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Gender responsive budgeting

The Budgeting for Women’s Rights Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW links governments’commitments under CEDAW with the four main dimensions of budgets: revenue, expenditure, macroeconomics of the budget, and budget decision-making processes. It makes these links to help clarify how gender budget analysis can assist in:
monitoring a government’s compliance with CEDAW;

identifying how CEDAW can be used to set equality-enhancing criteria in budget activities;

guiding Gender Budgets Initiatives (GBIs) and other initiatives towards achieving gender equality.

By ratifying CEDAW and other human rights treaties, state parties commit that government activity complies with the human rights standards of those treaties. The extent to, and ways in which these standards then become legally binding in domestic decision-making, will vary from state to state, and depend on factors such as the relationship between international and domestic law in the country. Irrespective of these potential differences, the budget is one of the government activities to which such standards would apply. In fact, the budget is a key government activity because it also regulates how other government activities - e.g. public programmes in relation to healthcare, employment, education, elimination of violence against women - will operate. While CEDAW does not contain a specific provision on budgets, budget policies and processes are bound by other relevant CEDAW principles, the most pertinent of which are:

  • Non-discrimination
  • Equality
  • Participation
  • Modification of social and cultural patterns of conduct to eliminate discrimination agaisnt women

Read the whole document: Diane Elson, Budgeting for Women’s Rights Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW: A summary guide for policy makers, gender equality and human rights advocates. UNIFEM


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