What is Gender Responsive Budgeting?

Date Posted: Wednesday 17th May 2017

We've put together a list of useful resources on gender responsive budgeting.

BudgetFeminist EconomicsGender Budgeting


What is gender budgeting?

Gender Budgeting is a way of analysing the budget for its effect on gender equality.

It may also include analysis by more than one category (for example looking at the impact on women from different ethnic backgrounds, different income levels or between disabled and non disabled women.

This analysis can be carried out by Non Government Organisations (such as the Women’s Budget Group), or by Governments themselves. The ultimate aim is to promote gender sensitive budgets.

These are not separate budgets for women, or budgets which spend the same amount on women and men, but budgets which recognise the different situation and needs of women and men and aim to promote gender equality.

Why Do Gender Budgeting?

Spending and taxation can have very different impacts on women and men because of their different situations, needs and priorities.

Policies which appear neutral on the surface may have the impact of increasing gender inequality, or may not work in the way they were intended because of these different impacts.

Gender budget analysis can highlight these differences and thus improve the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and transparency of government policy, as well as making significant contributions towards gender equality and the realisation of women’s rights.

How To Do A Gender Budget Analysis

Essentially gender budget analysis works by:

  • Analysing any form of public expenditure, or method of raising public money, from a gender perspective
  • Identifying the implications and impacts for women and girls as compared to men and boys

This will involve examining the impact of policy on individuals as well as households, and it will include a consideration of a budget’s impact on unpaid as well as paid work.

Gender Budgeting Resources

Bridge, Gender and Budgets Cutting Edge Pack (2013)

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland: Equality Responsive Budgeting – an expert paper produced for the Equality Commission by Sheila Quinn (2013)

EHRC, Making Fair Financial Decisions: Guidance for decision makers (2013)

Evidence from the UK WBG to the Canadian Standing Committee on the Status of Women (2008)

Treasury and DTI Gender Analysis of Expenditure Project (2004)


Gender Budgets Make Cents: Understanding Gender Responsive Budgets by Debbie Budlender, Diane Elson, Guy Hewitt & Tanni Mukhopadhyay, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2001

Gender Budgets Make More Cents: Country Studies and Good Practice by Debbie Budlender & Guy Hewitt, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2002

Engendering Budgets: A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding and Implementing Gender-Responsive Budgets, Debbie Budlender and Guy Hewitt (2003)

IMF working paper: Gender-Responsive Government Budgeting, Feridoun Sarraf (2003)

Budgeting for equity: Gender budget initiatives within a framework of performance oriented budgeting
by Rhonda Sharp, UNIFEM, 2003


Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Budgeting by Diane Elson, European Union Conference ‘Gender Equality and Europe’s Future’, March 2003

Gender budgeting: A background paper for the Council of Europe’s Network of Experts on Gender Budgeting by Kate Bellamy, UK Women’s Budget Group for the Council of Europe, November 2002

Gender Budgets: The Experience of the UK Women’s Budget Group by Katherine Rake for conference ‘Gender Balance’ – Equal Finance Basel, Switzerland, March 2002

Introducing a Human Dimension to the Economy: Engendering the Budget by Katherine Rake, for conference ‘Gender Agenda: Asia-Europe Dialogue, New Visions and Perspectives for Women and Men’, Chiba, Japan, 23-25th May 2001


The WBG Presentation provides information about the WBG and gender budget analysis

Gender Budgeting in the UK provides information about the WBG, gender budget analysis, and the recent UK Treasury Gender Analysis of Expenditure Project