Gender Budgeting

April 06, 2021

From February 23 to 26, 2021, the JVI in collaboration with the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, organized a four-day remote course on Gender Budgeting for 18 government officials across twelve countries from South Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The course, in its fourth year, was tailored to online-delivery, and was expanded for the first time to include contributions from other IMF departments on the macroeconomics of gender and the economic and social policies to close gender gaps.

Gender budgeting experts from the IMF, UN-Women, the Austrian Parliamentary Budget Office, and the PEFA Secretariat provided a detailed overview of how to mainstream gender considerations into the budget cycle.

Presentations and discussions around gender equality, macroeconomic performance and the IMF’s gender budgeting framework set the context for the course. Experts explained budgeting tools for each stage of the budget cycle (planning, preparation and execution) with hands-on case studies in smaller facilitated break-out groups.

Some key takeaways from the course are as follows:

  • The budget is the key link between gender policies and their implementation. Equality goals in many areas, such as labor participation or education, require positive action to close gender gaps that needs to be reflected in budgetary allocations.
  • Political support and an enabling legal framework are necessary to make gender equality policies effective. Ministries of Finance, as leaders of the budgeting process, and Ministries of Planning and Women are important players to support the work by line ministries.
  • Ex ante gender impact assessments are important to gauge the direct and indirect gender impact of new policies, but will only be effective if countries establish a clear methodology and build analytical capacity.
  • Budget classifications or markers can be used to track gender-related activities through the budget. Program-based budgeting and IT systems are helpful, though not a pre-requisite. Other tools can also be used to support this process.
  • Gender budget statements as a first step promote the use of other gender budgeting tools, such as clear instructions in budget circulars, impact assessments, gender markers and better monitoring.
  • Monitoring and evaluation can be a challenge. Gender-specific data and indicators should ideally feed into governments’ accountability frameworks.

Vincent Tang and Nino Tchelishvili,
International Monetary Fund

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