ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Navanita SinhaSubscribe to Navanita Sinha

The Paradox of Gender Responsive Budgeting

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition. Despite the steps towards gender responsive budgeting, the budgetary allocations for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment show a decline. Not only has the magnitude of the gender budget as a proportion of the total expenditure of the Union Budget decreased, but the projected gross budgetary support for the “women and child development” sector for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period also shows a decline from the Eleventh Five-Year Plan if the allocations for Integrated Child Development Services are not factored in. Will this affect the government’s ambitious gender agenda?

Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: What Has Gone Wrong?

The manner in which the Indian initiative on gender responsive budgeting has panned out appears to be a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. This article analyses the two prime strategies adopted by the Government of India for institutionalising GRB, namely, the "Gender Budget Statement" and Gender Budgeting Cells to highlight what has gone wrong, and what needs to be fixed. The authors also draw on experiences from other countries, to argue that GRB in India needs a completely different rhythm if it has to translate into better outcomes for the women of our country. With the formulation of the Twelfth Plan under way, the moment is opportune to push for groundbreaking changes in the policy discourse on GRB.
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