Gender Budgeting

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    • Recent Budget 2023-24 sees marginal rise in allocation for WCD Ministry for women

    Key Takeaways:

    • The allocation under the Gender Budget rose from ?1,71,006.47 crore in 2022-23 to ?2,23,219.75 crore in 2023-24 which is an increase by 23% compared to 2022-23.
    •  The gender component accounted for 4.9% of the entire Budget, compared to 4.23% in 2022-23.
    • The allocation for the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development saw a small increase of 1%.
    • Around 90% of gender budgeting is concentrated in five ministries: Rural Development, Women and Child Development, Agriculture, Health and Family Welfare, and Education.
    • Key areas in need of attention like transportation, water collection and security remain ignored.
    • The allocation for Mission Shakti, which includes key schemes for women’s protection, saw a decrease of 1.2%.
    • Part A of the Gender Budget, which counts allocation for schemes exclusively for women, saw a 70% increase from last year.
    • The majority of this increase went to the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana rural housing scheme whose inclusion in the Gender Budget is questioned, since it does not benefit women exclusively.

    • Union Budget has also announced a new small savings scheme for women called the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate which will allow a deposit of up to ?2 lakh for two years at a fixed interest rate of 7.5%.
    • Previously, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) released a Handbook on Gender Budgeting in 2015, which provides exhaustive guidance for operationalising GRB in practice.

    Mission Shakti

    • The Government of India launched “Mission Shakti,” an integrated women empowerment program. 
    • It is an integrated women empowerment programme as an umbrella scheme for the safety, security and empowerment of women for implementation during the 15th  Finance Commission period 202l-22 to 2025-26. 
    • The norms of ‘Mission Shakti’ will be applicable with effect from 01.04.2022.

    It has two sub-schemes:

    • “Sambal” or One Stop Centre (OSC)
    • “Samarthya” or Swadhar Greh which is now a part of Shakti Sadan

    Gender Budgeting

    • Gender budgeting is defined by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) as a tool to achieve gender mainstreaming and ensure benefits of development reach women as much as men.
    • The government publishes a Gender Budget Statement (GBS) every year along with the Union Budget to review programmes from a gender perspective and present information on allocations for women.
    • It is analysis of the budget through a gender lens rather than creating a separate budget for women.
    • The goal is to examine the gender-specific impact of the budget and align it with gender commitments.
    • Examples of programs that benefit women more than men include: Nal se Jal (piped water supply), Ujjwala Yojana (cooking fuel), and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (toilet construction).

    Importance of Gender Budgeting

    Challenges of Gender Budgeting

    • Promotes transparency and accountability in government budgeting processes.
    • Addresses persistent gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment.
    • Ensures allocation of resources to address specific needs and challenges faced by women and girls.
    • Supports achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, essential for sustainable development.
    • Lack of data and information on the gender impacts of government policies and programs.
    • Resistance to change and limited understanding of the importance of gender budgeting.
    • Lack of political will and resources for implementing gender budgeting effectively.
    • Difficulty in integrating gender considerations into complex budget processes and decision-making structures.

    Source: LM