National planning and budgeting

Photo: Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality

Governments use national plans, policies, institutions and budgets to turn their commitments to women into practical steps towards gender equality. Too often, however, these plans inadequately respond to women’s needs and priorities and fail to address gender bias and discrimination.

Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is a public policy tool that comprehensively analyses government budgets to assess gender funding gaps, identify actions to close them and ensure that national and local commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment are adequately funded.

UN Women in Turkey works with civil society organizations and municipalities to strengthen their local gender-responsive budgeting capacity and to analyse, prepare and monitor local budgets with a gender perspective.

UN Women in Action in Turkey

In cooperation with UNDP, Sabancı University, Turkey’s Interior, Education, and Family and Social Policies Ministries, and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, UN Women led the implementation of the gender-responsive budgeting component of the UN Joint Programme for Promoting the Human Rights of Women.

Implemented from 2012 to 2015 and funded by the Sabancı Foundation, the project aimed to increase the capacities of local administrations, women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) and women studies centres at universities in 11 provinces to monitor local government efforts to comply with national gender equality commitments in their plans and budgets. UN Women:

  • Helped build institutional capacities at local administrations and civil society organizations to use a gender perspective to analyse, improve and monitor local administration budgets;
  • Supported municipal efforts to prepare strategic plans using a gender equality approach and to increase their budgets to empower women;
  • Developed model practices so women could benefit more from municipal services;
  • Trained 332 municipal and CSO representatives in gender-responsive budgeting;
  • Prepared manuals so municipalities could use a gender perspective to analyse, develop and monitor their plans and budgets.

As a result of UN Women’s gender-responsive budgeting trainings, the 2015-2019 strategic plans of Eskisehir, Çanakkale, Gaziantep, Kocaeli and Edirne municipalities included, for the first time, gender equality goals, targets and indicators, ensuring sufficient budgets for gender-responsive services.

This has already had an impact:

  • Edirne Municipality established a gender-responsive budgeting monitoring group for its Strategic Plan. After reviewing its employment procedures from a gender equality perspective, it hired female bus drivers. Edirne created a Women’s Consultancy and Support Center in May 2016, built an Özgecan Women’s Facility Centre in Kıyık, one of its most disadvantaged areas and now offers rural women free market places so they can sell their products. For its gender-responsive budgeting work, Edirne won a Marmara Municipalities Union “Gold Ant for Municipal Work” award.
  • After a gender analysis in health found that rural women had no access to free cancer screening, Eskisehir Municipality offered rural women support services, including awareness raising on the importance of early cancer screening, and making health centre appointments; and provided them with free public transport to access cancer screening. So far, 707 rural women have benefited from this service.
  • Erzincan municipality established a child care unit in a recreational area for women who’d previously been confined at home, and eliminated discrimination in its hiring practices.

UN Women is planning a follow-up gender-responsive planning and budgeting project.