Bhutan continues efforts on taking gender forward

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013

Paro (Bhutan), 2 February 2013: The United Nations in Bhutan supported a workshop to integrate gender responsive budgets and plans into Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan. Organized as a response to a request by the Royal Government of Bhutan, this is the first such in-depth training conducted in Bhutan to guide the government to ensure that its planning and budgeting processes respond to the needs of women.

The workshop was supported through UN Women’s regional programme to strengthen women’s political participation and budgeting. Held in Paro, from January 30 to February 1, 2013, the opening session of the event was attended by the Joint Secretary Dasho Nim Dorji from the Ministry of Finance.

Continuing efforts on taking gender forward 

With this workshop, the Royal Government of Bhutan continues its impactful work on gender equality.

Attended by over 50 representatives from the Government, Civil Society, and the United Nations, the event was led by the Department of National Budget with the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC).

“This process entails identifying interventions to address gender gaps in government policies, plans, and budget. It also aims to analyse the gender-differentiated impact of revenue raising policies. Such initiatives seek to create policies that will help build capacity and strengthen monitoring mechanisms to support both women and men,” said the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Claire Van der Vaeren.

Continuing efforts on taking gender forward 

In the course of the 3-day workshop, participants were exposed to rich experiences and lessons learnt as well as to different approaches on gender responsive planning and budgeting in the region and beyond. At the end of the workshop, the participants came up with a proposed Institutional Framework for Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting in Bhutan and strategy options for Bhutan. These include activities such as advocacy and awareness raising, capacity building, and sex-disaggregated data for the preparation of Five Year Plans.

The participants came up with a draft Gender Budget Statement, which will be tested to suit the context of Bhutan. With its focus on accountability, efficiency, transparency and equality, this type of budgeting is considered an important step in the deepening of democracy.

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In the course of the 3-day workshop, participants were exposed to rich experiences and lessons learnt as well as to different approaches on gender responsive planning and budgeting in the region and beyond. At the end of the workshop, the participants came up with a proposed Institutional Framework for Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting in Bhutan and strategy options for Bhutan. These include activities such as advocacy and awareness raising, capacity building, and sex-disaggregated data for the preparation of Five Year Plans.

The participants came up with a draft Gender Budget Statement, which will be tested to suit the context of Bhutan. With its focus on accountability, efficiency, transparency and equality, this type of budgeting is considered an important step in the deepening of democracy.

Continuing efforts on taking gender forward 

The forthcoming 11th Five Year Plan will clearly address visible gender gaps in employment, education and good governance. In partnership with the government and other national actors, the UN family in Bhutan is ready to support the government’s gender responsive planning and budgeting efforts as clearly laid out the in the next One Country Programme of the UN for 2014-2018.