1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Gender and Development (2000 - 2009), Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Expectations versus Realities in Gender-Responsive Budget Initiatives (Draft)



The key question addressed in this paper is: How does what gender-responsive budget (GRB) initiatives have done in practice compare with the claims and expectations about what they can achieve? In asking this question, the paper does not aim to detract from what has been achieved. Instead, it attempts to bring some realism into the discussion, planning and assessment of these initiatives. The paper also stresses that different initiatives have different objectives and different outcomes which depend on context, who is involved, and a host of other things. There is therefore no single “correct” approach. The paper is divided into three sections. The first section deals with issues related to budgets and their relationship to conceptualizations of the economy and economic and social policy. The second deals with issues related to gender as a critical variable that structures the economy and society, alongside other axes of difference such as race, class and age. The third deals with issues related to policy- and budget-making as a process. The different sets of issues are often related to each other, and there is thus some overlap between the sections.