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Gender Response Budgeting

Do you have a magnifying glass with a big lens handy? I haven’t used one for a very long time. But the idea of taking an imaginary gender lens to a government’s spending on women’s interests has been adopted by countries as diverse as South Korea, Finland, and Timor L’este.  This is called Gender Responsive Budgeting.

The Women’s Budget Statement is part of the annual Federal Government budget. Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Women, has stated: “When women are safe, economically secure and healthy it provides benefits for individuals, families, business, and the economy. Improving outcomes in these areas will not only enhance the lives and livelihoods of Australian women; it will grow our economy and build a better society for all Australians”.

At the June meeting of United Nations Association of Australia, Victoria Status of Women Committee we discussed the impact of the Federal Government’s Women’s Budget Statement for 2021-22 and the allocation of funds for women’s wellbeing and gender equality. The Budget contains some much-needed measures to reduce violence against women and children, ensure Australian workplaces are free from sexual harassment, improve the quality of women’s health services and provide affordable childcare.

Shortly after the release of the 2021-2022 Federal Budget, the National Foundation Of Australian Women (NFAW), a feminist organisation, engaged forty specialists to analyse the Women’s Budget Statement through a gender lens to ascertain whether the budget lives up to its aims.  The NFAW gave the Women’s Budget Statement a mixed report stressing among other things, that the gender pay gap persists, the growing homelessness of older women needs to be addressed and the low income of aged care and childcare workers fails to attract workers and address skills shortages.  NFAW report concluded that “This budget is a major improvement on last year’s but it is far from a comprehensive Gender Response budget”.

The report can be downloaded from https://nfaw.org/policy-papers/gender-lens-on-the-budget/gender-lens-on-the-budget-2021-2022/

Are you wondering if Israel’s budget incorporates Gender Responsive perspective?

According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC) “ministries in Israel have conducted gender analysis of the budget since 2014. This process has resulted in a more gender balanced allocation of resources in a few areas, such as science (scholarships and funds)”.

For more information go to: https://www.oecd.org/gender/governance/toolkit/government/integration-in-budget-cycle/concurrent-gender-budgeting

 

by: Nina Richwol – WIZO Australia Community Liaison Officer

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