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Experts Mull Good Gender- Responsive Budgeting Practices

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Experts from within the country have looked for superior practices in gender- responsive budgeting with the government committed through various policies and the Law on State Budget.Experts from the National Commission for Advancement of Women (NCAW) are meeting with specialists from international organisations in Vientiane at a national workshop running August 25- 26 to learn about practices in other Asia-Pacific countries.

In her opening remarks at the workshop yesterday, NCAW Acting Chairperson Ms Bandith Pathoumvanh made mention of the government’s action to realise its commitment to the international community on advancement of women, promotion of gender equality, as well as elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women.

Gender equality is mentioned in the Law on State Budget newly amended last year, with its Articles Nos. 33 and 34 stipulating the responsibilities of ministries and other organisations, provinces and the capital in guiding the budget with gender equality to be ensured.

Ms Bandith said all commission officials and experts had to learn the principles, planning methods and various steps of gender- responsive budgeting and its integration into planning and policies at both national and sectoral levels to ensure that budget allocations were effectively implemented and benefited gender equality promotion across the country.

Chief of Gender Equality and Women’ Empowerment under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Ms Cai Cai noted that although much progress was celebrated across the region, many challenges were identified for ongoing attention.

She said among these was the critical need to put gender considerations at the heart of the national budget to ensure the needs of all people, women and girls, men and boys, are fully and equally met.

The UN official remarked that budget decisions had a major impact on the everyday lives of citizens.

“The more these decisions help to ensure that national resources make a real long term difference to the lives of women and girls, the more the prospects of all sectors and members of our societies will benefit,” Ms Cai Cai said.

World Health Organisation Representative Dr Juliet Fleischl stressed gender- responsive budgeting, saying it was an important tool to support the achievement of national priorities, including the national socio-economic development plan and the sustainable development goals, to make growth more inclusive and to ensure that there was nobody left behind.

At the workshop local participants are hearing about good practices and the lessons learned on gender-responsive budgeting from the Asia- Pacific region, including the Philippines, Bhutan and India using a singular tool and how to improve governance and accountability, and encourage local participation.

Source: Vientiane Times