Global norms and standards: Governance and national planning

The principle of financing for gender equality is grounded in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Full implementation demands “a political commitment to make available human and financial resources for the empowerment of women. This will require the integration of a gender perspective in budgetary decisions on policies and programmes, as well as the adequate financing of specific programmes for securing equality between women and men” (para 345).

The 2008 Commission on the Status of Women issued agreed conclusions on financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The UN Secretary-General’s report 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, highlighting progress on integrating gender in national budgets, development cooperation and the United Nations.

The 2015 UN General Assembly resolution on women in development (A/RES/70/219) encourages Member States, the United Nations System and donor countries to strengthen gender-responsive planning and budgeting and develop and strengthen methodologies and tools for monitoring and evaluation of investments for gender-equality results (para 17).

Adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, July 2015, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (A/RES/69/313) recognizes financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment as central to achieving sustainable and inclusive development. Recommended actions include:

  • Increase transparency and equal participation in the budgeting process and promote gender responsive budgeting and tracking (para 30).
  • Track and report resource allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Reinforce national efforts in capacity-building in developing countries in such areas as public finance and administration, social and gender responsive budgeting (para 115).

In the UN General Assembly resolution Transforming our world: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/70/1), all countries agreed to “work for a significant increase in investments to close the gender gap and strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and national levels.” (para 20)

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Financing for Development (FfD) follow-up is the primary intergovernmental space for monitoring implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The annual FfD Forum produces an Outcome Document which identifies areas of progress and challenges. The 2017 and 2018 Forum Outcomes refer to the importance of designing and implementing gender responsive budgets.