Gender Budgets





‘Gender-sensitive budgets’, ‘gender budgets’, and ‘women’s budgets’ refer to a variety of processes and tools aimed at facilitating an assessment of the gendered impacts of government budgets. In the evolution of these exercises, the focus has been on auditing government budgets for their impact on women and girls. This has meant that, to date, the term ‘women’s budget’ has gained widest use. Recently, however, these budget exercises have begun using gender as a category of analysis so the terminology ‘gender-sensitive budgets’ is increasingly being adopted. It is important to recognise that ’women’s budgets’ or ‘gender-sensitive budgets’ are not separate budgets for women, or for men. They are attempts to break down, or disaggregate, the government’s mainstream budget according to its impact on women and men, and different groups of women and men, with cognizance being given to the society’s underpinning gender relations. (Sharp, Rhonda: 1999)


Budlender, Debbie and Rhonda Sharp with Kerri Allen. 1998. How to do a gender-sensitive budget analysis: Contemporary research and practice. AusAID and Commonwealth Secretariat. Canberra.


Sen, Gita. 1999. A Quick Guide to Gender Mainstreaming in Finance. Commonwealth Secretariat.


BRIDGE, 2003, Gender and Budgets, BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies


Budlender, D. and Hewitt, G. (eds), 2002, Gender Budgets Make More Cents: country studies and good practice, London: Commonwealth Secretariat (case studies from the Andean Region, Australia, Bolivia. Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda and South Africa.){6FB43A6C-DD22-4DA8-A32D-09E7B3B95A7C}_GBMMC_FLYER.pdf


Budlender, D., Elson, D., Hewitt, G. and Mukhopadhyay, T. (eds), 2002, Gender Budgets Make Cents: understanding gender responsive budgets, London: Commonwealth Secretariat{BE440E9C-4B8C-408E-B862-E28610A579F6}_GBMC%201%20Understanding%20GB.pdf

Elson, D., 2000, ‘Accountability for the progress of women: women demanding action’ in Elson, D., Progress of the World's Women: UNIFEM Biennial Report, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

UNIFEM, 2002, Gender Budget Initiatives: strategies, concepts and experiences, papers from a high level international conference 'Strengthening Economic and Financial Governance through Gender Responsive Budgeting', Brussels, 16-18 October 2001. (Cases from Andean Region, France, India, Philippines, Tanzania, and Uganda.)


Bakker, I., and Elson, D., 1998, ‘Towards engendering budgets’ in Canadian Centre for

Policy Alternatives (eds.), 1998, Alternative Federal Budget Papers 1998, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ottawa


This paper focuses on the need to engender the Canadian federal budget and forms one element of the alternative federal budget papers that comprise this volume from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The authors challenge the perceived gender neutrality of budgets by offering evidence of the differential outcomes for women and men. Recent budget developments in Canada are seen as reinforcing gender inequality rather than counteracting it. This paper aims to clarify a gender-sensitive budget framework with emphasis on women’s contribution to the macro-economy. Proposals are made for gender analysis to be incorporated into the design of policy. These include the recognition of the interrelation between paid and unpaid labour, and that the sustainability of the social framework is in question given the over-extension of women’s resources. The authors recommend the monitoring of the next federal budget for its impact on time use and unpaid work burdens.


The Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec)

The Commonwealth Secretariat through its programme on Gender Management Systems has produced an extensive and excellent range of documents on gender-responsive budgets.


The Gender-Responsive Budget Initiative (GRBI)

The GRBI is a collaborative effort between the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), The Commonwealth Secretariat and Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), to support government and civil society in analyzing national and/or local budgets from a gender perspective and applying this analysis to the formulation of gender-responsive budgets. The GRBI's web page offers the possibility of a discussion group as well as a range of documents on GRBs.


The International Budget Project

The IBP assists civil society organizations around the world to improve budget policies and decision-making processes. Provides an extensive list of resources, initiatives and organizations under taking the budget democratization processes. It is possible to use a translation function to view this site in other languages.



GenderStats is an electronic database of gender statistics and indicators designed with user-friendly, menu-driven features. It offers statistical and other data in modules on several subjects. The data in each module is presented in ready-to-use format. Users have the option of saving the country views in Excel (or another spreadsheet software) to customize them for their own reports. Data sources for GenderStats include national statistics, United Nations databases, and World Bank-conducted or funded surveys.


You can also check the web pages of groups in individual countries such as IBAM, Brazil; Centro de Analisis e Inventigacion, (FUNDAR) Mexico; Flora Tristan, Peru; Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) South Africa; Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP); Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) Uganda and others.


Toronto Women’s Call to Action: