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Gender-responsive budgeting: Innovative approaches to budgeting

Written by Gianluca Sgueo
© Nelos / Fotolia

‘Gender gap’ is the term used to describe the unequal outcomes achieved by women and men on the labour market, as well as women’s restricted access to rights and assets worldwide. According to the World Economic Forum, no country in the world has fully closed the gender gap: only a few countries (Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark) have closed 80% of their gender gap, whereas many others lag far behind, having closed it by 60% or less.

Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is one of the tools used by policy-makers to tackle the gender gap. The aim of GRB is to promote equality between men and women.

There are several GRB initiatives that are ongoing at national and supranational level, including at European Union (EU) level. The first attempt to introduce GRB into the EU budgetary process was made in 2002. The current Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-20) includes a joint declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission, in which they commit to integrating, as appropriate, gender-responsive elements in the EU budget. Moreover, the new strategy for equality between women and men, currently being drafted, includes the objective of advancing GRB as part of EU budgeting.

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