The FAQs are arranged in two categories, category A
respond to common queries about gender budgeting while
category B answers frequently asked questions about
the GRBI project.
A) GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING
B) GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING
A) GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING
What is gender-responsive
Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is an approach
to mainstream the gender dimension into all stages of
the budget cycle. Gender responsive budgeting aims at
analysing the differential impacts of public expenditure
as well as revenue policy on women and girls, and men
and boys, respectively. In addition to the impact analysis,
gender-responsive budgeting makes proposals for a reprioritization
of expenditures and revenues which takes into account
the different needs and priorities of women and men.
Depending on the country-specific context, one may also
focus on other factors of inequality, such as age, religious
or ethnic affiliation, or the place of residence (urban/rural,
are the objectives of GRB?
Gender responsive budgeting aims at:
- Formulating the budget in a gender-responsive way
- Linking gender-responsive policies with adequate
- Executing the budget in a way that benefits women
and men, girls and boys equitably
- Monitoring the impact of expenditure and revenue
raising from a gender perspective
- (Re)prioritising expenditure and (re)formulating
revenue-raising policies in a gender equitable way
by taking the different needs and priorities of women
and men, girls and boys into account
What are the advantages
associated with GRB?
There are several advantages associated with
gender responsive budgeting. These include:
- Improved monitoring of the achievement of policy
- Alleviating poverty more effectively
- Enhancing economic efficiency
- Promoting gender equity/equality
- Advancement towards the realization of women’s
- Promoting good governance
- Enhancing accountability and transparency
What are the steps
for carrying out GRB?
GRB can take many different forms and incorporate
a range of different activities. Underlying all of these,
however, are the five basic steps of GRB, as follows:
- Analyzing the situation of women, men, girls and
boys in the country in relation to a specific sector
(such as health) or issue (such as violence against
women or poverty) to identify the important gender
issues in the country;
- Assessing government policies, programs and projects
to see to what extent they will improve or exacerbate
the situation described in the first step;
- Checking that budget allocations and revenue raising
methods (such as user fees) support those aspects
of policies, programs and projects which do most to
promote gender equity and women’s empowerment;
- Monitoring that the allocated resources are spent
as planned, as well as monitoring outputs –
what services are delivered and who is reached with
- Evaluating outcomes and the impact of the budgets
and their associated policies, programs and projects
to see whether they have improved the situation described
in the first step.
What are the tools
The GRB approach does not provide a single
blueprint that fits every context. A range of technical
tools for doing gender-responsive budgeting have been
proposed, but they always need to be adapted to the
respective national or local context. Possible tools
for GRB include the following:
Gender-aware policy appraisal:
Gender-aware policy appraisalsanalyse
policies and programmes funded through the budget from
a gender perspective by asking if policies and their
associated resource allocations and the way these are
implemented are likely to reduce or increase gender
inequalities. A policy appraisal starts with a gender-sensitive
situation analysis in the given sector.
Gender-aware benefit incidence analysis
: Gender aware public expenditure benefit
incidence analyses aim at estimating the distribution
of budget resources among males and females. Benefit
incidence can be calculated as the net value of the
unit costs multiplied by the number of units utilised
by women and men, respectively. By this means, the extent
to which men and women, girls and boys benefit from
expenditure on publicly provided services can be analysed.
Gender-aware beneficiary assessment:
Policy and budget makers need to know if public money
is spent in a way that meets citizen’s needs and
fulfills their demands in respect of quality. A gender-aware
beneficiary assessment is a tool that aims to gather
information on the views of the actual and potential
users of publicly provided services.
Gender-aware public expenditure tracking:
In countries with weak institutions and poor accountability,
budget allocations are bad predictors of real service
delivery in terms of both quantity and quality. Gender-aware
public expenditure tracking surveys(PETS)seek
to examine if funds that are earmarked in the budget
for a special purpose reach the intended service units
such as health centres and schools.
Gender-disaggregated analysis of the impact
of the budget on time use: Gender-disaggregated
analysis of the impact of the budget on time use aims
at analysing how government resource allocation and
revenue-raising patterns impact on the amount of different
types of paid and unpaid work done and the way that
time is spent by women and men
Gender-aware revenue incidence analysis
: Gender aware revenue incidence analysis
examines if women and men are affected differently by
the kind of revenues raised by governments such as direct
(income, corporate taxes) and indirect taxes (value
added tax) or user fees.
Gender budget statement:
A gender budget statement is a document which summarizes
what line agencies are doing through their budgets to
promote gender equity and women’s empowerment.
The statement ideally focuses on the largest expenditures
of the sector, as well as on expenditures that are especially
important in addressing gender issues. Gender budget
statements are usually tabled on budget day alongside
the other budget documents.
How can GRB contribute
to Pakistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy?
The core pillars of Pakistan’s
Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) are:
- Accelerating economic growth while maintaining macro
- Improving governance;
- Investing in human capital;
- Targeting the poor and vulnerable.
GRB contributes directly in the areas of:
- Improving governance, (a) by making it clearer to
government officials, legislators and the public what
government is doing and why and (b) by increasing
participation in the policy and budget processes;
- Investing in human capital, by promoting the utilization
of all the potential human resources in the country,
without gender bias; and
- Targeting the poor and vulnerable, by focusing on
those who most need government assistance and are
least able to provide for themselves, whether because
of gender, location, poverty or other characteristics.
How does GRB contribute
to Pakistan’s Medium Term Budgetary Framework
Pakistan is currently moving towards a medium-term
budget framework (MTBF) at federal level and in Punjab.
