Joining an elite few countries that have mainstreamed gender considerations into their national budgets, 35% of Ukraine’s key spending units underscored gender equality in their requests for state budget funds.
It’s that time of the year when state priorities are established and budgets set. In announcing its plans for the 2021-2023 period, Ukraine issued an explanatory note where it highlighted – for the first time – how gender mainstreaming was implemented in the new state budget to ensure government spending promotes equality among women and men.
Twenty-nine (35%) of the government’s key spending units (KSUs) incorporated gender considerations in 41 budget programmes. Basically this means that institutions not only analysed their programmes and public services with a gender lens but also decided how to make them more responsive to the needs of citizens more generally. It is something rarely seen in the national budget funds allocation process worldwide despite the fact that doing so results in optimised scope and structure of budget expenditures. Gender-responsive budgeting ensures that limited budget resources are used more efficiently and that government spending reinforces equality rather than widening the disparity between women and men.
The announcement was a feather in the cap of the Sida-funded Gender-Responsive Budgeting Project that NIRAS has been implementing for the last seven years. It clearly shows how the project has managed to convince financial officers in different ministries - and overall the Ministry of Finance – that by collecting data on various aspects of society from a gender point of view, Ukraine can make informed decisions about how to apply spending in a way that promotes gender equality.
Over the course of project, theoretical and practical classes have been offered to various government employees on how to implement a gender-responsive approach in the budget process. During the course, participants analyse budget programmes to identify gender imbalances in the allocation of funds. These findings usually become the basis of recommendations to be taken into account when forming “passports” of budget programmes. Over 1000 budget programmes are now more gender-responsive thanks to the collective efforts at all levels of government.
Due to the achieved results, Ukraine is now ranked as one of the best practical illustrations of gender responsive budgeting.
Learn more about the GRB project here.