Gender-Responsive Budgeting, a tool for financing initiatives to address violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Group photo of GRB participants at Regional Workshop in Trinidad and Tobago
Credit: UN Women Photo/Shurdelle Jennings
Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a strategy to achieve gender equality, where budgets or proposed spending is analysed and designed to ensure interventions to eliminate inequalities between women and men and boys and girls, are adequately financed.
Under the Regional EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, budget planners, analysts and gender focal points were brought together for national workshops in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago to enhance their analytical and technical skills for analysing public expenditures in different sectors to address violence against women and girls (VAWG). A regional session was also convened with senior leadership in finance, statistics and gender equality from nine CARICOM countries to improve their technical capacity to better understand and apply international GRB better practices in national budgeting processes.
The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is the world’s largest targeted effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG). It was launched in 2017 with an initial budget of EUR 500 million.
Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) – Caribbean Tonni Brodber in opening remarks to the Regional workshop held in Trinidad and Tobago said there are many misconceptions about what Gender-responsive budgeting is, explaining it is not about separate budgets for women nor spending on women or women-only programmes.
“Rather what gender-responsive budgeting seeks to do, is to ensure that the collection and allocation of public resources is carried out in way that is effective and inclusive and contributes to advancing gender equality and sustainable development, while responding to the capacities, constraints and needs of women and men, girls and boys. And it calls for adjusting budget policies to benefit all people.
The analysis, legislation, and other practical policy measures can address gender bias and discrimination. It has been proven to do so in other countries and in countries in our region. It helps us to assess the implications for people of any planned action whether via national legislation policies and programmes in all areas and at all levels, ensuring that women and men benefit equally, and that inequality is not the norm, and it is not perpetuated,” Ms. Brodber added.
The UN Women Representative said too, the workshop facilitated through the Spotlight Initiative demonstrates that the Spotlight Initiative is not just a one-off investment, rather it is an investment in sustainability and long-term systemic change.
European Union Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Peter Cavendish said in remarks to the Regional workshop held in Trinidad and Tobago: “Gender responsive budgeting is smart budgeting for smart future economies. Going forwards the more successful economies will be those that bring all of the talents of all parts of the workforce into their most productive roles and GB is essential for this.”
Group photo of GRB Workshop participants in Guyana
Credit: UN Women Photo/Trevor Smith
United Nations Resident Coordinator to Guyana Yeşim Oruç, in her opening remarks to the Guyana national workshop said she was very proud to lead the Spotlight Initiative Programme, generously funded by the European Union, in Guyana where from the Head of State to Minister Vindhya Persaud - co-chair of the Initiative’s Steering Committee - the effort, the passion and the commitment are vocal and strategic, and partnerships with civil society are dynamic and effective.
“The Government is budgeting for women and for ending VAW….For example, Budget 2023 tops up by more than 30% the budget of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security – the Ministry with the primary mandate to provide services for vulnerable women including survivors of GBV,” the UN RC stated.
"We had the opportunity to link and think about our home country’s own budget. Reflect
on how we can recommend strategies to Ministry of finance and women’s/ gender unit".
"Room for networking and getting to learn about other countries perspective
on GRB as well get insight on how to work on Government level."
"Gender Equality while it is an important aspect of my agency, is not a part of my portfolio
but, the information disseminated in correlation with the budgeting aspect has not only
heightened my curiosity but is very informative and is necessary information".
"I appreciate the variation in the learning techniques used. Specifically,
the use of drawings and verbal interactions during the presentations".
"The expertise and synergy between all facilitators and colleagues in the room".