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

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Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.


One of the major objectives of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is attaining gender justice, the fifth among 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in various aspects of life. However, gender equity still has a far way to go in India, which makes the realisation of SDG 5 questionable. This paper seeks to evaluate if gender budgeting can be a useful tool to close the gender gap in India. The paper focuses on two major issues: (i) India’s ­position in the world in terms of achieving SDG 5, and (ii) gender budgeting as a tool to close the gender gap in India.

This paper draws on various statistical indicators, compiled from the following reports: the Sustainable Development ­Report, 2019; India’s union budgets of various years (2005–06 to 2019–20); SDG India Index and Dashboard, 2019–20 (NITI Aayog 2019); National Family Health Survey IV, 2015–16 (IIPS 2017); Health in India, January–June 2014 (NSSO 2016); Global Gender Gap Report, 2020 (World Economic Forum 2020); ­Human Development Report, 2019 (UNDP 2019); Education Statistics at a Glance, 2018 (GoI 2018), and the annual reports of the department of science and technology and the Ministry of Women and Child Development of 2018–19 (GoI 2019a, 2019b).

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Updated On : 18th Oct, 2021
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