Full text: Gender budgeting in Europa (99)

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5.7 The beginning of an experience on gender budgeting from the Basque 
Country: City of Bilbao  
by Yolanda Jubeto 
Budgets/topics analyzed: 
Before starting the experience with the City Council of Bilbao last spring (2006), as we were going 
to follow the methodology used by the Basque Government in 2001-02, I carried out interviews with 
the people who had taken part in that initiative to know their impressions, balance, and main prob-
lems found in the way. I have also spoken with the main promoter of that initiative, Ana Alberdi, re-
sponsible of Emakunde in that process, who gave me all the contacts within the government struc-
tures. 
At the beginning of the pilot project with the Town Council of Bilbao, all the areas of the City Council 
were invited to take part in it in order to analyse some relevant programmes of their Areas. The only 
requirements to take part in it were to have access to the reliable gendered disaggregated data, to 
have a specific budget attached to that program, and people dedicated to the task of gathering the 
information, working on it and attending the required meetings to be able to carry it out.  
Finally, the topics we are working on are related to different subject matters competence of the 
Town Hall, such as public housing policy, public spaces for leisure of children, development coop-
eration aids, money-transfers to the people with material needs, consumers´ information depart-
ment, policies of ecological sensitised and aid to eliminate barriers to people with discapacities in 
the communities. 
Methods/approaches used 
We are using the method proposed by Rona Fitzerald in the Basque Government’s experience, 
adapted to the reality of the Town Hall and combined with a participatory approach, as the aim is 
not just to make the inner audit analysis and improve the way the planification is made and the re-
sults are measured, but also to give voice to the feminist groups (and other women’s groups) of Bil-
bao in the process of checking and introducing improvements in the working of the public policies 
application in the Town Hall. 
The method consists of training and then proposing the elaboration of a report which consists of 
two main parts (with the same main guidelines for all the departments), carried out by the people in 
charge of each area. In the first place, they have to describe the main characteristics of the chosen 
project and the principal reasons for choosing it, contextualising it within the global budget of their 
Area and of the Town Hall. It is also required to include a description of the workers involved in the 
Area, their category and working conditions. In the second part, they have to evaluate to what ex-
tent, if any, they observe a different impact of that programme on women and men, and on female 
and male children. They have to include their evaluation of the ways to improve the assignation of 
resources, in case they observe an unequal use of them, as well as to compare the expectations 
related to the programme and the results and the problems found on the process of analysis.  
Ways of influencing the budgetary process 
By making the people of the different areas who work with the budget more aware of the potential 
different impacts on women and men of the measures they implement. Besides, we would also like 
to make them be aware of the need of contrasting the results of the budget with the real beneficiary 
collective of it in order to improve the allocation of the budget in the following years. In summary, to 
be conscious of the benefits of making the budgeting process more accountable and linked to the 
different realities they are supposed to pretend to modify and improve.
        

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