Fostering Participation in Gender Budgeting: A proposal for an online system to enhance citizens' engagement in gender-responsive budgeting
Keywords:Gender equality, Budget cycle, Participatory governance, Gender responsive budgeting, Women’s empowerment
A controversial issue in the public management literature is the role attributed to women. Analyzing the existing literature, few works have been written about how the presence of women is valued in the public sector. From this analysis, several discriminatory elements are still present, and gender equality seems to be far away. However, this objective must continue to be pursued, also considering the relevance given to the gender equality issue by the United Nations in the Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to implement political, economic and societal legislation, programs and policies to minimize the differences between men and women. In this perspective, Gender Budgeting (GB) could be an interesting field of research. It consists of a systematic review about how women benefit from public sector expenditures, an adjustment of budgets to ensure equality of access to public sector expenditures, enhancing productive capacity and meeting social needs. However, GB could be adopted differently and could produce several results. In particular, the implementation of GB as a participatory tool is still nowadays a challenge and could be fascinating to analyze, considering the various benefits that a participatory approach could imply. One of the main reasons for the lack of direct citizens involvement in GB is that it was initially developed from a macro-perspective at the national budget. On the other hand, other participatory tools, such as the participatory budget, originate at the local level. Therefore, examining the existing literature and focusing on two different processes, but with some overlapping characteristics elements, namely participatory budgeting and gender budgeting, the present research aims to create a participatory GB framework, investigating the insertion of a participatory perspective in the process, specifically women’s engagement, not neglecting the relevance of digitalization to this end.
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