Once implemented it will improve accountability of government towards gender equality, women’s rights and empowerment with international commitments.
After the bold commitments made at the launch of the Gender Responsive Programme (GRP) in November last year, national consultations on Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) and aid effectiveness have been launched to ensure that gender budgeting will be considered in the national budgeting process in future.
Consultations held last week were aimed to ensure that once the GRB is implemented it will improve accountability of government towards gender equality, women’s rights and empowerment with international commitments like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The two day consultation meetings of different stakeholders, comprised of development partners, line ministries, districts authorities and civil society and other public institutions. It took place at Prime Holdings in Kigali city.
Officiating the Consultations on Thursday, Dr. Jean Mujawamariya, the Minister of Gender and Family promotion said that while gender budgeting is relatively a new concept; it is one which can reap great benefits for men and women in Rwanda.
“It is important for us to use this opportunity to share ideas, learn from one another and mould the implementation of gender budgeting to the context and different needs of Rwanda.
We have to ensure that public expenditures are meeting their needs and enabling them to be full participants in Rwanda’s development,” she said.
The consultations where organised by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning and that of Gender and Family Promotion in collaboration with UNIFEM and the European Commission.
“Gender Responsive Budgeting is only one element in making the budget more transparent and accessible, and in reflecting the needs of the population. Whereas most people are perfectly open to the idea of gender equality, they often lack the understanding of designing specific policies to make this happen in their respective sectors,” said Ambassador David MacRae, the Head of the European Delegation in Rwanda at the launch.
Recent findings from the study on GRB and aid effectiveness undertaken by UNIFEM in the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi indicate that the there is an acute shortage of gender expertise necessary for gender analysis, planning and budgeting.
The purpose of study was to explore how gender responsive budgeting tools and strategies can be used in the context of the new aid effectiveness agenda in the country.
And according to Donnah Kamashazi, the Country Representative UNIFEM, there has not been sufficient focus on linking the aid effectiveness agenda that countries have made to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.