Global Resources

Gender-responsive budgeting in education

Publisher: Oxfam
Publication Date: Jan 2005
Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is an attempt to ensure that gender-related issues are considered and addressed in all government policies. This paper uses the GRB approach to explain how governments and donors can promote gender equality in education through their financing decisions.

The paper uses three categories of GRB to discuss how education budgets in different countries have tried to promote gender equality. These categories are:

  • gender-targeted expenditures: for example, special scholarships for girls
  • staff-related employment-equity expenditures: for example spending on training for female teachers' career development
  • mainstream expenditures: for example spending on compulsory education and the provision of early childhood education.

The paper concludes with some recommendations:

For governments:

  • support free education programmes
  • mainstream gender equality within other programmes
  • assess the sustainability of GRB initiatives before offering full support
  • consider the balance of spending between tertiary, secondary and primary education.

For NGOs:

  • explore opportunities to work with parliamentarians based on a gender-budgeting exercise for education
  • work with employees in the education sector to examine gender equity
  • support local organisations in their own GRB initiatives
  • link free primary education campaigns with wider initiatives.

[adapted from author]