The Speaker of Kenyan National Assembly, Hon Joyce C Laboso, has advocated for gender budgeting as a basic ingredient in the attainment of any nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Laboso made the advocacy in a paper entitled: “Achieving Millennium Development Goals through Gender Budgeting,” which she presented at the 40th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (OPA), Africa Regional Conference in Port Harcourt, Tuesday.
The Kenyan lawmaker, who defined “Gender Budgeting as the process of incorporating gender concerns in the entire budgeting of any nation or state, said such budget takes into considerations allocation of a government’s expenditure and revenues on both women and men.”
According to her, such process would assist to promote equity, equality, efficiency and transparency in the budget process towards the realization of social, economic and cultural rights and good governance.
“It offers a practical way of evaluating government’s inaction or action and the progress made towards gender equality by focusing on the weight of government’s financial commitment attached programmes and their impacts on the lives of women” she said.
Laboso noted that gender budgeting could be used as a tool to consciously ensure that governments and other government institutions focus on marginalized and disadvantaged groups such as women, youth, people with disabilities (PNDS) and people living with HIV and AIDs.
She acknowledged the multiple roles women play in the society and stressed the need for the education of women to enable them make positive contribution in decision making that is critical in achieving the MDGs.
She argued that empowering women would accelerate the achievement of the MDGs in areas of poverty reduction, alleviation of child mortality rates and eradication of malnutrition.
She also noted the unique insights and gifts of women in the development progress which need to be exploited.
“They are resource mobilisers as seen from their merry-go-rounds in the community. They are peace builders because they understand the consequences of wars, violence and conflicts on them. The women are united towards achieving goals as demonstrated in their numerous successful self-help women groups”, Laboso added.