources on women and men.
Thus, gender budgeting provides the basis for better and more evidence-based decision-making. This in turn contributes to ensuring that public funds are being used more effectively. (Courtesy: http://eige.europa.eu).