Gender Responsive Budgeting, A Primitive Need Under Sustainable Development Goal
Post on 12,March 2017   2:00 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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This year, India ratified the Paris Agreement making Gender equality as one of the 17 goals under Sustainable Development Goals.

What is it: Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB): It refers to the practice of policy formulation (fiscal policy) and resource allocation in such a way that it furthers the gender agenda and benefits both the genders.

It can be better referred to as the process of conceiving, planning, approving, executing, monitoring, analyzing and auditing budgets in a gender-sensitive way.

Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: Since 2005-06, the Expenditure Division of the Ministry of Finance has been issuing a note on Gender Budgeting as a part of the Budget Circular every year. This is compiled and incorporated in the form of Statement 20 as a part of the Expenditure Budget Document Volume 1 by the ministry.

This GB Statement comprises two parts- Part A and Part B.

Part A reflects Women Specific Schemes, i.e. those which have 100% allocation for women.

Part B reflects Pro Women Schemes, i.e. those where at least 30% of the allocation is for women.

 

Need for Gender Responsive Budgeting in India:

 

  • India was ranked 87 in terms of gender equality in health, education, economy and political representation by World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report in 2016.
  • Women lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, and economic opportunities etc. therefore Gender responsive budgeting mainstreams gender concerns in public expenditure and policy.
  • Women and girl children in India are confronted with gender based disadvantages which may translate into lesser benefits being enjoyed by them therefore Gender budget is helpful in improving women’s economic equality. Improving effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and transparency of government budgets.
  • Revealing discrepancies between what a governments says it is doing and the actual impact of government policies, withoutgender analysis, schemes may reinforce patriarchal mindsetdue to faulty design or implementation.
  • Offering a practical way for the governments to implement their obligations under international human rights agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

 

Some shortfalls that need to be addressed:

  • Although policy formulation has been central to the issues concerning the masses, it has failed to benefit women as much as men.
  • Apart from being prevalent at the national level, it has been adopted by 16 states.
  • No funds were allocated for scheme implementing Domestic Violence Act in budget 2016-17.
  • Women’s declining labor participation, under-representation in Parliament, skewed child sex ratio and prevalent gender based violence.
  • Lack of ground level knowledge of needs of women.
  • The proportion of gender budget as a proportion of Union budget has either been stagnant or declined.

Conclusion: GRBmust be adopted not just in social sectors but also in conventionally indivisiblesectorslikeroad, transport, energy, and technology. Instead of just focusing on women centric schemes, gender-analysis must be carried out forall schemes. Women should be involved more in the administrative and policy making procedure.


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