Demanding gender-sensitive budgeting

  • Find it in the Law:
    Law on Gender Equality
  • Who is responsible:
    Public authorities such as municipal assemblies and directorates (at the local level) or government ministries and parliament (at the central level). Budgets are usually drafted by executive bodies and then move on to legislative ones for review and approval. At any stage a citizen has the right to demand incorporation of gender dimensions in spending initiatives (where applicable). Failures to implement the rights enshrined in the Gender Equality Law may be followed by a fine ranging from 300 to 700 EUR.
  • Who can help me:
    Legislative and executive public institutions have their administrations and secretariats. You may try to seek information and access to meetings through such official channels in order to make sure that gender issues are addressed. Also, you may seek the support of NGOs working with parliament or government institutions and that are directly involved in advocacy.

Let’s say that you want to make sure that public policies and laws implemented by your local and central government address concerns that are specifically related to your gender. For example, you hear that the municipality plans to introduce a new grants scheme to support businesses owned by youth. You should know that the Law on Gender Equality gives you the right to demand from decision-makers that they take into account gender related concerns during the drafting of such spending initiatives.The Law on Gender Equality defines “gender sensitive budgeting” as the integration of gender issues into the budget process. What this means in practical terms is that public authorities should take into account gender dimensions while designing spending initiatives such as the grant scheme. During the drafting of the budget, they could for example stipulate a quota saying that 30% of the grants should go to businesses owned by women. The legal basis for gender-sensitive measures in the budgeting process is found in other clauses of the Law on Gender Equality, such as Clause 6, which allows public authorities to undertake special measures to promote gender equality, such as quotas, special programs and other measures to improve the position of men and women in the workforce, education and health.

  

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