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What is gender responsive budgeting?

Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a tool to assess the impact of government budgets (and other economic policies) on inequalities between women and men in order to promote policies that will lead to greater equality.

It is therefore a tool not only for analysis but for policy change.

It does not mean a specific ‘budget for women’: reducing inequalities between women and men requires analysis of how all policy affects both women and men. Nor does it mean dividing expenditure equally between women and men, because that doesn’t necessarily result in reducing inequalities.

It’s not just about “women” and “men”. The impact of a policy, whether in social security or another area, is determined not just by gender but also income, ethnicity, disability, age and other factors. Wherever possible and relevant, our analysis should highlight the impact of these factors.

WBG member

GRB looks at budgets to see how they meet the needs of women and men, girls and boys. It can also involve assessing how budgets meet the needs of different groups of women and men, depending on their income, ethnicity, age or whether they live in rural or urban contexts.

GBR includes looking at the impact of economic policy not only on equalities in the paid economy (e.g. income, assets, pay and employment opportunities), but also on inequalities in unpaid work (such as care and domestic work) and other inequalities such as violence against women and girls, participation in decision making and so on.

In some countries local or national governments have adopted gender responsive budgeting policies. In others, such as the UK, civil society organisations have taken the lead in carrying out analysis in order to show government why it is needed and advocate for policy change to reduce inequalities.