The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.
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Chapter 80: Gender-responsive Budgeting and Women’s Poverty

Diane Elson and Rhonda Sharp


Diane Elson and Rhonda Sharp Government budgets impact on poor people though a variety of channels, both direct and indirect. The direct channels are provision of services, infrastructure, income transfers, public sector jobs, taxation, user charges and budget decision-making processes. The indirect channels operate via the impact of the budget on the private sector through contracts to supply the public sector, and the macroeconomic impacts of the budget on aggregate demand in the economy, and thus on job creation and economic growth. The gender-differentiated character of these impacts can be revealed by gender budget analysis (GBA), and gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) can bring about changes in policies, priorities and budgetary processes. Gender-responsive budgeting uses a variety of tools to ‘follow the money’ from government budgets to its impacts and outcomes for different groups of men and women, boys and girls. It also involves strategies for changing budgetary processes and policies so that expenditures and revenues reduce the inequalities between women and men. Over the past 20 years, governments, non-government organisations (NGOs), international organisations, aid agencies, researchers and grassroots activists worldwide have undertaken a variety of initiatives, adapting tools and strategies to local circumstances (Budlender, 2007; Cooper and Sharp, 2007; Elson, 2006). Gender-responsive budgeting brings into focus issues that are frequently overlooked or obscured in conventional budget analysis and decision-making. These issues include the role of unpaid work in economic and social outcomes, particularly women’s disproportionate responsibility for unpaid work; the distribution of resources within as well as between families; and the...

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