National Planning and Budgeting
UN Women in North Macedonia provides assistance to central and local governments so they can integrate gender equality and gender-responsive budgeting in national planning and policy making and work with non-government actors to hold governments accountable for their gender-equality commitments.
National plans, policies, institutions and budgets are where governments begin to translate commitments to women into practical steps towards gender equality. Too often, however, they fail to ensure that public services respond to women’s needs and priorities.
Gender-responsive budgeting is an innovative public policy tool that comprehensively assesses gender funding gaps and identifies 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.
Since 2008, UN Women in Europe and Central Asia has piloted gender-responsive budgeting initiatives that have contributed to gender-responsive policy planning and budgeting being used in public finance reforms and for European Union (EU) accession processes.
The North Macedonia and the countries in South East Europe have made integration into the EU a long-term goal. They have affirmed their commitment to gender equality and the advancement of women by revising existing laws or devising new ones. This 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.
The new UN Women Regional Programme, Promoting Gender Responsive Policies In South East Europe And The Republic Of Moldova, helps central and local governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Moldova implement their gender equality commitments by integrating gender-responsive budgeting into planning and budgeting at all levels. It encourages sub-regional cooperation and the exchange of innovative ideas, practices and knowledge.
It is structured around two major components, the first covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova and central-level activities in North Macedonia and the second local level activities in North Macedonia.
In North Macedonia, the Programme contributes to implementing the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men; the Government Strategy for Introducing Gender Responsive Budgeting (2012-2017); the National Strategy on Gender equality (2013-2020); the National Action Plan on Gender Equality (2013-2016); local gender equality strategies and action plans; and fulfilling national gender-responsive budgeting obligations. The central-level project component is financially supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation and the local-level component is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
In addition, UN Women in North Macedonia is supporting the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy strengthen national gender equality mechanisms so that gender perspectives can be mainstreamed in national policy making.
UN Women in action in North Macedonia
- First government strategy to introduce gender-responsive budgeting adopted in 2012;
- In 2012, Ministry of Finance revised its budget instructions and required pilot ministries to carry out gender analyses of programmes and develop gender indicators;
- In June 2014, the government adopted methodology for national gender-responsive budgeting;
- Six Ministries used gender-responsive budgeting to conduct gender analyses of specific programmes and submitted gender budget statements to the Ministry of Finance with their 2014 and 2015 budget requests (Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, including the State Employments Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Information Society and Administration);
- UN Women partners with the Association of Local Self-government Units in Macedonia (ZELS) and the Network of Associations of Local authorities in South East Europe (NALAS) to implement activities to promote gender-responsive budgeting to local governments;
- Partnership agreements committing to gender-responsive budgeting signed with mayors of 10 pilot municipalities (Aerodrom, Bitola, Bogovinje, City of Skopje, Gjorche Petrov, Mavrovo and Rostushe, Shtip, Strumica, Sveti Nikole and Tetovo);
- 10 local programmes and budgets are analysed from a gender perspective. This provides recommendations on how to strengthen the gender responsiveness of local programmes and better reflect needs of women and men in the budgeting processes;
- Comprehensive training and mentoring programme for Local Self-Governing Units developed; over 2015 and 2016 it will hold training on gender responsive budgeting and tailored mentoring sessions for local administrators and elected municipal councillors.
- Produced a toolkit specifically to guide central policy-makers integrate gender perspective in national policy-making process and is supporting the Department for Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to design on-line modules on gender equality and gender mainstreaming in national policy making and thus contribute towards the implementation of the National Strategy for Gender Equality. (local project)