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Workshop seeks measures to promote gender responsive budgeting

 The UN Women in Vietnam and the Asia Development Bank in Vietnam held a workshop on December 6 on promoting gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam.

Addressing the event, UN Women’S Head of Office in Vietnam Elisa Fernandez said UN Women has supported more than 60 countries in gender responsive budget planning. In Vietnam, since 2014, the agency has conducted research and improved capacity for relevant parties in the work.

She said that Vietnam’s Law on State Budget 2015 affirmed the country’s commitment to gender equality through State budget spending. However, Fernandez urged Vietnam to design specific guidelines for the work, including raising public awareness and building coordination mechanism between financial, planning agencies and other parties.

Meanwhile, Aaron Batten, ADB Senior Economist, said that gender equality is a focus of the bank’s development support programmes for Asia-Pacific. Improving women’s capacity in economic development is crucial in poverty reduction and growth, he said, adding that the ADB has introduced gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam through a programme to improve public spending in Vietnam from 2014.

At the workshop, experts defined gender responsive budgeting as the whole process of planning, implementing, supervising and auditing State funding with careful consideration to gender issues.

Nguyen Minh Tan, Vice Director of the National Assembly Office’s Department of Finance and Budget said that for the first time, the Law on State Budget 2015 prioritised the allocation of funds to meet gender equality goals.

Participants also sought measures to build effective tools in promoting gender equality, while sharing experience of some countries in implementing gender responsive budgeting, and discussing Vietnam’s initiatives in the work.

Over the years, Vietnam has gained achievements in gender equality, including improving laws and the national system on gender equality.

However, Vietnam has faced a number of challenges, including employment conditions in the informal sector, climate change impacts and limited access to social welfare, which seriously affect women and poor people.

Gender responsive budgeting, a tool for evaluating accounting responsibility and supervising gender equality support commitments of governments, has been applied in more than 100 countries.