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Women Count: A Resource for Gender Responsive Budgeting Groups

A resource produced by the UK Women's Budget Group for anyone who wants to work on gender responsive budgeting.

Gender Responsive Budgeting

“Gender responsive budgeting is a tool to bring about change”

This means persuading policy-makers (government, parliament, civil servants) to think about what impact spending and revenue raising decisions will have on gender equality and to adopt policies that will bring about greater equality between women and men.

So, Gender Responsive Budgeting is not just a method of policy assessment, but of policy improvement.

We have written this casebook from the perspective of a non-government organisation and hope it will be particularly useful for civil society organisations or networks. However, many of the lessons we learned will also be applicable to local or national governments.

On the following pages you will find:

  • An introduction to gender responsive budgeting.
  • Case studies which highlight the lessons that can be learnt from our experiences in the UK.
  • Links to online resources.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to gender responsive budgeting. What we aim to do is to share our experiences at the Women’s Budget Group, the challenges we have faced and how we have tried to overcome them.

What is the budget?

Different countries have different budgeting cycles and what is meant by the budget varies from place to place. In the UK the budget covers changes in taxation, and sometimes social security benefits, (cash transfers to individuals or households, sometimes called “welfare” payments), along with changes to overall budgets for different departments. The detail of departmental spending plans is not covered in the budget, although the Chancellor (the main Finance Minister) may announce funding for a few high profile specific projects.

Gender Responsive Budgeting