Govt formulates strategy to make budget gender responsive

Kathmandu, January 21

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has formulated the 'Gender Responsive Budget Localisation Strategy' for the implementation of gender equality and women empowerment programmes at the district, municipal and VDC level in an effective manner.

The gender responsive budget prioritises the selection of programmes on the basis of gender mainstreamisation, and equitable distribution of benefits derived therefrom.

"Though the budget is considered neutral in itself, the impacts it has on gender are not neutral. Therefore, the concept and implementation of gender responsive budget has been felt necessary for equal distribution of benefits to men and women," read an excerpt of the strategy.

The investment to be made by the government and its partners should be led to the path of gender equality right from its source.

"This concept does not necessarily mean that women need budget separately to achieve the goal of gender equality but is a tool which ensures balanced participation of men and women in development activities for equal benefit-sharing," says the strategy.

Gender responsive budget establishes the relationship between gender equality policy and micro finance policy, while ensuring integration of gender aspects.

It not only makes gender mainstreamisation meaningful but assists in reducing gender discrimination too. The MoFALD said the vision of this strategy is to contribute to build inclusive and equitable nation by ensuring equal rights of women.

The MoFALD aims to increase minimum participation of women in formulation, implementation and evaluation of development programmes to 50 per cent within five years. It also carries the purpose of ensuring equal pay for equal work as there is a yawning wage gap between men and women.

The government has also provided for a provision of a five-member gender responsive budget committee at the ministerial level for the implementation of the strategy. There are also separate committees at the district level, and the municipal and the VDC level.

According to the strategy, the concerned authorities are supposed to take into account the present situation of the concerned area, available budget, programmes, and their outcome and impact before formulating gender responsive budget.

"If at least 50 per cent of women are benefited, it will be called direct gender responsive budget," it said.