MTBF is a form of budgeting that links budgets with
policies. MTBF also plans budgets over a three-year
period rather than assuming that things can be achieved
in a single year. The MTBF approach places a lot of
emphasis on the outcomes or impact of government policies
and budget. Outcomes and impact are also at the heart
of GRB work because the aim of GRB is to make a real
difference in the lives of Pakistan’s women and
men, girls and boys. GRB thus fits in well with MTBF.
With small changes, the MTBF formats can be adapted
to include gender issues in relation to objectives and
policy priorities. The MTBF approach can also easily
incorporate gender and other disaggregations of outputs
and targets. Adding these gender elements to the MTBF
involves very little extra work, but can bring significant
Will GRB budget work
increase the budget deficit?
GRB is not about asking for ‘more
money’ for gender issues or for women. Gender
budget work is about prioritization. GRB accepts the
overall envelope of resources, but asks whether the
way this money is currently distributed to have the
best impact on women, men, girls and boys and different
groups of citizens. It asks whether the current distribution
of the available resources is the most effective,
and equitable way of achieving
government objectives, including the objectives of gender
equality and women’s development.
Does GRB help Pakistan
to monitor its international commitments?
Pakistan, like other countries, is required
to submit reports on regular intervals on a range of
international commitments. In the case of the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW), which Pakistan ratified in 1996, gender
is the main focus of the report. In other cases, such
as the Millennium Development Goals or the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, gender is explicitly included
in the instrument and is considered key to achieving
the overall objectives. The information generated by
GRB assists in making reports on such international
commitments more concrete by showing that the Government
of Pakistan is prepared to allocate resources to make
its commitments real.
B) GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING
INITIATIVE (GRBI) – The Project
What is the background
of the project?
GRB appeared for the first time in an official
document of the Government of Pakistan in 2001. In that
year the Ministry of Women’s Development referred
to GRB in a paper submitted to the Poverty Reduction
Growth Facility of the World Bank. The Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (PRSP) again referred to Government’s
plans to introduce GRB. The Gender Reform Action Plans
also provide for a range of activities related to GRB.
What are the objectives
and expected outputs of the project?
- Develop skills to prepare, review and analyze budgets
using the gender lens;
- Promote policy and resource allocation with a gender
- Build advocacy skills of the Government of Pakistan
and civil society organizations for gender budgeting.
- Government spending addresses the needs of women
and men equitably and attends especially to the needs
of the poor
- Budget reviewed through a gender lens, in order
to analyze if budget allocations are in line with
women´s and men´s different priorities
- Civil society and government partnership promotes
transparency in the determination of government priorities
and in public spending
What are the coverage
and sectors of GRBI?
In addition to federal level activities, the
GRBI is also taking place in one province ( Punjab)
and in two districts within Punjab, namely Gujrat and
Rajanpur. This is in line with Government’s intention
to get the three levels of government working together
to achieve the country’s overall objectives. At
national, provincial and district level, the GRBI is
focusing on three pilot sectors. These are Health, Education
and Population Welfare. These sectors were chosen (a)
because they have substantial budgets and (b) because
they are especially important for gender equity. During
the project, the GRBI will make plans for gender-responsive
budgeting to be expanded to all provinces and districts,
and to other sectors.
What are the various
stages for carrying out GRBI activities?
The project activities are planned as per following
1. Awareness raising and consensus-building
In the first stage easily understandable
information in the form of briefs and handbooks on gender
issues and the differential impacts of budgets and policies
on men and women will be disseminated amongst the stake
holders, namely, federal, provincial, district governments,
civil society and parliamentarians/ legislators
2. Training in gender budgeting for the
stakeholders Next capacity building of
key project stakeholders to analyze the budget from
a gender lens will be undertaken.
3. Gender analysis of the priority sectors
Following training, a team of researchers
will develop a research agenda for gender analysis in
selected social sectors of health, education and population
and carry out the research and analysis.
4. Review of the research The
research reports will be reviewed by the stakeholders
to identify gaps in research and develop an appropriate
strategic advocacy plan.
5. Advocacy This stage includes
meetings with stakeholders at all levels, media discussions,
public dialogues and articles in the print media aimed
at advocating for gender equity in budgets.
Who are the implementing
The project is implemented by the Ministry
of Finance, Government of Pakistan and Finance Department,
Government of Punjab in collaboration with the Ministry
of Women Development, Planning and Development Division,
Economic Affairs Division and institutions/civil society
organizations working on GRB.
What is the arrangement
For implementation a federal Project Management
unit (PMU) has been established in the Ministry of Finance
while the provincial PMU is located in the Finance Department,
Government of Punjab. The federal PMU is headed by a
National Project Director who is a full time serving
official of the Ministry of Finance; similarly, the
provincial PMU is headed by a Project Director who is
a full time serving official of the Finance Department,
Government of Punjab. A Project Steering Committee (PSC)
under the chairpersonship of Finance Secretary, Government
of Pakistan has been notified for ensuring overall guidance
and support to the project.
How can the project
carry out the GRB work without gender-sensitive data?
We often hear the complaint that Pakistan has
very little sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data.
This complaint is exaggerated. The Federal Bureau of
Statistics and other agencies produce a large amount
of data. In addition, various ministries and departments
generate administrative data especially in the social
sectors. For instance, the Education Management Information
System and Health Management Information System produce
sex-disaggregated data for the Education and Health
sector, which could be useful for gender analysis. The
main problem is that the available data are often not
used to their full potential.
Which country can give
Pakistan the blueprint of how to do GRB?
More than 60 countries have done GRB work of
some sort. However, none of these can provide a blueprint
for Pakistan. Firstly, the gender situation differs
across countries because it is influenced by history
and culture. Secondly, the standard budgets of all countries
differ. Similarly, the details of GRB will differ across
countries although the overall objective is the same.
Pakistan is learning from the experience of other countries,
but is developing its own unique approach to GRB.