Gender-responsive budgeting and the Canadian Parliament's Standing Committee on the Status of Women

Rhonda Sharp presenting a paper to the Canadian ParliamentProfessor Rhonda Sharp used the new videoconferencing facilities of the Hawke Building, City West to participate in a session of the Canadian Parliament's Standing Committee on the Status of Women on 5 December 2007. She was one of three invited presenters on gender-responsive budgeting. Rather than travel to Ottawa for the presentation Professor Sharp proposed videoconferencing. In her presentation she spoke of government budgets as the major source of finance for gender equality and women's empowerment. As the heart of the budget process is a political process, it requires both contestation and commitment. It is also important to be able to access and analyse gender-desegregated data. Policy issues include the problematic use of tax concessions to increase retirement savings for women and low income men. Gender-responsive budgeting needs to be done as the normal everyday work of politicians, NGOs, the bureaucracy and ministries of finance.

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