Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 13, 2013
A national gender policy must become an
imperative, if there is to be gender-responsive
budgeting, says executive director Folade Mutota
of the Women s Institute for Alternative Devel-
In e-mailed responses to the T&T Guardian on
Wednesday on the Government s plans to introduce
gender-responsive budgeting, Mutota said gender-
responsive budgeting must be informed by a national
gender policy and T&T does not have a gender
She said there has to be a national gender policy
on which to develop gender-responsive budgeting
"If government accepts that matters related to
gender equity and equality must be addressed, then
a national gender policy becomes an imperative,"
Finance and the Economy Minister Larry Howai
announced in Monday s budget presentation that
the gender-responsive guidelines were being devel-
oped for institutionalising gender-equality and
gender-mainstreaming practices in government
ministries and that the guidelines will make the
case for a sufficient financial allocation to be made
to active gender equality, equity and women s
Gender-responsive budgeting or sometimes gen-
der-sensitive budgeting means, according to the
Web site for network of east to west women, a
variety of processes and tools, which attempt to
assess the impact of government budgets, mainly
at national level, on different groups of men and
women, through recognising the ways in which
gender relations underpin society and the econ-
It seeks to execute the budget so it benefits both
women and men, girls and boys equitably, it mon-
itors, according to PDF on Gender Responsive Budg-
eting Initiative, Pakistan, the impact of expenditure
and revenue raising from a gender perspective.
It also takes into account, the care economy
which, according to a UNDP gender responsive
budgeting manual, includes unpaid labour done
mainly by women.
Activist: Budget not sensitive to gender
Asked if enough was said by Howai on the
issue of gender budgeting in his presentation,
Mutota said there was no point in saying much
about something not being pursued. She said
a commitment to gender-responsive budgeting
will start with a commitment to a gender pol-
"For example, the reference to gender-respon-
sive budgeting appears under the reform agenda
section of the budget statement and has actually
been added to a number of other politically
charged issues which the Government has been
promising to reform since 2010. The Government
has made reference to gender-responsive budg-
eting in the past," she said.
The issue of a national gender policy has been
in fore with several groups calling for its imple-
mentation. Former gender minister Verna St
Rose Greaves released the last draft of the gender
policy she was privy to before leaving office and
the Government last year.
Former gender minister Marlene Coudray was
quoted in a T&T Guardian article in May as
saying that gay rights will not be a part of the
Government s draft national gender policy.
Clifton De Coteau was appointed as Minister
of Gender, Youth and Child Development at the
cabinet reshuffle last week Thursday.
The 2005 UNDP Gender-Budgeting
Manual defined gender responsive
budgeting or gender-sensitive budgeting
The budget is the most important policy
tool of government because, without
money, government cannot implement
any other policy successfully.
A gender-sensitive budget ensures that
the needs and interests of individuals
from different social groups are
Gender-sensitive budgets are not
separate budgets for women or men.
Instead, they bring gender awareness into
the policies and budgets of all agencies.
Gender-sensitive budgets are not about
50 per cent male : 50 per cent female.
Gender budget work combines technical
knowledge for equitable policymaking
with advocacy and organising to engage
with powerful interests and institutions.
Gender-sensitive budgets recognise the
ways in which (mainly) women contribute
to the society and economy with their
unpaid labour in bearing, rearing and
caring for the people in the country.
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