25 Jun 2013 12:00
SWAKOPMUND, 25 JUN (NAMPA) ? Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) can ensure that resources are efficiently allocated towards advancing gender equality and women?s empowerment.
Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister, Rosalia Nghidinwa said this when she officially opened a four-day workshop on GRB here on Tuesday.
The workshop is attended by representatives of various Government ministries and agencies, and follows hot on the heels of the ruling Swapo Party's amendment of its constitution to allow a 50/50 representation of men and women in all party structures.
This resolution comes into effect on 26 August this year.
The GRB workshop was organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to provide training to relevant officials in efforts to bring women on par with their male counterparts to contribute equally to the social and economic development of the country.
?Extensive research conducted by respected agencies such as the World Bank has established a strong positive link between gender equality and achievement of development goals.
The budget is a very strong instrument that has been used in many countries to contribute to the process of gender equality and implementation of gender mainstreaming strategy,? Nghidinwa said.
She added that gender-responsive budgeting is thus important for the development and the role Government can play to ensure both women?s and men?s needs are addressed by natural resources.
However, the minister noted that the level of allocation of resources to address gender inequality does not fully contain all elements of gender-responsive budgeting.
?We have observed that Government officials engaging in budgeting may not have the necessary skills to mainstream gender in its budgeting processes,? Nghidinwa mentioned.
She further indicated that there is more in a national budget than just figures and estimates of expenditure.
The minister explained that a budget is a ?mirror of the policy priorities of Government backed by resources in order to address needs of the Namibian society?.
?Due to the fact that women constitute the majority of our population, explicit recognition of this fact in budgets could help us move faster towards our developmental goals. It will enable proper allocation of resources that will improve the efficiency and productivity of women and men,? she said.
The workshop also aims to strengthen gender-responsive budgeting in Namibia and to explore ways and mechanisms of carrying forward this task with the Ministry of Finance as a critical actor.
It is anticipated that the key outcomes of the workshop will be strategies and implementable actions to carry forward gender-responsive budgeting in Namibia for strengthening gender equality, women?s empowerment and speeding up productivity.