Gender inequality is particularly prevalent in developing regions where
it prevents millions of women from exercising the basic human rights
they are entitled to. In recent years, governments around the world have
begun implementing gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) in an attempt to
reduce gender gaps. In the Latin America region, legal and
administrative reforms have paved the way for the development of
innovative GRB tools and participatory mechanisms that are helping to
ensure that women’s priorities and needs are incorporated into national
and local budgets. Civil society has played a key role in this entire
process by providing technical expertise, lobbying governments and
monitoring GRB outcomes. This Brief begins by presenting an overview of
gender inequality and the evolution of GRB in Latin America, before
analysing four key features of the Latin American approach to GRB. Given
the current lack of evidence on GRB impacts, this Brief outlines some
initial outcomes in order to draw lessons for other regions, while also
identifying the contextual elements that have helped to drive forward
GRB across Latin America.
Gender-responsive budgeting is a long-term process as it implies
changing the way in which public servants have budgeted for decades.
Various Latin American experiences point to the importance of training
public servants on gender and budgets, so that they are aware of how
their work can contribute to achieving gender equality.
Civil society can drive forward the implementation of GRB in various
ways, including by raising awareness of the issues, training public
servants, developing budget analysis methodologies and tools, lobbying
policymakers, and by tracking public spending.
GRB initiatives are more likely to succeed if they build on other
on-going reforms and participatory mechanisms. In Latin America, many
GRB initiatives have been strengthened by tapping into existing
participatory budgeting schemes.
[Available in English and Spanish.]
Oropeza, J. ELLA Policy Brief: Advancing Gender Equality Through the Budget: Latin American Experiences with Gender-Responsive Budgeting. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 8 pp.