The first international training workshop on gender responsive budgeting opened yesterday in Kigali.
The workshop brought together over 70 participants from 17 African countries and was organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund –UNFPA.
The five-day session is meant to stimulate information sharing and networking towards reducing gender inequity through national planning and budgeting.
The rationale of the program is to bring a gender perspective into the mobilization of government resources as well as the implementation its programs.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that the government spending addresses the needs of women and men equitably,” said John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Rwanda started implementing Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in 2008 and it is in line with the broader objective of promoting gender equality enshrined in the Vision 2020.
A portion of the country gender policy reads: “Budgeting is the condition sine qua non of success of implementation of the National Gender Policy. The Policy will not succeed unless adequate resources are allocated to programmes and activities related to it.
“This workshop is important because it tackles the need of focusing on women’s reproductive health in budgeting which would, for example, increase the access to contraceptives for all,” said Victoria Akyeampong, UNFPA Resident Representative.
“At the UN we believe that people should access effective contraceptive methods whenever they need to use them. Access to voluntary family planning could reduce maternal deaths by a third and child deaths by as much as 20 percent,” added Akyeampong.