The Budget Is The Most Important Policy Tool Of Government

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The budget is the most important policy tool of government, affecting the ability to implement any given policy successfully. As such, a budget is more than the sum of its balance sheets; it is a statement on the social and economic priorities of a government. Although budgets are perceived to be gender-neutral, they are in reality 'gender-blind '. To address the differential impact of government expenditures and revenue on men and women, gender responsive budgeting (GRB) has developed as a strategy to promote gender equality and create accountability for governments to uphold their national policy commitments to women. Since the mid-1980s, UN Women has worked with a few dozen countries to adopt some form of gender responsive budgeting, and with varying success of impact on gender outcomes and on resource distribution. Understanding which factors increase the likelihood that GRB will have a positive impact is necessary in order for countries to implement best practices. Evidence from country based case studies identifies several factors which enable positive outcomes from GRB. Unsurprisingly, a key factor that is shown to play a vital in the effectiveness of GRB is supporting women 's participation in planning and budgeting. A gender perspective needs to be built into each stage of budget development, or else concerns for women risk being overlooked. As women are the greatest proponents of gender equality and women’s empowerment, effective gender-mainstreaming requires
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