Gender responsive budgeting in South Asia and its implications for China: in respect of the cases of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

MA Caichen ZHANG Li

【Abstract】Gender responsive budgeting is critical for promoting gender equality and enhancing the precision of fiscal management. Most gender responsive budgeting initiatives in South Asia are guided by government and have been advancing in mutual promotion with government plans. Meanwhile, the selected gender responsive budgeting tools are appropriate in specific national contexts. Nevertheless, there are also problems, including the lack of female decision makers, participants failing to fully play their roles and serious gender inequality. China is presently entering a period of rapid development in its gender responsive budgeting, and can draw inspirations from South Asian experience such as emphasizing the development of gender audit and fully leveraging the participation of relevant stakeholders.

【Keywords】 South Asia; gender responsive budgeting; gender equality; public budget; medium-term budget framework;

【DOI】

【Funds】 the Major Project of the Open Fund of Shandong Research Institute of Women’s Human Resources Development and Management (ZD02).

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(Translated by LIU Peidong)

    Footnote

    [1]. 1 Ma, C. et al. Gender Budget:Theory and Practice(社会性别预算:理论与实践). Dalian: Dongbei University of Finance & Economics Press, 5 (2009). [^Back]

    [2]. 1 It is generally acknowledged that 60%–70% of the world’s poor population is females. http://www.un.org.zh.globalissues/women/poverty.shtml [^Back]

    [3]. 2 Ma, C. & Zhang, L. Exploration and Free Views(探索与争鸣), (11): 65–69 (2013). [^Back]

    [4]. 3 South Asian countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives. This paper focuses on the GRB practice in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. [^Back]

    [5]. 1 Elson, D. et al. http://w3.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/research/gender-budgets/documents/ india.pdf [^Back]

    [6]. 2 United Nations Development Fund for Women. http://www.gender-budgets.org/ index.php?option=com_joomdoc&task=document.download&path=suggested-readings/unifem-s-work-in-support-of-gender-responsive-budgeting&Itemid=587 [^Back]

    [7]. 3 Line-item budgeting is to allocate public resources according to the cost of each object of expenditure. Its main function is to control budgets. For further discussion, see Ma, C. Government Budgeting (政府预算). Dalian: Dongbei University of Finance & Economics Press, 60–61 (2007). [^Back]

    [8]. 4 The Charter of Gender Budget Cells demands that a Gender Budget Cell should consist of a group of senior/middle level officers from the Plan, Policy, Coordination, Budget and Accounts Division of the ministry concerned. The Gender Budget Cells’ responsibilities include not only identifying the expenditures in Gender Budget Statements, but also carrying out gender-sensitive performance audit. Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, India. http://www.wcd.nic.in/gb/material/Instructions/Charter 2007.pdf [^Back]

    [9]. 5 Gender Blindness means a lack of gender sensitivity, namely ignoring the difference between men’s and women’s needs and objectively causing restrictions on rights and opportunities of gender equality. For further discussion, see Lu, M. Gender Budget (性别预算). Chinese Taipei: Foundation for Women’s Rights and Development, 11–12 (2009). [^Back]

    [10]. 1 Ministry of Women and Child Development of India. http://www.gender-budgets.org /index.php?option=com_joomdoc&task=document.download&path=resources/by-region-country/asia-documents/india/gender-budgeting-india-2007&Itemid=543 [^Back]

    [11]. 2 Economic Affairs Division of Pakistan. http://www.grbi.gov.pk/documents/ ProjectDocument.pdf [^Back]

    [12]. 3 Sharp, R., Elson, D. & Costa, M. http://w3.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/research/ gender-budgets /documents/pakistan.pdf [^Back]

    [13]. 4 Mahbub, N. & Budlender, B. http://www.gender-budgets.org/index.php?option= com_joomdoc&task=document.download&path=resources/by-region-country/asia-documents/gender-responsive-budgeting-in-pakistan-experience-and-lessons-learned&Itemid=543 [^Back]

    [14]. 1 Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. http://wcd.nic.in/gbhb/ Link% 20hand %20pdf/Gender%20Budgeting%20Hand%20Book.pdf [^Back]

    [15]. 2 The check list contains the following parts: background and justification, goal/objective, target group/stakeholders, strategy and activities, budgeting for equality, indicators for measuring outcomes and outputs, monitoring and evaluation. Each part contains different questions to determine whether effective integration has been achieved between PPS and GRB. See Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Gender Budgeting Hand Book for Government of India Ministries and Departments, 34, 40–41 (2007). [^Back]

    [16]. 1 The format of Pakistan’s Gender Budget Statement is as follows: program name, sub-program name, gender-related items, planned activities, budget for previous and current financial year, inputs and outputs (including goals and outcomes), and overall assessment. This format is used to describe the 3–4 programs (or plans) in each department that contribute the most to gender equality. [^Back]

