Gender Budgeting is a technique which recognises the gender specific needs and being responsive to those needs. Budgeting can have different implications on different genders because of inherent differences between the sexes in the society.
Gender Budgeting stresses the need for reprioritisation, and a gender-sensitive budget includes the importance of care economy in fiscal policy and its contribution is accounted for in the National Accounts System esp., by giving greater visibility to the unpaid work of the women.
Requirement for Gender Responsive Budgeting in India
The rationale for gender budgeting arises from the recognition of the fact that women constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. The way Government budgets allocate resources has the potential to transform these gender inequalities. In view of this, Gender Budgeting, as a tool for achieving gender mainstreaming, has been propagated.
Status of Gender Budgeting in India
- The recognition first came in the budget of 2001-02 and was first implemented in India in 2005-06 budget with specific 10 demand for grants being included. In the recent years, it has risen to 36 demands.
- Almost all States have come to adopt the requirement of budget being sensitive to the needs of women.
- Gender Budget Cells have been started in the Union Finance Ministry and State Finance Departments, and all of the 56 ministries have incorporated a nodal officer for the same.