An important part of the work of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Lviv was the discussion of economic framework and financial tools that lay the parity between women and men. The discussion began with the presentation “The Face and History of Gender Budgeting in Ukraine” delivered by Maja Bosni?, Head of the “Gender-Oriented Budgeting in Ukraine” Project.

The speaker noted that this project is being implemented in Ukraine during 2014-2020. In global terms, gender-oriented budgeting has been practiced since the 1980s. In Ukraine, its active implementation actually started as late as in 2011. However, since the time of its launch, the “Gender-Oriented Budgeting in Ukraine” Project has moved to a new level.

Gender-oriented budgeting (GOB) is part of the public finance reform in Ukraine. As stressed by Ms. Bosni?, there is always shortage of budget funds, so it is important to understand how they should be properly expended and who will benefit from them. Therefore, the task of the financial reform is to integrate medium-term budgeting with the principles of transparent budget and equal access to public resources.

The objective of gender-oriented budgeting is to increase the economic efficiency and transparency of budget allocations, with regard to different needs of women and men through the implementation of gender-oriented budgeting (GOB).

Budget is the most important tool of government policy. As Maja Bosni? stressed, today, the main Project partner is the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine working actively to integrate the gender approach into the budget process and associated documents. Several years ago, the Ministry of Finance declared its interest in making gender-oriented budgeting part of the public finance reform. Now, according to the speaker, the Ministry of Finance is interested in working with gender-oriented budgeting. In addition, the Project cooperates with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Policy, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The first stage of GOB is bid analysis, which should serve the basis for improvement of local budget programs. Maja Bosni? informed that gender budget analysis of 99 programs funded from state and local budgets in the fields of education and science, youth policy, physical culture and sports, social protection and social security, health care, culture and art had been made at the time. This helps to identify and overcome gender gaps in various areas, to ensure equal access to high-quality services for women and men.
To date, the gender approach has been integrated into 60 budget programs. At the same time, Maya Bosni? emphasized, gender budgeting is not a magic tool that can instantly make the budget process flawless. According to her, the country cannot develop with diverging financial systems and public interests; they need to be combined. Therefore, GOB is a logical step in the budget process of each country, helping to determine the real priorities of the society within available budget resources.

Another purpose of the Project is to promote legislative changes. According to the speaker, gender-oriented budgeting must be institutionalized. If the provisions of the Budget Code contain clauses about fairness and impartiality, publicity and transparency, this is gender-oriented budgeting.

To summarize the presentation, Maja Bosni? stated the main objectives, which the “Gender-Oriented Budgeting in Ukraine” Project plans to achieve by 2020. These include formation of a legislative framework for GOB, improvement of the majority programs in accordance with the interests of women and men, elimination of gender gaps, and creation of an atmosphere of political commitment to GOB as part of the budget process.

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