Increasingly, countries throughout the world are voluntarily dedicating sections of their national budget to women and issues that directly impact women. Currently, from 50-70 countries have earmarked funds for gender-related issues. But for many women's groups, this is not enough. There is growing support among these NGOs for the UN to create a requirement for all member States to take clear steps towards gender budgeting.
Gender-specific budgeting began in Australia in 1984 and has quickly grown in both developed and developing nations. Experts agree that the budget can have a large impact on encouraging gender empowerment and equality through sectors such as education, health, and income and aid to narrow the gaps that remain between men and women in many countries. However, there are many problems that impede additional countries from introducing gender budgeting, including a lack of political will or sufficient collaboration among ministries. Yet, as women's NGOs work to raise awareness both within states and on an international level, we can expect more of these special programs to take shape.
Compiled from: Thalif Deen, "Women's Groups Push for Gender-Sensitive Budgets," ISPS News, 14 May 2008.