Global Resources

Gender-responsive government budgeting

Author: S. Feridoun
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
Publication Date: Jan 2003
This paper examines the concept of gender-responsive government budgeting (GRGB) and the extent of its implementation by national governments in both advanced and developing countries.

The paper argues that in order for GRGB to be fully effective, obstacles such as gender-biased culture, the lack of appropriate budget classifications, and the lack of gender analysis expertise and gender-disaggregated data in most countries need to be addressed.

Findings include

  • Whilst 40 countries (OECD and developing countries) have attempted to include some sort of gender analysis in their budgeting systems, a closer look at the country data provided suggests that several countries have only been exposed to the old concept of the allocation of some government resources to the ministries or other organisations in charge of women’s affairs, rather than analysing the gender impact of resources allocated to all (or at least gender-sensitive) sectors. These might include health, education, agriculture, housing, labour and employment
  • Implementation of GRGB in a given country is not related to its wealth or technological status, but to the degree of the will or, more importantly, the size of the governments involvement in economic or social activities.
  • Whilst in OECD countries, women’s organisations, NGOs, political parties and national or local governments have been influential in implementing the GRGB initiative, in developing countries (apart from some local NGOs and academia that have been promoting GRGB) mostly multilateral organisations and the donor community have been requesting and encouraging such an approach.