UN Women in Action: Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting

UN Women Regional Programme

The countries of South East Europe and the Republic of Moldova have identified integration into the EU as their long-term goal. They have affirmed their commitment to gender equality and the advancement of women by revising existing laws or devising new ones. Their commitment to improve the accountability and transparency of public policies has opened up unique entry points to introduce gender-responsive budgeting and apply it as a public policy tool. 

Supported by the governments of Austria and Switzerland, UN Women has designed a regional multi-country programme (covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova) to help central and local governments implement their gender equality commitments by fully integrating gender-responsive budgeting into national and local planning and budgeting systems. The programme also aims to develop the capacity of non-governmental actors to use gender-responsive budgeting as a tool to hold governments accountable for gender equality commitments.

UN Women Regional Programme “Promoting Gender Responsive Policies”: Results

Other UN Women Interventions in the Region

Besides the regional programme, UN Women implements other programs and activities to increase accountability in budgeting and financing for gender equality in the region, including:

  • “Increasing Accountability in Financing for Gender Equality – EU/UN Partnership on Gender Equality” in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan
  • The UN Joint Programme for Promoting the Human Rights of Women in Turkey, through which UN Women is supporting gender-responsive budgeting at the local level in 11 pilot municipalities
  • Support to gender-responsive budgeting in Serbia and Tajikistan (at local level in 2 pilot districts)   

Recent UN Women national planning and budgeting initiatives and successes in Europe and Central Asia include: 

  • Drawing on widely participatory national consultations, the Kyrgyz Republic agreed on a National Action Plan on Gender Equality for 2015-2017. It spells out clear indicators of progress and assigns specific responsibilities to state institutions and partners. A costing exercise backed by UN Women means resources are already in place for 70 percent of the plan.
  • With UN Women’s encouragement, gender-responsive budgeting featured prominantly in the Kyrgyz Republic’s national budget debates for 2016. Gender equality became a top priority in the programme budget of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development. It is now working to make social protection more gender-responsive, in part through improving maternity benefits.
  • With UN Women’s support, Serbia’s Parliament adopted new provisions of the Budget System Law in December 2015, making gender-responsive budgeting mandatory for national, provincial and local government budgets. By 2020, all budgets have to include gender goals and gender-sensitive measurement indicators to track progress. Since 2015, GRB has been systematically implemented at national and provincial levels and received support from the Serbian Government, in partnership with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality; Ministry of Finance; Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality; Provincial Secretariat for Finance and UN Women. 2018 Budgets of 35 out of 53 national budget users and 14 out of 25 provincial budget users will reflect gender equality considerations.
  • In Turkey women’s and men’s specific needs are reflected in the public policies, plans and services of 11 pilot municipalities. After gender analysis of its health services, the Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality, for example, improved access to cancer screening for rural women. Hundreds of rural women have benefited so far – a significant achievement, as previously the municipality had struggled to improve services targeted to them.