UN Women organized a gender-responsive budgeting seminar in Turkey for the members of the Parliament
UN Women held a two-day seminar from 18–20 February for the Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Planning and Budgeting Committee. Organized in Afyon, in western Turkey, the seminar focused on gender-responsive planning and budgeting as well as promoting women's empowerment in Turkey.
Participants included MPs from various political parties as well as relevant staff from the Ministry of Family and Social Services and the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Presidency of Strategy and Budgeting. The MPs reflected on how gender-responsive planning and budgeting efforts should be structured by the Parliament and what practical steps were needed to move forward.
At the seminar, MPs addressed the TGNA Planning and Budgeting Committee’s role in introducing a gender-responsive aspect into the budget planning processes. They also looked at the methods that could be used to promote gender-responsive budgeting, and the potential legal and organizational changes that might need to be adopted. The seminar welcomed international guests working on gender-responsive planning and budgeting who shared good practices from several countries.
High-level officials attended the seminar, including Cevdet Yılmaz, the Chairperson of the TGNA Planning and Budgeting Committee and former Minister of Development. Also, Kübra Güran Yiğitbaşı, the Deputy Minister of Family and Social Services; Fatma Aksal, the Chairperson of the TGNA Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men; Bahtiyar Sazlık, the Directorate General of Budgeting at the Republic of Turkey Presidency of Strategy and Budgeing; and Asya Varbanova, UN Women Turkey Country Director were among the participants.
“In an environment without women, there would be no democracy or development to talk about. For a strong democracy and solid development, we must fully achieve equality between women and men, and in this context, we must prioritize the needs of women in our planning and budgeting processes, as this can set the course of our lives. The common goal we intend to achieve, through this project, is to introduce a gender-responsive perspective into all planning and budgeting activities,” said Cevdet Yılmaz.
Emphasizing that social progress and sustainable development could only be achieved by fully realizing equality and women's human rights, Kübra Güran Yiğitbaşı said: “Thanks to this project we have been implementing in partnership with UN Women, we are taking firm steps towards a strong future by effectively delivering gender-responsive budgeting and establishing equitable and sustainable systems.”
In her address, Fatma Aksal pointed out that the goal of making sure that women fully participate in the process of development, business and social life could only be achieved through gender mainstreaming. “In this context, it is essential that budgeting and planning is gender-responsive, and public spending promotes women's access to equal rights and opportunities,” she added.
Bahtiyar Sazlık said: “Building a strong society requires women's empowerment. In this regard, implementing gender-responsive planning and budgeting will ensure that women's priorities and needs are visible, and it would guide us through building an equal and fair society. What we aim through this project is to consolidate our existing efforts and achieving equality between women and men.”
Speaking at the event, UN Women Turkey Country Director Asya Varbanova said: “Our efforts to set solid foundation for gender responsive budgeting in Turkey continue in collaboration with the Planning and Budgeting committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The Committee is a critical partner in ensuring that the goals of gender-responsive budgeting are realized and public budgets benefit women and men equally, in line with their needs.”
Gender responsive budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary processes. It aims to create a society where gender equality is achieved, and women, men, girls and boys enjoy equal rights, services, and opportunities. The approach enables budgeting and planning processes to incorporate a gender perspective at all levels and meet the different needs and priorities of everyone.
The seminar was organized as part of the Project on Implementing Gender-Responsive Planning and Budgeting. This effort is co-financed by the European Union and UN Women and it is implemented by UN Women in collaboration with the Ministry of Family and Social Services and the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Presidency of Strategy and Budgeting.