Gender budgeting promotes improvement of efficiency of public expenses and state policy

Tamara Ogorodova

Director of Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation "Unity for the Future"

One cannot help imagining a social and economic development of Ukrainian cities without due regard to gender policy. A city is, first of all, people who have various needs depending on sex, age, health condition, and other factors. All of this predetermines their needs in infrastructure, employment programs, education, culture, and healthcare.

The programs being developed and approved by local councils impact on the lives of all men and women living in a community. However, it is necessary to find out how exactly they change the lives of this or that social or age category of citizens. The efficiency analysis of the programs for various social and age groups enables us to make these programs accessible and to distribute fairly public funds.

Taking into account the interests, needs, opportunities and experience of various population groups in all aspects of human activity of society is the basis of a gender sensitive policy. Gender budgeting is one of the efficient instruments of implementation of a gender sensitive policy.

Gender budgeting is a measure aimed at integrating gender into the budgeting process, which should be viewed as an influential element of management activity related to development of budgets at various levels, providing critical data to specialists responsible for decision-taking regarding public funds distribution.

Gender budgeting is a method that provides for a comprehensive activity on integration of gender aspects into all stages of planning of central and local public budgets, in particular:

  • identification of gender issues in the industry: a case analysis;
  • collection of information on the programs in question;
  • carrying out gender analysis of programs, measures, services;
  • carrying out gender analysis of budgetary appropriations;
  • defining objectives and guidelines on enhancement of gender equality;
  • making amendments to policy and budgets;
  • monitoring and assessment.

Gender budget analysis is one of the most efficient instruments of gender-oriented policy. This is the analysis of the budget-financed programs in terms of how they meet the needs of various sex and social groups. How do budget measures and respective policy influence gender equality? Whether they weaken/enhance gender inequality or do not change it at all?

The questions raised in the course of gender budget analysis:

  • to establish whether the program measures are equally accessible for men and women?
  • Whether the services provided under the program meet the users’ needs, those of men and women?
  • Whether the program funds are distributed fairly for men and women?
  • Whether the program increases gender inequality?
  • to establish how efficiently the program funds are spent and to analyze the program expenditures?
  • to establish availability of data in the budget program passport, which allows for carrying out a gender budget analysis?

In the course of gender analysis, the men and women’s status should be classified in terms of:

  • users of social services;
  • providers of social services;
  • persons who adopt decisions at legislative and executive power levels.

The results of the gender-oriented analysis are the guidelines on improvement of the budget-financed program and budget and sectoral policies for improvement of their relevance to actual needs of various sex and social groups.

Gender budgeting promotes improvement of efficiency of public expenses and state policy. Applying the gender-oriented budgeting calls attention to the gender policy problems, whereas the gender analysis allows for receiving detailed information on distribution of funds.

This ensures formation of a powerful evidentiary base for decision-taking, and, therefore, facilitates efficient use of public funds. In turn, revealing gender inequality instances due to GOB-application contributes to amendments to laws and policies, which is a vital step to overcoming gender misbalance.

The cases gender budget analysis of local programs, both in other countries and in Ukraine, have quite an interesting analytical information.

In Munich, the budget program for support of small and medium sized business was analyzed. The data received as a result of the analysis allowed for making serious amendments to priorities in providing such support to entrepreneurs– women and men. As the analysis showed, for the year in question: 102 persons (39% – women, 61% – men) made use of the Fund’s support. The illustrated data show the results of the analysis of their success in setting their businesses up:

  • 12% women і 29% men terminated their activity over this period;
  • 5% founders, men and women, and 21% founders of enterprises were not able to return loans;
  • profitability, gained by women-entrepreneurs for the first year, was 12%, whereas men-entrepreneurs – 9%.
  • 57% founders-women and 50% founders-men were able to live on their own profit even over the first year after they set up their undertaking.

While sampling of the group of entrepreneurs for participation in the program, the priority was given to men, who made up 61%. However, as the gender budget analysis showed, women turned out to be more successful in setting their businesses up.

The gender budget analysis of the program for support of entrepreneurs in Ivano-Frankivsk shows that men and women representing small and medium sized businesses make up 50% to 50%. As statistical data show, the number of men who registered in September-January 2019 as entrepreneurs was 49.4%, and women – 50.6%.  

Predominantly men took part in the program measures, and therefore, the major part of program funds was spent for men-entrepreneurs. Thus, 55 men and 25 women became participants of the seminar on “Public procurements and work in ProZorro system”. Whereas, 11 men and 5 women became participants of the seminar on “Opportunities and Challenges for SME Development in Context of “Horizon-2020”. At the same time, 23 men and 7 women were among the attendees of the course on basic computer knowledge and programming fundamentals, organized for ATO veterans and their family members. In 2018, four private entrepreneurs, including one woman among them (10 persons took part in the contest, with one woman among them) received funding for implementing of the best start-up.

The situation as to gender budget analysis in Horishni Plavni shows the following:

  • absence of gender statistical data does not allow for making detailed analysis of the program;
  • gender budget analysis of the program shows that despite demographic situation, in particular, prevalence of the number of boys over the number of girls, the program has a gender gap in favour of girls, for instance: year 2016 – 45% of boys covered by the program and 55% girls; in 2017 – boys – 47%, 53%; in 2018 – 51% boys and 49% girls. For over 3 years the gender gap has been gradually reducing.

The gender budget analysis of the program for funding of aesthetic education school for children in Melitopol shows that the major part of the school students were girls, with average correlation in terms of three school 72% girls and 28% boys.

Also, the children older 12-14 years (depending on teh specialty) may not enter the first year of music department. This is predetermined by the period of education. For instance, piano playing takes 7 years. Children must complete education either before and simultaneously with completion of secondary school.

The analysis of expenditures, carried out in terms of gender-oriented budgeting, for educating 1080 persons – users of the services in Melitopol aesthetic education school, shows that in general for educating girls they spend twice more budget funds than for training boys. However, the cost per one boy is higher than the one for a girl.

The expenditure analysis broken down departments shows that the most expensive cost of education is at music department (17.2 thous. UAH per year), and the cheapest one – at drama department (5.9 thous. UAH). The cost of education at drama department three times cheaper than at music and choreography department in 2.3 times, at art department twice cheaper.

The analysis of the attendance structure showed that from 308 boys who study at aesthetic education schools, 64% study at music department, 21.1% – at art department, 9.1% and 5.8% – at drama and choreography departments, respectively. Due to this, the expenditure per one boy is higher than per one girl, by 12% in average.

The gender budget analyses carried out shows that there is a necessity to make amendments to passports of budget programs in the first place. This is extremely necessary for further implementing the gender-oriented budgeting at the local level, which is possible only provided that there are gender-differentiated statistical data both in passports of budget programs and administrative and accounting reports.

From the letter addressed by the Minister of Finance, Oksana Makarova, to state regional administrations:

“The successful activity carried out for over the last years in Ukraine demonstrates that gender budgeting is a powerful management technology that facilitates implementation of gender equality policy, improvement of quality and accessibility of services, enhancement of purpose, efficiency and transparency of the use of budget funds”.