Global Norms and Standards

A number of internationally agreed norms and standards relate to women and national plans and budgets. Among the most prominent are:

The 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on women in development (A/RES/66/216): 

  • Urges the donor community, Member States, international organizations, including the United Nations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders to strengthen the focus and impact of development assistance targeting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through gender mainstreaming, the funding of targeted activities and enhanced dialogue between donors and partners, and to also strengthen the mechanisms needed to measure effectively the resources allocated to incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of development assistance (paragraph 10).
  • Encourages Member States, the United Nations system and donor countries to strengthen gender-responsive planning and budgeting processes and to develop and strengthen methodologies and tools for this purpose as well as for the monitoring and evaluation of investments for gender-equality results, as appropriate, and encourages donors to mainstream a gender perspective in their practices, including joint coordination and accountability mechanisms (paragraph 14).
  • Urges multilateral donors, and invites international financial institutions, within their respective mandates, and regional development banks to review and implement policies that support national efforts to ensure that a higher proportion of resources reaches women, in particular in rural and remote areas (paragraph 39).
  • Stresses the importance of improving and systematizing the collection, analysis and dissemination of data disaggregated by sex and age, and of developing gender-sensitive indicators that are specific and relevant with respect to supporting policymaking and national systems for monitoring and reporting on progress and impact, and in that regard encourages developed countries and relevant entities of the United Nations system to provide support and assistance to developing countries, upon their request, with respect to establishing, developing and strengthening their databases and information systems (paragraph 40).

The 2012 UN General Assembly resolution on follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action (A/RES/66/132), encourages increased efforts by governments and the United Nations system to enhance accountability for the implementation of commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the international, regional and national levels, including by improved monitoring and reporting on progress in relation to policies, strategies, resource allocations and programmes and by achieving gender balance.

At its 52nd session in 2008, the Commission on the Status of Women issued agreed conclusions on financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment. They identified actions by various actors to guarantee financing for gender equality. The UN Secretary-General’s report for the session defined financing for gender equality as the process of “ensuring adequate resource allocations to translate commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment into action, including financing of critical stakeholders within national women’s mechanisms, and women’s organizations.” In 2012, the Commission reviewed implementation of the 2008 agreement and highlighted progress in integrating gender in national budgets, development cooperation and the United Nations.