|Frequently Asked Questions|
Gender-Responsive Budgeting is defined as adjusting public budgets in a way which supports gender equality. With this approach, women and their priorities and needs become visible while budgets become transparent. GRB is also known to increase democratic participation when it is adopted as a public policy.
GRB is a budgeting approach which favors disadvantaged women and girls while meeting the needs of women, men, boys and girls and interferes in the distribution of public resources in order to eliminate this inequality. In this respect, GRB is not a separate budget for women. However it is about considering disadvantaged situation of women in society while spending public expenditures and making the distribution accordingly.
A good example is Conditional Cash Transfer implemented in Turkey. These conditional financial supports which are given to encourage families, who cannot afford the education of their children at school age, are implemented differently for boys and girls.
The participation of girls in each level of education is lower than the participation of boys. The underlying reason of this difference is that families do not attach as much importance to girls' education as boys' education. Additional support mechanisms are needed so that girls benefit from education opportunities as much as boys do. Otherwise, the present inequality will continue as it is.
Based on this analysis, in the example of Conditional Cash Transfer, the financial support given to families for girls is higher than the support given for boys with the purpose of eliminating gender inequality in education. As it is seen in this example, public resources are spent by considering the disadvantaged situation of girls in the society.
Different roles of women and men in society and the difference in their socio-economic status affect public policies and public budgets. Budgets can be configured according to different needs of women and men for eliminating gender inequalities.
GRB makes it possible to realize international commitments to gender equality and plans prepared at local level. In other words, with the use of GRB it will be possible to monitor to what extent gender equality principle is reflected in real life and thus, to take concrete steps.
GRB has many advantages. GRB not only provides gender equality in terms of budgets but also contributes to minimization of poverty and increasing accountability and transparency. It is an important step towards the goal of promoting women's rights. Improving gender-responsive participatory approaches in local administrations contributes to good governance.
Local administrations are main actors along with the parliament and government for providing gender equality. Most of the public services that citizens use are provided by local administrations and provincial organizations of the central government. For this reason, the adoption of GRB by local administrations is very significant. The participation of CSOs and especially women's organizations is also quite important.
GRB is not about creating an additional budget but better spending the existing budget. We can analyze whether policies are planned to ameliorate gender equality and sources are spent in the best way possible even with a very limited budget.
This study will contribute to local administrations for the realization of local services within the framework of gender-responsive budgeting principles by working together with municipalities, special provincial administrations and women's CSOs within the framework of a participatory model. Based on this purpose, a total of 275 people from 11 provinces will receive trainings about gender-responsive budgeting. At least six of the provinces in the Program are targeted to have a local administration budget in line with GRB by 2015. Moreover, the cooperation opportunities with the Union of Municipalities of Turkey will be sought in order to make GRB training a part of training curriculum of municipalities.
UN Women has an important background and experience on this issue. The trainings for local administrations will be provided by UN Women. After the preparation of the needs assessment report, training programs will take place in all the provinces. Personnel from units which prepare and implement local administration budgets will participate in these training programs.
Moreover, especially members of Women's and Youth Assemblies of Urban Councils and CSOs will also take part in trainings. In these trainings, we aim to improve the capacity of all the parties concerned for preparing gender-responsive local administration budgets. Training documents which will be prepared in this process will be shared with all the stakeholders concerned. Furthermore, Union of Municipalities of Turkey and Sabanci University will be taken on board for the sustainability of these studies.
GRB can be implemented for any and all service areas. This will be determined after the needs assessment. In the provinces where the Program is executed, local administrations will implement gender-responsive budgeting in service areas that they determine according to their needs.
We think that it will be very useful for local administrations to analyze the effects of gender-responsive budgeting. Such an analysis will be very useful for showing local administrations what they gain by implementing GRB.
According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (“UNIFEM”) Guide, such a budgeting has following advantages for women:
• It makes women economically visible.
• It shows how the collection of public income and changes in tax system affect the lives of women differently than men. For instance, studies of a CSO in Canada revealed that the structure of retirement savings was against women. So, reformist campaigns were launched in government-supported retirement programs.
• It shows in detail how the sources reserved for women are spent. For instance, a gender-responsive budget analysis in South Africa revealed that necessary financial resource was not reserved even though the law on preventing domestic violence had passed.
• It shows women's priorities about public expenditures to policy makers. For instance, a women's rights organization in the USA demanded the reallocation of $1.3 million of the $ 2.1 million budget reserved for F-22 warplanes to health expenditures in 1996.
• It increases productivity and domestic production.
UNJP particularly aims to provide a sound infrastructure about how women's CSOs should read local administration expenses and decisions from a GRB perspective. Women become more informed about questioning what local administrations are doing for them thanks to this know-how. They can configure better what they will demand and how to do it; they can measure gender effect of the services they demand and they can more transparently analyze the performance of local administrations thanks to this knowledge. For instance, they can take the initiative of designing a course program which considers the gender effect of vocational courses.
There are many successful examples about GRB abroad. Germany, Morocco, Peru, Brazil and Serbia are some of the countries which undertook studies regarding gender by revising their budgets. For instance, in Vojvodina, a province of Serbia, women's and men's chance of finding a job at the end of vocational courses and the sources reserved by public for the employment of men and women were examined within the scope of GRB studies. Thus, public resources were reconfigured in a more equal way between genders, eliminating disadvantages. CFEMEA, a CSO in Brazil working on women's rights, made a close examination on the allocation of the budget proposed by government and approved by parliament to prevent violence against women. CFEMEA provided a serious increase in the funds presented to the parliament as a result of their intense lobbying activities. This can be given as an example to GRB studies that CSOs make.