On June 7, the Ministry of Finance hosted a final meeting of a three-day hands-on seminar for the key spending units of the state budget on the implementation of a gender-responsive approach in the budget process. The Ministry started its work on gender mainstreaming back in 2014 with the support of the Gender Budgeting in Ukraine Project, which is implemented with the support of Sweden.
The introduction of a gender-responsive approach in the budget process is one of the elements of the budget reform envisaged by the Public Finance Management Reform Strategy for 2017-2020 and is being implemented by the MoF as part of improving the management by objectives method.
The gender approach provides for systematically taking into account the impact of budget decisions on the elimination of gender inequality in the budgetary process. It helps distribute budgetary funds in a way that overcomes existing gender disparities in access to education, employment, entrepreneurship, and participation in public life. This approach is also intended to increase the accountability of spending units and budget transparency.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Yurii Dzhyhyr, emphasized during the meeting, “Understanding of the gender budgeting importance is increasing in the world, but we see that it is difficult to effectively implement this practice even for the countries with developed budget management systems and with long-standing traditions of human rights protection. We see that there is currently no single gender budgeting model in the world, and we are free to elaborate our own approach here. But in my opinion, the most important lesson is that gender analysis must not turn into a yet another empty bureaucratic requirement.”
During the final meeting, the participants got acquainted with the results of the gender analysis of budget programs, which had been carried out by the key spending units together with the GRB project experts. In particular, the participants made suggestions on how to integrate the gender dimension into their budget programs.
“All budget process stake-holders should realize that narrowing gender inequality is not only a matter of the country’s dignity, but also a potential for increasing labour productivity, for economic growth. This is a powerful factor for the growth of budget revenues. Therefore, the analysis of budgetary decisions’ influence on gender equality should become a reflexive action for our economists, politicians and civil servants,” said Yurii Dzhyhyr. “Such a change in the level of economic thinking cannot be achieved merely through regulatory requirements. To do this, we need projects like this – the ones that help us understand the essence and importance of this tool through painstaking training, practical examples and dissemination of information.”