Gender budgeting is an approach of budgeting that includes gender perspective in all phases of country's budget cycle. Also referred as a Gender Responsive Budget, this practice promotes gender-informed public resource allocation in a support of gender mainstreaming. Gender budgeting does not imply preparing separate budget documents for men and women, nor does it simply mean a sex segregating of beneficiaries. What Gender Budgeting really promotes is the compatibility of the budgetary allocations with country's existing gender inequalities in order to close the gender gap. Understanding the subject's complexity, there is no universally adopted approach for Gender Budgeting. Therefore, its implementation strategy and institutional framework highly depends on the country's specific characteristics.
Though Georgia's fiscal framework does not include a specification and methodology for exercising Gender Budgeting in the country, existing recommendations from the Order of the Government recognizes Gender Budgeting to be an aspect of the Performance Based Budgeting. Specifically, The Order #385 of The Ministry of Finance of Georgia providing recommendation on the preparation of performance based budgeting states that every gender-sensitive budget program should include at least one gender indicator as its performance measure.
Exercising Gender Budgeting as a part of Performance Based Budgeting framework can be considered the most effective way of establishing gender responsive budgeting practice in Georgia for two main reasons. First, it will promote integration of gender-informed resource allocation at all levels of budget (central and local). Second, it will ensure the implementation process to be cost-efficient, considering that performance based budgeting in Georgia was introduced back in 2012. Accordingly, including gender perspective in Georgia's state budget implies determining performance measures for the budgetary programs considering the country's gender equality policy, detecting the level of gender relevance for each budgetary program, estimating the baseline measures for moderately and highly gender relevant budgetary programs, and, finally, providing systematic reports on the execution of these programs.
However, for a time the implementation of Gender Budgeting in Georgia encounters several important challenges such as misconception of the main subject (concept of gender relevance vs gender sensitivity of budgetary programs), non-existing criteria for determining the level of the gender relevance or the gender sensitivity of budgetary programs, the non-binding level of budgetary program selection (programs vs sub-programs).
Therefore, at the first stage the analysis provided by the Parliamentary Budget office of Georgia (PBO) introduces the framework of determining the level of gender relevance of each budgetary program by introducing gender relevance index. The index is based on the capabilities approach that includes assessing gender relevance of budgetary programs according to five categories of gender equality:
• Equal capabilities to establish private and public life;
• Equal capabilities to form social and political environment;
• Equal capabilities to live and work in clean and safe environment;
• Equal capabilities to have personal independence/immunity;
• Equal capabilities to have physical independence/immunity.
At the second stage of the analysis, PBO determines the moderately and highly gender relevant programs and studies their performance measures. As e result of analysis, 26 highly gender relevance programs of 2018 state budget do not include gender perspective, nor provide any gender related performance measures. Therefore, the analysis also suggest recommendatory indicators for these programs.
For more details see the complete document (available in Georgian)