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Greater mutual cooperation of local authorities, as well as support from competent ministries – the key for better results in gender responsive budgeting
8 јуни 2018
 
The current situation in the countries of the region regarding the area of gender equality are as follows: insufficient provision of funds for realizing activities for gender responsive budgeting in municipalities; lack of statistical data, in particular of split gender statistics, as a basis for planning activities in this area or undertaking other adequate measures; insufficient awareness level and sensitivity among the representatives of the decision-making bodies and other stakeholders in the local government regarding the need for paying special attention to the issues of gender responsive budgeting; insufficient commitment and focus on gender equality issues in certain sectors, as well as the lack of a system for monitoring gender equality activities to determine the obtained results.

The aforementioned issues were presented to the members of the Working Group for Gender Equality established in ZELS, consisted of members from the Network of Financial Workers of the Association. The meeting was organized by ZELS on May 31, 2018 in Skopje, within the framework of the project "Strengthening capacities for gender policies and budgeting at local level", which is implemented with the support of the UN Women's Office in Skopje. At the meeting also attended the representatives of the Ministry of Finance of Republic of Macedonia. The aim of this workshop was to emphasize the need for greater commitment of municipalities to work on gender equality issues and gender responsive budgeting, in particular was emphasized the need for their mutual cooperation in this field and mutual cooperation with the relevant ministries such as: Ministry of finance, Ministry of labor and social policy, Ministry of local self-government and Ministry of information society. By exchanging good experiences and practices, as well as supporting the proper application of the legal regulations will be guaranteed greater commitment to gender equality issues in the local and central government.

The participants were acquainted with the achievements of Republic of Albania in the area of ​​gender responsive budgeting, as one of the most successful examples from the region. The key for achieving such great results from the local authorities in this field was the well-established cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, as well as the efficient inter-ministerial approach in developing municipal programs on gender sensitive issues. In Republic of Albania in 2017 was adopted the new Law on Local Finances which includes gender equality as a basic principle, meanwhile GRB is mandatory for all LSGs in the process of budget programming, monitoring and evaluation.

At the meeting were also highlighted the ZELS activities such as: organization of trainings for coordinators and members of the committees for gender equality; meetings and cooperation with the respective ministries; supporting the activities of the working group for gender equality of ZELS; elaboration of the Strategy on gender equality of ZELS 2018-2030, as well as preparing useful tools for local authorities for easier fulfillment of their obligations and easier development of their gender policies at local level.

Municipal experiences:

Regarding the development manner of the programs for gender equality, the municipalities shared their experiences by putting special emphasize to the changes that need to be made in order to achieve better results in this field. Therefore was highlighted the need for changes in the municipal budget circular for including separate item/program for gender equality. Thereafter was pointed out greater involvement of all sectors, which will pay greater attention when creating their policies for greater inclusion of these issues, too. Afterwards was stressed out the need for conducting trainings for municipal councilors who participate in making important decisions in the municipality, as well as establishing functional mechanisms for cooperation with the central government institutions. They also pointed out that they face significant difficulties in collecting statistical data and further processing in gender-disaggregated data, as well as with the minimum allocation of funds for gender equality activities. The representative of the Ministry of Finance promised that will seriously consider the request for the budget circular and also expressed readiness for further support of local authorities in implementing activities regarding this area.

The meeting’s conclusions:

After the good practices exchange and their presentation between the municipalities were adopted the following conclusions: Intensification of the cooperation with the line ministries, in coordination with ZELS and organization of more frequent thematic meetings; establishment of mixed working group with representatives of these institutions and municipalities directly related to gender budgeting and gender equality; establishment of coordination in planning activities after a preliminary analysis; introduction of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; organization of trainings for municipal councilors by MLSP; establishment of good cooperation with the State Statistical Office regarding the access to statistical data and organization of trainings on their behalf for processing these data to the municipal coordinators; establishment of mechanisms for compulsory consideration of all programs in the municipality by the Commission for Equal Opportunities and enabling more frequent meetings, as well as exchanging experiences among the countries of the region.



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