The CSR Minute: Gender Budgeting: A New Approach to Financial Equality

Mar 6, 2017 4:30 PM ET

Gender Budgeting: A New Approach to Financial Equality

There’s a new term for a radical but common sense approach to economic policy: gender budgeting. It’s a technique in which governments analyze fiscal policy by noting different effects on men and women, according to a recent article in The Economist.

In the UK, a 2016 report by the House of Commons Library found that Britain’s austerity measures in the previous five years disproportionally affected women. It concluded that 85% of the government’s cuts in welfare benefits and in direct taxes came at women’s expense, since they typically earn less, rely more on benefits, and are more likely than men to be single parents.

Gender budgeting evaluates the unequal results of such policies and identifies opportunities to support women economically that have a high rate of return, such as education and labor force participation. The idea has attracted the attention of the International Monetary Fund, which has surveyed gender budgeting efforts around the world. Countries from Sweden to South Korea have now adopted the approach. I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

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