Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) is an approach that promotes social inclusion and gender equality for inclusive decision making and public finance management. It is important for analytical works to adequately cover gender dynamics so that plans and budgets at both the local and national level are gender responsive. Doing this is important because gender means people; and when we talk about gender, we mean the development of people. Therefore, it is impossible to mainstream development without involving people.
So, on 16th March 2020, UNA Tanzania participated in a 3-day GRB training to learn how to mainstream gender in all activities and reports and increase knowledge about Gender Responsive Budgeting and its articulation in the policy analysis processes.
This 3-day training was very fruitful and interactive because we attended presentations and took part in group discussions and activities.
One of the activities was a matching game that required us to match different concepts with respective gender aspects. The objective of this activity was to understand our perspective on equality, equity, stereotypes, social responsibilities, inequality, and discrimination in our societies.
Following this activity, a presentation session was held to discuss and rectify our results from the matching game. During this session, the facilitator took the opportunity to highlight and elaborate more on important terminologies such as sex and gender dis-aggregated data, productive and reproductive roles, and practical and strategic needs. Secondly, the Women and Men Empowerment Budget was reviewed. It was interesting to learn that empowering an individual affects some gender roles in the family during the process. Another topic that was covered in the presentation was that of “Gender as a transversal theme”. Here, it was emphasized that an aspect of gender should be mainstreamed on all activities that are to be conducted. Lastly, the government budgeting approach was reviewed, specifically, 2 main categories; Input Based Budget and Output or Result Based Budgeting. From these 2 categories, the Output or Result Based Budgeting was recommended because it is user friendly and result oriented.
In a nutshell, GRB is a very important tool because it ensures policies on revenue and expenditure address barriers and bottlenecks to women and girls, and ensures that men and boys enjoy and utilize opportunities for leading a dignified life. Secondly, it can be used as a tool for gender equality, as well as a tool for mainstreaming gender equality in government expenditures and revenues. Lastly, it is powerful enough to manifest political choices of decision makers on how and who levies the government revenues and whom the expenditure is spent on.