Minister urges gov’ts to increase gender budget

The Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa ,yesterday urged governments and development partners across the world to increase funds allocated to gender responsive matters.  Minister Rwangombwa made the remarks while officiating a three-day global high-level meeting held under the theme; ‘Increasing Accountability and Development Effectiveness through Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting’ that is underway in Kigali.
Finance Minister John Rwangombwa (C) chats with Diana Ofwona (L) of UN Women Rwanda and Victoria Akyeampong, the UNFPA Representative to Rwanda, during the Gender Budgeting conference, yesterday. The New Times/John Mbanda
Finance Minister John Rwangombwa (C) chats with Diana Ofwona (L) of UN Women Rwanda and Victoria Akyeampong, the UNFPA Representative to Rwanda, during the Gender Budgeting conference, yesterday. The New Times/John Mbanda

The Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa ,yesterday urged governments and development partners across the world to increase funds allocated to gender responsive matters.

Minister Rwangombwa made the remarks while officiating a three-day global high-level meeting held under the theme; ‘Increasing Accountability and Development Effectiveness through Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting’ that is underway in Kigali.

“Rwanda, as the host country, wishes to take this opportunity to urge delegates to come up with measures that advocate for increased budgets from both governments and development partners towards gender equality and women’s empowerment,” he said.

He added that gender responsive planning and budgeting is an important accountability tool that helps in bridging the gap between policies and concrete actions including accounting for commitments towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The meeting was jointly organised by the UN-Women, European Union and the Ministry of Finance. Participants intend to develop a roadmap that will lead to attaining and sustaining gender financing.

“Accounting for gender equality and women’s empowerment requires not only mindset change but also sustainable capacities of our economists, planning and budget officers to be able prepare gender sensitive policies that have greater impact on our peoples’ lives at all levels,” added Rwangombwa.

He said that Rwanda has illustrated its commitment to promotion of gender equality for sustainable development through several international agreements including the MDGs, which includes several indicators related to gender, the Convention on Elimination of All Discrimination against Women adopted in 1979 and other protocols.

The senior advisor for policy and programmes at the UN Women, Joanne Sandler, said that Rwanda leads the world in all aspects related to gender but the country needs to also become an extraordinary global model in gender responsive budgeting.

“What happens most is that countries pass laws and policies but the budget and institutions to implement them aren’t developed quickly enough.  This is an issue we expect to see Rwanda making an extra ordinary progress and again be a model for the rest of the world,” she said.

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