Mainstreaming gender equality into budget programming

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After seven years of work in implementing gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) in Ukraine, efforts at all levels of government have yielded significant results.

July 13, 2017
  • SDG: #5
  • SECTORS: Development Consulting
  • COUNTRIES: Ukraine
  • DONOR: Sweden
  • CLIENT: Sweden
  • CONTRACT VALUE: EUR 7.229 million
  • DURATION: November 2013 - December 2020

The Government of Ukraine has been working toward gender equality for over 20 years. Equal rights for men are women are constitutionally protected in Ukraine and several laws and regulations around gender have been passed since the Constitution’s adoption in 1996. However, like the rest of the world, Ukraine is in a situation where there is a disconnect between policy and real practice on the ground, in which gender stereotyping, direct and indirect discrimination, and gender-based violence continue despite the legal environment.

The introduction of gender-responsive budgeting in Ukraine

Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is a powerful tool in the continued battle to bring about gender equality, but also in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending. The process of GRB recognises that the application of government spending can either bring a country’s population closer to gender equality or widen the disparity between genders. As such, GRB requires the collection of data on various aspects of society from a gender point of view so that the government can make an informed decision about how to apply spending in a way that promotes gender equality.

In 2012, Swedish Government through Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) launched pilot projects in the Ivano-Frankivsk and Lugansk oblasts (regions) aimed at showcasing the benefits of GRB to government stakeholders and popularising the process. As a result of the successes seen in these pilot areas, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine officially requested bilateral cooperation with Sweden to facilitate the national introduction of gender-responsive budgeting in February 2013.

The GRB project was launched in November 2013 and ran until December 2020. 

Bringing GRB onto the national stage

The GRB project was designed to run concurrently on the national and oblast state levels to improve the understanding of GRB and to encourage its implementation in all levels of the Ukrainian government.

At ministry level, the project was responsible for:

  • supporting production of methodology and other legislative documents and changes to ensure GRB is fully institutionalised in Ukrainian budget process;
  • establishing, facilitating, and training an institutionalised, ministry-level working group comprising members of various ministerial, state, and other stakeholders, which is tasked with developing an action plan for the introduction of GRB in Ukraine and considering an official government statement on impact of budget funds to gender equality;
  • doing capacity building and other trainings for all stakeholders (Ministry of Finance; all line ministries and agencies; members of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament; the media; and NGOs) on the introduction of GRB in Ukraine;
  • and facilitating and supporting a selected number of line industries in assessing the current legal framework and regulations under their competencies, and in creating sectorial action plans for GRB implementation.

At local level, the project was responsible for:

  • establishing processes and documents for GRB introduction in all oblasts of Ukraine;
  • providing in-depth trainings for GRB working groups in all oblasts and supporting them in analysing budget programmes from a gender perspective and improving these programmes;
  • introducing gender budgeting at municipality level in the Amalgamated Territorial Communities.
People At Table, Ukraine

The project developed a single GRB methodology that is used at the state and local levels in Ukraine and is integrated into Ukraine’s Public Finance Management System, ensuring that budget decisions at both state and local level are taking the needs of women and men into account. 

This approach creates a sense of ownership among those involved in creating the budget at all levels, which improves the chances of a long-term and widespread adoption of the gender-responsive budgeting process. Furthermore, gender equality becomes a part of an overall objective of the budgetary process, which is in turn beneficial in terms of the efficient allocation of resources, positive impacts on various sectors of society, and sustainable economic growth.

Significant successes

Most of the GRB project’s implementation period was spent on supporting ministries and oblasts in conducting gender-based analyses (GBAs) of programmes funded by local and national budgets. GBAs have been completed on national and local programmes in a number of sectors, including education, healthcare, social protection and social security, youth policy, physical training and sports, culture and arts.

Various recommendations for gender-related improvements to programmes and processes based on the results of the GBAs have been provided to several departments of the State Statistics Service and the Ministries of Finance, Education and Science, Health, Youth and Sports, Social Policy, Culture, and Defence. Several changes have taken place because of these recommendations, resulting in a more transparent budgeting process and budget programmes becoming more focused on meeting the needs of men and women.

Other successes include:

  • 1075 budget programmes ("passeports") now include a gender perspective compared to 6 in 2017.
  • 218 budget programmes have been analysed and many improved from gender perspective (118 at local and 100 at the state level).
  • 35% of all ministries in Ukraine have submitted budget requests with gender considerations in 2020
  • For the first time the Ministry of Finance included information on the application of gender-responsive approach in the budget process in the Explanatory Note to the draft Law of Ukraine on the State Budget of Ukraine for 2021
  • 34 regulations governing budget relations have been made gender responsive
  • Sex disaggregated data is being collected and published in all oblasts of Ukraine
  • 3,000 civil servants gained knowledge and practical skills on GRB application, many becoming GRB advocates

Because of the collective efforts at all levels of government and due to the achieved results, Ukraine is now ranked as one of the best practical illustrations of excellent work on GRB.

Download the GRB Results & Reflections Book, the Final Report, or a Summary of the Final Report.


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More than 3000

civil servants have been trained on GRB.


Number of "passports" of budget programmes with a gender perspective

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