National planning and budgeting
National plans and budgets are strategic opportunities for governments to begin translating their commitments into practical steps for achieving gender equality. Changes to promote gender equality need to be backed by adequate funds, and systematically monitored for progress in reducing gender discrimination. Too often, however, plans and budgets fail to ensure that public services respond to women’s needs and priorities.
Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is an innovative public policy tool that comprehensively assesses gender gaps and identifies key actions to close them. It addresses gender bias and discrimination by analyzing government budgets to ensure that national commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment are adequately funded, at the national and local levels.
We advocate transparent and adequate public financing for gender equality, including the adoption of gender-responsive budgets that channel adequate resources to both women and men. UN Women’s broad range of partners include finance and planning ministries, local governments, parliamentarians, women’s organizations, civil society groups and academic organizations.
Since 2007, UN Women in Europe and Central Asia has piloted initiatives that have increased gender-responsive policy planning and contributed to gender-responsive budgeting being used in public finance reforms and for European Union (EU) accession processes. Gender-responsive budgeting has been recognized as an effective strategy to:
- position the budgeting system towards women’s and men’s needs;
- enable governments to respond to their gender equality commitments more comprehensively;
- increase the participation of women, men and civil society organizations in defining public policy goals.