Full text: Gender budgeting in Europa (99)

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In this context the European policy framework, the fiscal policies and policy restrictions of the Euro-
pean Union are of major importance of the analysis. Concrete projects with regard to the EU level 
could be an analysis of the EU budgets, of the integrated policy guidelines and macroeconomic 
policies as well as of the frame for fiscal and monetary policies. 
In order to promote emancipatory policies it is clear that gender statistics and analysis as such are 
not enough. Concrete gender equality goals need to be formulated as a leading thread through the 
analysis in order to avoid the danger of loosing the aims out of sight in view of a lot of detailed ana-
lytical work. 
2.2.3 PANEL III - PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES 
 
? Gender Budgeting as a means to promote deepening of democratisation in budg-
etary policies 
 
The question of participation has two aspects: Do Gender Budgeting analyses lead to more democ-
racy? And: Is the success and the relevance of Gender Budgeting dependent on the participation 
and lobbying of women’s groups and networks?  
In her introductory remarks to this session, Regina Frey, Berlin, pointed out that we have to talk 
about direct and indirect participation. In the case of Berlin, direct participation has not worked. Indi-
rect participation was to some extent successful. The initial phase in Berlin was characterized by 
campaigning and lobbying to put Gender Budgeting on the agenda. When Gender Budgeting was 
implemented in Berlin, the civil society initiative got a seat in the Gender Budgeting steering group 
located within the administration. This participation was important to get information and shape the 
process to some extent. But, on the other hand, the contact to women’s groups in Berlin was lost in 
the process.  
Regina Frey stressed that NGOs cannot do the work for the government and they cannot take the 
responsibility for what the government is doing. In this context Gender Budgeting is a question of 
accountability of the government to be presented by governments themselves. Civil society initia-
tives’ responsibility is to critically watch and comment what is going on. Frey concluded that the ex-
perience shows that it is not possible to do both, work as experts and work with civil society groups. 
The Berlin initiative tried to develop links to initiatives aiming at direct participation in budgetary 
matters (people’s budgets/”Bürgerhaushalte”) in order to have Gender Budgeting included in these 
efforts. But it actually turned out that there is a tension between people’s budgets and Gender 
Budgeting. 
In her input to open discussions, Ailsa McKay, Scotland, pointed out that the country context is im-
portant In Scotland Gender Budgeting is more focussed on the Ministry of Finance. The democratic 
question is “why?”. Initiatives have to master the art of the democratic question. Gender Budgeting 
has the potential to be more effective, because we ask the democratic question to finance issues. 
Facing this, politicians tend to get frightened. The whole process is political, it deals with democrati-
sation of economic analysis. 
In the subsequent discussion it was underlined that Gender Budgeting is really effective in drawing 
women and economics together. The importance of transparency, which is obtained by meaningful 
Gender Budgeting should not be underestimated. In the face of concealed policies of redistributions 
of income towards the top, which is going on in many countries, how to achieve transparency is an 
important issue. 
It is important for initiatives to find alliances, other groups in civil society, political parties etc. But it 
is clear that it takes a lot of time to involve and motivate other women and women’s groups. Alli-
        

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