    [17]. 2 The survey was conducted by the Pakistani Federal Bureau of Statistics, covering approximately 20 thousand families. It was the first time that a survey of this kind was conducted on a national level in Pakistan. The survey was aimed to highlight the distribution of unpaid care work between women and men, explore the connection between public budget and household’s time use, and inform government programs and budgets. [^Back]

    [18]. 3 Government of Pakistan Finance Division. http://www/prsm.gov.pk/Documents/annual Progress Report2010.pdf [^Back]

    [19]. 4 Bangladesh’s Gender Budget Report 2012–2013. http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/budget/12_13/ genbudget/en/chpt-1.pdf [^Back]

    [20]. 5 Bangladesh’s Gender Budget Report 2013–2014. http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/budget/13_14/ gender_budget/en/01%20Chapter%2001_Introduction_English.pdf [^Back]

    [21]. 1 Bangladesh’s Gender Budget Report 2012–2013, 49. [^Back]

    [22]. 2 Subrat, D. & Yamini, M. Economic and Political Weekly, 41(30): 2–4 (2006-7-29). [^Back]

    [23]. 1 Sharma, B. & Kanchi, A. http://www.gender-budgets.org/index.php?option=com_joomdoc &task=document.Download&path=resources/by-theme-issue/aid-effectiveness/integrating-gen-der-responsive-budgeting-into-the-aid-effectiveness-agenda-india-report&Itemid=570 [^Back]

    [24]. 2 GII is a comprehensive index that measures gender inequality from three dimensions, including reproductive health, empowerment and labor market participation. This index divides the world into six regions, namely Arab States, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. [^Back]

    [25]. 1 Since 2005, areas like Jiaozuo in Henan Province, Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province and Wenling in Zhejiang Province have carried out pilot GRB actions, which have accumulated experience for the nation-wide GRB promotion. For further analysis, please refer to Ma, C., Wang, L. & Ji, Z. Journal of Central University of Finance & Economics (中央财经大学学报), (3): 1–5 (2009); Ma, C. Journal of Central University of Finance & Economics (中央财经大学学报), (8): 1–6 (2010); and Ma, C. Journal of Central University of Finance & Economics (中央财经大学学报), (9): 1–6 (2012). [^Back]

    [26]. 2 According to the Article 17 of the ordinance on gender equality promotion issued by the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, “a GRB system should be established and promoted. The municipal gender equality promotion institutions should, together with the municipal finance department, formulate and issue GRB guidelines and direct each department in carrying out GRB.” [^Back]

    [27]. 1 For example, in Pakistan’s 2007–2008 federal budget call circular, revisions targeted at GRB were made as follows. Gender-related objectives were integrated into ministerial policies; key output indicators were revised; services delivered to individuals were required to be disaggregated based on gender and age; and gender disaggregation of performance measures was also required. In the 2007–2008 budget call circular of the Punjab Province, revisions targeted at GRB were made as follows. Departments should point out in what aspect their services could benefit males or females; where three year goals refer to individuals, departments should include gender-related goals (e.g. moving towards gender-parity in school enrollment) and if possible, quantified gender-disaggregated indicators ; issues, including gender-related matters, that might affect departments in realizing their goals could be listed as “strategic issues”; any initiatives intended to promote gender equity or to address gender issues may be highlighted; and output and outcome indicators relating to individuals should be gender-disaggregated. Mahbub, N. & Budlender, D. Gender Responsive Budgeting in Pakistan: Experience and Lessons Learned, 2, 7–8 (2007). http://www. gender-budgets.org/index.php?option=com_joomdoc&task=document. download&path=resources/by-region-country/asia-documents/gen-der-responsive-budgeting-in-pakistan-experience-and-lessons-learned&Itemid=543 [^Back]

    [28]. 2 http://www.jzczj.gov.cn/sitegroup/root/html/ff8080812da8384d012dacefb56d0e18/ 20110213162012546.html [^Back]

    [29]. 3 http://www. jzwomen. org.cn/News_View.asp?NewsID=690 [^Back]

    [30]. 1 Ma, C. & Li, H. Academic Forum(学术论坛), (12): 130–133 (2010). [^Back]

    [31]. 1 http://www.nbhkdz.com /read/214e23be5ad1d8d4845e2294.html [^Back]

    [32]. 2 Committee of Feminist Economists. http://planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/ wrkgrp11/wg11_fec.pdf [^Back]

    [33]. 3 Diane Elson et al. Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Asia Pacific Region–India, 8 (2009). [^Back]

This Article

ISSN:1002-8404

CN: 11-1306/C

Vol , No. 04, Pages 126-138+157

December 2014

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Commonalities of the South Asian GRB Model
  • 2 Challenges confronting South Asia’s GRB
  • 3 Enlightenment from South Asian GRB on China’s practice
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