Gender budgeting: A tool for gender mainstreaming


A tool for gender mainstreaming


Concept & definition of gender budgeting

Gender budgeting refers to the process of conceiving, planning, approving, executing, monitoring, analyzing and auditing budgets in a gender sensitive way. Gender budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary process. It means a gender based assessment at all levels of budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditure in order to promote gender equality.

Gender budgeting around the world and in India

Countries of common wealth were the first to take steps towards the implementation of gender budgeting. Australia was the first to implement a women’s budget in 1984. Government of India adopted GRB (Gender Responsive Budget) in 2005-2006 with the introduction of its gender budget statement. Consequently 57 government ministries/departments have set up gender budget cells to pursue gender budgeting

What gender budgeting is & is not

Gender budgeting is not about simply dividing government money 50-50 between men and women. A simple 50-50 division may look equal, but it is often not equitable, or fair, because the needs of women and men, girls and boys may be different. Instead, gender budgeting looks at every part of the government budget to assess how it will address the different needs of women and men, girls and boys. For example, in the area of health male and female people will have similar needs in respect to influenza and malaria. But women will have greater needs than men in terms of reproductive health.

The scope of gender budgeting

Gender budgeting expands our concept of the economy to include things that are not usually valued in money. In particular, gender budgeting recognizes the unpaid care economy that mainly women do in bearing, rearing, and caring for their families. Government therefore needs to find ways of supporting those who do this unpaid care work lessening their burden and ensuring that the work is done well.

Gender budgeting should however not be confined to the social area such as education, health and welfare. It needs also to be applied in areas such as agriculture, power, defence, commerce and information technology where the gender implications may not be apparent.

Gender auditing

Gender auditing is part of the gender budgeting process. It is conducted after the budget has been adopted or implemented. Gender auditing is the process of reviewing financial outlays-looking at trends over time, percentage shares etc.; analyzing and assessing systems actually put in place, processes adopted, outcomes and impact of budgetary outlays.

Steps in gender budgeting

  1. Situation analysis of gender in a given sector
  2. Assessment of gender-based policies and programmes
  3. Assessment of adequacy of budget allocation
  4. Monitoring whether the money was spent as per objectives laid and planned
  5. Assessment of impact of policy

Part A & Part B of gender budgetary allocation

The gender budgetary allocations of the union government are reflected in two parts. The first part, part A includes schemes with 100% allocation for women while part B of statement includes schemes/programmes with 30% to 99% allocation for women.

Stakeholders in gender budgeting

  1. Ministry of women and child development (nodal ministry at central level)
  2. Ministry of finance (at central and state level)
  3. Controller and Auditor General of India/local audit departments
  4. Sectoral ministries like health, education, labour, agriculture, power, roadways, urban development etc
  5. Researchers, economists and statisticians
  6. Civil society organizations and budget groups
  7. Parliamentarians, budget committees of both houses and other representatives of the people at district & sub district levels
  8. Media
  9. Development partners /donors etc.

Gender budget in union budget for 2018-19

Overall the gender budget allocation for FY 2018-19 is Rs. 121,961 crore. While in absolute terms, this is an increase from Rs. 113,311 crore (Rs .117,222 core revised estimate) in 2017-18, as a percentage of total expenditure it continues to be in the range of 5%.

To boost women’s formal sector employment and take- home earnings, provident fund contribution by them have been reduced from 10-12% to 8% for the first three years of employment.



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