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Watch Group. Gender & Public Finance

News author: the European Network of Gender Budgeting Initiatives
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2006-02-16 17:16:14 / News read 3290 reading

The “Watch Group. Gender and Public Finance”, a civil society group working on Gender Budgeting in Austria, has organized a networking event for European Gender Budgeting Initiatives in February 2006. The focus of this event was on outside government initiatives, both from civil society and academics.

The aims of the meeting were to strengthen networking and exchange of experience and to took advantage of the Austrian EU Presidency and lobby for integration of Gender Budgeting within the EU.

The most important output from the conference was: Gender Budgeting in Europe – NOW! Resolution - addressed to decision makers in the European Union.

Text below:
More than 10 years ago, governments committed themselves to Gender Budgeting at the World Women’s Conference in Beijing.
The call for gender budgeting is equally rooted in the EU commitment to gender mainstreaming and firmly based in the Treaty (Articles 2 and 3). Article 3(2) of the Treaty stipulates that equality between men and women must be promoted in all EU activities and that the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities.
Current budgetary and macroeconomic policies in Europe are gender-blind.

It is time to act! Now!

Gender Budgeting contributes to the quality of public finance by enhancing governmental transparency, accountability, efficiency and equality in the use of public finance. Gender Budgeting is a strategy to promote gender equality in macroeconomic and budgetary policies. It is an important strategy for ensuring greater consistency between economic goals and social commitments. Studies have highlighted the costs of gender inequality to productivity, efficiency and economic progress. A restructuring of public finance according to gender equality considerations thus contributes to growth and prosperity. Gender Budgeting contributes equally to the European movement towards improved governance, that is, increases in accountability, participation and transparency of budgetary policy processes.

Therefore it is important that both, EU institutions and member states promote the implementation of gender budgeting.

We, the European Network of Gender Budgeting Initiatives, recall
- the decision of the gender budgeting conference under the Belgium Presidency in 2001 to implement gender budgeting in all countries by the year 2015.
- the resolution of the European Parliament on gender budgeting and its recommendations.
- the opinion of the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men on gender budgeting and its proposals to take action.
- the recommendations of the European Women’s Lobby on gender budgeting. - the activities of WIDE, Women in Development Europe, and IAFFE, the International Association for Feminist Economics to promote the implementation of gender budgeting.

We, the European Network of Gender Budgeting Initiatives, call on the Commission
 to include gender budgeting in the Gender Equality Road Map to be adopted soon and provide for sufficient funding.
 to take action with the aim to implement gender budgeting in budgetary and macro-economic policies by 2010.
 to integrate Gender budgeting and gender equality in the current proposals for the Financial Perspective.
 to publish a communication on gender budgeting by the end of 2006, including a road map, pursuing a participatory approach both in writing the communication as well as in implementing Gender Budgeting.
 to launch a study on instruments to implement gender budgeting by drawing on the existing expertise in academia and civil society, present results by mid 2007.
 to assure the development and collection of gender-disaggregated statistics in all areas and urgently promote the development of meaningful statistics on unpaid work.
 to make available funds for facilitating the production and distribution of gender budgeting tools.
 to assure that all EU policies undergo an equality impact assessment.
 to facilitate the regular production of a gender equality scorecard.
 to publish annual reports on the impacts of macroeconomic and financial policies on gender equality.
 to allocate sufficient funding for non-governmental gender budgeting initiatives throughout the EU and support the emergence of the European Gender Budgeting Network.
 to finance a European-wide campaign on gender equality and public finance as well as gender budgeting carried out by non-governmental women’s and gender budgeting groups.

call on the Member States
 to integrate gender equality as a priority in the Lisbon agenda and promote the use of gender budgeting in budgetary policies at all levels.
 to integrate gender budgeting in the updated Integrated Guidelines.  to use the open method of coordination to promote the strategy of gender budgeting and to promote gender equality in all areas.
 to implement gender budgeting as a standard tool in budgetary policies at all levels.
 to publish information on gender equality and the budget – written in consultation with gender budgeting and women’s non-governmental groups – well before the parliamentary decision on the annual budget in order to promote broad debates on budgetary and macro-economic policies.
 To promote research on how to assess equality impacts of budgets and macroeconomic policies.

call on the European Parliament
 to support the process towards integrating gender equality considerations in all financial and budgetary policies.
 to refuse agreement to any budgetary matter which is not designed according to gender equality principles.

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Public meeting pregrame:

Watchgroup. Gender & Public Finance and its co-operation partners Renner-Institute, BEIGEWUM, Arbeiterkammer Vienna, Austrian Green Foundation Federation of Austrian Trade Unions and ATTAC AUSTRIA

Networking Event

GENDER BUDGETING IN EUROPE

Monday, February 6th 2006, 15:00 - 20:30 p.m.
Venue
Europasaal of the Renner-Institute
Entrance NeubauGartenhotel Altmannsdorf, Oswaldgasse 69, 1120 Wien
Public Transport: Underground U6, Station „Am Schöpfwerk“

15:00 WORKSHOP
Gender Budgeting – European Models and Initiatives
Woman´s Budget Group, Current work and analysis in Great Britain
Zofia Lapniewska, NEWW, Gdansk Gender Budget Initiative, Poland
Annalisa Rosselli, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Local gender budgeting projects in the Tuscany, Italy
Watchgroup. Gender & Public Finance, Gender Budgeting – Current developments in Austria

Plenary discussion

18:00 BREAK

18:30 ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
Gender Budgeting as an instrument to promote emancipatory policies?
DECLAN COSTELLO, Directorate-General of Economic an Financial Affairs, European Commission (invited)
DIANE ELSON, Women’s Budget Group, Great Britain
EVA LICHTENBERGER, Member of the European Parliament
BARBARA PRAMMER, Vice-President of the Austrian Parliament
CHRISTA SCHLAGER, Watchgroup. Gender & Public Finance
GERHARD STEGER, Director General, GD Budget Division, Austrian Ministry of Finance

Moderation
Margit Schratzenstaller, Austrian Institute of Economic Research

Language
German/English translation
Information/Registration
phone: ++43/1/804 65 01-43
fax: ++43/1/804 65 01-74
kuehbauer@renner-institut.at

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