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What does gender responsive budgeting involve?

There are a wide variety of toolkits and guides to gender responsive budgeting which you can access via the resources section. There is no single way to carry out gender responsive budgeting. Many projects focus on particular stages of the budget, or on particular departments or policy areas. However, there are some general principles and questions to consider.

Some principles of gender impact assessment

  • Look at impacts on individuals as well as households.
    • Interests within households may differ, so policies that benefit a household’s decision-maker may not benefit all household members.
    • Policy may affect decision-making power within households.
  • Take a life time perspective wherever possible.
    • Policies’ long-term effects may outweigh current impacts – for example policies that make it easier for women to stay doing unpaid care may have negative impacts on women’s life time earnings and pensions in old age.
  • Take account of effects on unpaid care economy.
    • For example, recognise that the fiscal benefits of encouraging women into employment are not ‘free’ but may have an impact on unpaid care.
  • Look at differences within particular groups of women and men, wherever relevant.
    • For example, differences by race, income, disability and so on.
    • Focus on the least advantaged.
  • Quantify gender differences in effects where possible.
    • But don’t assume no gender effect if it isn’t possible to quantify, most policies have some gender effect.
    • Even where they can’t be measured, qualitative arguments about such effects need to be taken into account.

The 'what gender budgeting can show' pages summarise the main policy issues and highlight some of the work WBG has carried out in the areas of

Social Security
Public Services
Cumulative Impact Analysis
Public Investment