Most governments have expressed a commitment to gender equality goals
but there are often inconsistencies between policy statements and the
ways in which public finances are raised and spent. Most governments
have also expressed a commitment to greater transparency and
accountability. Participation and consultation in the formulation of a
country’s budget is still often limited, however, so that the different
priorities of women are not fully reflected in the way finances are
actually allocated and used. This brief discusses gender dimensions of
both the design and implementation of fiscal policies with the aim of
identifying approaches that are likely to advance equality between
different groups of women and men. It examines how public money can be
collected and used in more gender equitable ways.
The first part of the briefing deals with taxation and expenditure
policies, explaining why these are not to be regarded as ‘gender
neutral’ and asking what tax and expenditure mixes are more likely to
reduce inequalities. The second part deals with gender inclusive public
finance management (PFM) and implementation, considering how PFM reforms
could integrate lessons from gender responsive budgeting (GRB)
initiatives. It also makes suggestions on dealing with gendered barriers
within revenue administration systems, and discusses the importance of
including a range of actors in the processes of finance reforms, in
order to strengthen efforts to make both policies and systems more
gender equitable, and ultimately, gender transformative.
Birchall, J.; Fontana, M. The gender dimensions of expenditure and revenue policy and systems. BRIDGE, IDS, Brighton, UK (2015) 36 pp.