Throw some light on the concept of gender budgeting and mention reasons behind its poor status in India. Also, suggest measures to address these issues.

Gender Budgeting as a concept, was introduced in India in 2005, to incorporate three dimensions of gender in budgeting.

  • Gender based allocations.
  • Allocations to gender in lumpsum allowances.
  • Women-centric schemes and programmes.

Issues plaguing gender budgeting:

  • No data on gender related allocation and its after effects.
  • Pre-estimation exercise lacking, leading to misallocation.
  • Political will remains weak to incorporate gender as social group.
  • Focus on funding rather than qualitative outcomes leading to no substantial gains.
  • Motivation in bureaucrats and policymakers is lacking.

Measures required:

  • Cooperative federalism which fosters gender allocations at every level including municipalities, state, and centre.
  • Recognition of gender as a socially disadvantaged group and specific clauses in budget clearly determining the allocations.
  • Research on effectiveness of women-centric schemes and making them more inclusive.
  • Focus on women participation in budgeting, for including their concerns and properly delineating targets to be achieved.

Gender budgeting as a concept is not new. However, its lacklustre implementation is a major cause of female lagging behind (India ranks 112 in gender gap index).

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