United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

UNIFEM South Asia Office

Gender Responsive Budgeting






The Gender Budgeting Manual for Trainers of Government of India Ministries and Departments is a companion volume to the Gender Budgeting Handbook for Government of India Ministries and Departments. The Training manual was prepared with the intention of training and mentoring of officials who will form a core group of trainers.


The Training Manual is an outcome of close cooperation between the Ministry of Women and child Development, UNDP, UNIFEM, IIPA, IFES.


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Gender Responsive Budgeting, or Gender Budgeting, is a methodology to assist governments to integrate a gender perspective into the budget as the key national plan for public expenditure.


The Ministry of Women and Child Development as the Nodal Agency for Gender Budgeting has taken several initiatives in this direction and ahs  adopted , "Budgeting for Gender Equity" as its mission statement and is widely disseminating tools and strategies across Ministries and Departments. 


The Handbook codifies norms and procedures in Gender Budgeting in India and aims at uniform understanding of the concepts and tools across Ministries and Departments.


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Gender in Fiscal Policies: The Case of West Bengal by Dr. Nirmala Banerjee and Ms. Poulomi Roy of Sachetana in West Bengal

Description: The Study seeks to bring in a gendered perspective into macro policies and to provide a tool to assist policy makers design gender-friendly policies. The research has sought to analyze state level fiscal operations from a gendered perspective and to examine the working on the ground of some policy measures meant to benefit women. It  also attempts to find out whether benefits of existing measures reached women at the grassroots, and how they and their households coped with changes brought about by major shifts in public policies. Through a comparative analysis between the finances of fourteen major states of India, the study assesses the impact of the changing budgetary policies of the state government on the women of West Bengal.


Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY): A Budgetary Policy in Working by Professor Nirmala Banerjee and Ms. Joyanti Sen of Sachetana in West Bengal

Description: The Study is an insightful evaluation of a public programme. It looks at a national poverty alleviation scheme i.e. the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), which is the single largest poverty alleviation scheme in India and contributes significantly to women's economic empowerment. In addition to assessing its successes and failures, it also strives to see whether the scheme was designed appropriately to meet the objectives of poverty alleviation and women's economic empowerment. The study is useful in highlighting some of the gaps, which need to be addressed for the scheme to truly empower women.


Building Budgets from Below by Singamma Sreenivasan Foundation (SSF) - Dr. Devaki Jain and Dr. Ahalya Bhatt and the expert team at SSF.

Description: The study attempts to design budgets that safeguard the interest of women and other groups, which are subordinated. It examines the budget of the Government of Karnataka, looking at both expenditure and revenue from a gender perspective. It looks at the budget of municipalities and Panchayats in terms of what they are and what they ought to be. In particular, it looks at the working of Public Distribution System (PDS) and local taxonomy on food security and impact on health and health services of budgetary allocations. As a part of this study, elected women representatives (EWRs) were asked to prioritize their local needs and were further motivated to make an ‘ought budget’. The Study provides a new approach for budgeting, taking grassroots women as active participants in the whole process.


“Follow the Money” Series -  focusing on the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in the state of Maharashtra, by Dr. Maithreyi Krishnaraj and her expert team at the Research Centre for Women Studies, S.N.D.T. University, Mumbai.

Description: It focuses on the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in the state of Maharashtra, giving an insightful evaluation of one of the largest schemes for employment in rural areas.  The Study attempts to see how and to what extent, the benefits of the Scheme trickle down to the intended beneficiaries. It looks at how programmes affect women; what their disadvantages are;  how traditional conceptions on gender roles generate unequal burdens between men and women, unequal entitlements and lower participation in public sphere; and how EGS should guard against perpetuating these.


‘What is Gender Budgeting?’ Public Policies from Women's Perspective in the Indian Context’, compiled by Dr. Nirmala Banerjee of Sachetana

Description: This is a compilation of UNIFEM supported studies and reports on gender budgeting in India. It shares UNIFEM’s work with the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy on analysis of budgets. The publication also includes UNIFEM’s work with key research organizations and expert feminist economists to diagnose the existing degree of gender inequality in different states and in various sectors to correct budget biases against women. These partnerships include Sachetana in West Bengal, the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) in Delhi, the SNDT University Research Centre for Women’s Studies in Mumbai, the Singamma Sreenivasan Foundation through the Karnataka Women’s Information and Resource Centre (KWIRC) in collaboration with the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.


Gender Budget Audit Study by Dr. Meena Acharya and her expert team at the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), Nepal

Description: The Report focuses on gender auditing of the budgetary process, its allocations, expenditure and sources of revenue. It also examines policies of resource mobilization and taxation from a gender perspective, including a gender analysis of the entire budget of the current and previous two fiscal years. The Report focuses on gender auditing the education, health, and agriculture sectors, as well as analyzing the budget from the standpoint of fulfilling international commitment especially in relation to CEDAW & the Beijing Platform for Action. Identifying gender gaps in the budgetary process, it makes recommendations for a more equitable distribution and allocation of resources in the upcoming budget and other planning exercises especially in the three sectors analyzed.  


In Search of Equitable and Just Development: A Round Table on “Financing for District Level Development”, by Karnataka Women’s Information and Resource Centre, Bangalore with UNIFEM support (Published 2002) 

 Description: A Report of the UNIFEM supported Round Table convened on 19th May 2001 by Karnataka Women’s Information and Resource Centre, Bangalore, as part of the preparatory process for the International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD) held in Monterey, Mexico in 2002. It was a response to the issue of mobilization of domestic resources, which was one of the issues of the FFD. The publication contains discussions pertaining to the designing of tax structure, collection of revenue, the freedom to spend the revenue collected on local development priorities, and accountability. It argues that effective national development at the macro level needs to have a strong base at the micro level, fleshing out the link between micro level fiscal policy and management and the macro. It captures the deliberations between financial experts and those involved in decentralization, including public administrators, public finance specialists, bankers, panchayat representatives and women’s organizations, focusing on finding resources for local development and using them most effectively for district level equitable development. It stresses the need to highlight the gender dimensions of the development process.