The Centre for Gender Economics (CGE) Africa has called for the evolvement and implementation of a Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as part of measures to protect the interests of women and engender societal development in the country.
The Executive Director, CGE Africa, Uchenna Idoko, made the call on Friday in Abuja at the formal launch of the gender-responsive budgeting flagship project of CGE Africa.
According to her, making special provisions for the wellbeing of Nigerian women in budget is in the interest of the nation and should be prioritised.
“A gender budget does not presuppose a separate budget for women. Rather it means that the exercise of budgeting must be gender-responsive. That is to say every input that goes into the budget should be assessed for its effect on women as care givers, income earners and community organizers, effectively also benefiting men and children.
“Also, a gender budget does not presuppose that focus will only be made on that aspect of the budget that provides for women, for example, the women’s ministry,” Idoko said.
She said that past efforts at ensuring the GRB in the country including the Nigeria Gender Budget Network (NGBN), which she said, in September 2004 was facilitated by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and UNIFEM based on both organizations’ respective histories in the area of gender-aware training and advocacy.
She also said that the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria (GWIN) 2015, was another though it GWIN was not referred to as gender budget but results for girls and women approach.
Idoko said, “Focus was more on results indicators and not the budget. GWIN was coordinated by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance. It integrated tangible results for girls and women in the annual budgets of Ministerial Departments. The pilot phase was implemented by five ministries of Agriculture, Communications Technology, Health, Water Resources, and Works. The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development monitored the implementation.”
The CGE Africa boss said that the organisation’s GRB Project objectives include keeping mainstreaming gender into policy and budgetary process; keeping building and empowering a critical mass of stakeholders to influence the budgetary process by carrying out evidenced-based advocacy to influence the budget process; and to create and manage a virtual observatory of the project to ensure sustainability.
She, therefore, urged all the stakeholders and Nigerians to key into the project to ensure its success.