National Planning & Budgeting

Woman in church All national and international economic and development policies affect women in ways that advance or hinder gender equality. At the same time, sustainable economic growth and human development rest on women’s equal participation in the economy. Effective policy choices and development financing must therefore be tailored to the needs of both women and men.

Financing for gender equality is more than just securing resources and funding for institutions such as national women’s machineries, women’s organizations and gender equality projects. To accomplish sustainable and deep-rooted changes, financing for gender equality must recognize women as active economic agents that are central to a vibrant economy. It must also entail the design and implementation of economic policies that give women and men access to decent work, food security, social insurance and protection.

Public planning is the jumping-off point for the range of public services and policies that citizens expect from their governments, yet it often overlooks women’s specific needs and priorities. Gender equality should be a stated objective of all plans, backed by specific actions for implementation and sufficient funding.

Gender-responsive budgeting should be an essential feature of national planning. It seeks to ensure that the collection and allocation of public resources is carried out in ways that are effective and contribute to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. It should be based on in-depth analysis that identifies effective interventions for implementing policies and laws that advance women’s rights. It provides tools to assess the different needs and contributions of men and women, and boys and girls within the existing revenues, expenditures and allocations and calls for adjusting budget policies to benefit all groups.

Gender-responsive budget analysis, along with legislation, and other practical policy measures can address gender bias and discrimination. It is a step not only towards accountability to women’s rights, but also towards greater public transparency and can shift economic policies leading to gains across societies.