European Gender Budgeting Network


Gender Budgeting in Europe-NOW!


The Situation of Women and Men in Europe

  • People are still discriminated against on the grounds of gender
  • Women still earn much less than men for work of equal value.
  • Women still do about 75 % of unpaid care work in Europe.
  • Women are at greater risk of poverty than men in 17 out of 25 member states.
  • Women are subject to men’s violence: according to the EP, 30-35% of women have been victims of physical violence, including psychological violence 45-50% of women have been affected.
  • Women are better educated than men.
  • Women still are a minority in relevant positions of power.

It is time to act! Now!

More than 10 years ago, governments committed themselves to Gender Budgeting at the World Women’s Conference in Beijing. The call for gender budgeting is equally rooted in the EU commitment to gender mainstreaming and firmly based in the Treaty (Articles 2 and 3). Article 3(2) of the Treaty stipulates that equality between men and women must be promoted in all EU activities and that the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities. To overcome these disparities, some EU governments have started to deal with Gender Budgeting. However, current budgetary and macroeconomic policies in Europe are gender-blind.

Why Gender Budgeting?

Gender Budgeting is a strategy to promote gender equality in macroeconomic and budgetary policies and contributes to the quality of public finance. It is an important strategy for ensuring greater consistency between economic goals and social commitments. Studies have highlighted the costs of gender inequality to productivity, efficiency and economic progress. A restructuring of public finance according to gender equality considerations thus contributes to growth and prosperity. Gender Budgeting contributes equally to the European movement towards improved governance, that is, increases in accountability, participation and transparency of budgetary policy processes. Therefore it is important that both, EU institutions and member states promote the implementation of gender budgeting.

We, the European Network of Gender Budgeting Initiatives, recall

  • the decision of the gender budgeting conference under the Belgium Presidency in 2001 to implement gender budgeting in all countries by the year 2015.
  • the resolution of the European Parliament on gender budgeting and its recommendations.
  • the opinion of the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men on gender budgeting and its proposals to take action.
  • the opinion on Gender Budgeting by the Council of Europe.
  • the recommendations of the European Women’s Lobby on gender budgeting.
  • the activities of WIDE, Women in Development Europe, and IAFFE, the International Association for Feminist Economics to promote the implementation of gender budgeting.

We, the European Network og Gender Budgeting Initiatives welcome the initiative by the German EU presidency to organise the European expert conference “Let's share the benefit - with gender budgeting towards social justice and equal opportunities” on 4th and 5th of June 2007 in Frankfurt/Main. However we recall the need for an enhanced dialogue of public institutions and civil society as a prerequisite for a transparent and effective implementation of Gender Budgeting.

We call on the European Commission

  • to put gender at the core of all its work in quality public finance.
  • to prioritize gender budgeting in the implementation of the Gender Equality Road Map and provide for sufficient funding.
  • to take action with the aim to implement gender budgeting in budgetary and macro-economic policies by 2010.
  • to publish a communication on gender budgeting by the end of 2007, including a road map, pursuing a participatory approach both in writing the communication as well as in implementing Gender Budgeting.
  • to launch a study on instruments to implement gender budgeting by drawing on the existing expertise in academia and civil society, present results by mid 2007.
  • to assure the development and collection of gender-disaggregated statistics in all areas and urgently promote the development of meaningful statistics on unpaid work.
  • to make available funds for facilitating the production and distribution of gender budgeting tools.
  • to assure that all EU policies undergo an equality impact assessment.
  • to facilitate the regular production of a gender equality scorecard.
  • to publish annual reports on the impacts of macroeconomic and financial policies on gender equality.
  • to allocate sufficient funding for non-governmental gender budgeting initiatives throughout the EU and support the emergence of the European Gender Budgeting Network.
  • to finance a European-wide campaign on gender equality and public finance as well as gender budgeting carried out by non-governmental women’s and gender budgeting groups.
  • to include Gender Budgeting in the priorities of the Gender Institute, especially promoting the exchange of experience and further developing concepts and instruments to implement Gender Budgeting.

We call on the Member States

  • to integrate gender equality as a priority in the Lisbon agenda and promote the use of gender budgeting in budgetary policies at all levels.
  • to integrate gender budgeting in the current work of quality of public finance and introduce gender equality as a core criteria in assessing the effectiveness of financial policies.
  • to integrate gender budgeting in the updated Integrated Guidelines.
  • to use the open method of coordination to promote the strategy of gender budgeting and to promote gender equality in all areas.
  • to enhance the involvement of civil society in the Gender Budgeting processes and ensure sufficient funding.
  • to provide sufficient funding for local initiatives in order to increase experience on how to carry out Gender Budgeting.
  • to implement gender budgeting as a standard tool in budgetary policies at all levels.
  • to publish information on gender equality and the budget ­ written in consultation with gender budgeting and women’s non-governmental groups ­ well before the parliamentary decision on the annual budget in order to promote broad debates on budgetary and macro-economic policies.
  • to promote research on how to assess equality impacts of budgets and macroeconomic policies.

We call on the European Parliament

  • to support the process towards integrating gender equality considerations in all financial and budgetary policies.
  • to refuse agreement to any budgetary matter which is not designed according to gender equality principles.

Frankfurt/Main, June 2007

This webpage, the online version of European Gender Budgeting Network , is planned, written, edited, designed, and produced by members of this organization.