On November 14-15, 2018, a conference on the priority issues of implementing the GRB at the local level in Ukraine was held in Kyiv. The conference was attended by over 100 participants from all regions of Ukraine. Among them were representatives of the Ministries of Finance of Ukraine, Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, representatives of the financial bodies of regional and Kyiv city state administrations and All-Ukrainian associations of local governments, international experts from Sweden and Albania, as well as representatives of the international projects implemented in Ukraine.
In the framework of the conference GRB Project celebrated the fifth anniversary of the introduction of gender budgeting in Ukraine
Martin Hagström, Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, Olena Machulna, Deputy Director of the Department of Local Budgets, Head of the Department of Local Budget Planning, Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, Katharina Schmitz, Director of the project “Gender Budgeting in Ukraine”, Maja Bosnic, Head of the Project “Gender Budgeting in Ukraine” addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.
Ambassador Martin Hagström noted in his address that by implementing the GRB, Ukraine demonstrates positive example for the whole world, and the experience of implementing GRB at the local level is extremely valuable for the development of communities, because through conducting a gender budget analysis it is possible to identify uneven distribution of funds and overcome gender gaps that will benefit all citizens of Ukraine.
During his speech, Taras Tokarsky, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Public Utilities of Ukraine, spoke about the work of the Ministry of Regional Development aimed at achieving gender equality, in particular, with the help of such an effective tool as gender budgeting: “Introduction of gender budgeting is one of the priorities to achieve gender equality and is part of the Action Plan for decentralization. Mr. Tokarsky also promised that from 2019 all the documents which would be produced by the Ministry of Regional Development will be passing gender expertise.
Kateryna Levchenko, Governmental Commissioner for Gender Policy, spoke about the national mechanism for ensuring gender equality in Ukraine and the importance of GRB as well as supporting the implementation of gender budgeting at the state level. Alona Babak, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, Co-Chair of the Equal Opportunities parliamentary caucus also noted strong support for the promotion of gender equality and gender budgeting at the highest level. Gender budgeting is determined by one of the priorities of the Equal Opportunities Caucus. GRB will be one of the main issues that will be considered during the Ukrainian Women’s Congress (UWC) in December 2018.
International experts Marie Trollvik (Sweden) and Rezart Xhelo (Albania) presented the experience of implementing GRB at the local level in their countries.
During the second day of the conference, a presentation of the online course on gender budgeting was held. It was presented by Natalia Lazarenko, Deputy director of the Project “Developing a Course for Strengthening Local Self-Government in Ukraine” (PULSE), which is being implemented by the Association of Ukrainian Cities, and Tetiana Ivanina, GRB Expert, Chairperson of the Bureau of Gender Strategies and Budgeting.
The development of the online course became possible by the fruitful cooperation and partnership of the project “Gender Budgeting in Ukraine”, funded by Sweden, and the USAID Project “Development of a Course for Strengthening Local Self-Government in Ukraine” (PULSE). The course was prepared by NGO “Bureau of Gender Strategies and Budgeting”, commissioned by the Project “Gender Budgeting in Ukraine”.
After the presentation, representatives of the authorities, civil society and international experts divided into four groups and started working on the following questions: how to implement gender budgeting in the OTG in modern conditions? How to apply GRB in the budget process at the regional level without changes in the legislation? How to interest the participants of the budget process in the application of GRB? How to apply international experience of GRB institutionalization in Ukraine?
The proposals of the working groups will be used in planning further work on the GRB implementation in Ukraine at all levels.