A gender advocate, Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, is appealing to state institutions, corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to consider gender budgeting when putting together projects and programmes.
She indicated that, making provision for gender in project planning ensures that no one is left out of the development process.
Mrs. Asumang-Yeboah, who was speaking at a meeting of CSOs in the forest sector called Legal Working Group in Accra, said when gender budgeting is considered in planning, “the perspective of diverse groups(men and women) are incorporated, different roles are played, and the differences in the impact of interventions on their lives are felt”.
She noted that different groups make different contributions to our interventions in society and organizations, thus the need to include them comprehensively in all projects.
She recalled how, as a nursing mother, she had to travel along with her mother and carry along various baby care items to facilitate her participation in a programme away from her area. “But for the recognition of my needs and appropriate budgetary support, it would have been very difficult for me,” she recounted.
She defined gender budgeting as “an approach to budgeting to address gender inequality, through the structuring of fiscal policies and administrative procedures,” adding that, the overall objective is to increase gender-responsive and transformation in interventions.
Gender issues have taken centre stage in many parts of the world with activists calling for greater inclusion of marginalised groups in society. Gender activists hold the view that changing perceptions about some groups would transform the world.
Gender, in some sectors, has been limited to feminism, relegating other equally disadvantaged groups struggling to gain their rightful place in society. Mrs. Asumang-Yeboah posits that gender budgeting ought not to be limited to feminism but rather be given a more global outlook to be meaningful, noting that, some people have historically been excluded from a process due to gender, race and ability.
She proposed funding for the services of gender specialist support (consultants/ staff) to design appropriate programmes to address gender imbalances and the allocation of funds for child care support, among others in projects and programmes. “Institutionalization of maternity, paternity and other family-related leaves among staff, the existence of gender-friendly facilities (eg. washrooms etc) are some of the necessary considerations to ensure gender equality.”