Gender responsive budgeting – knowledge production and implementation

The development and implementation of policies rely on the co-production of knowledge and politics. Economic policies are Beijing-Posterinformed by the economic theories and by economists from the mainstream economics departments in universities. Despite the criticism by feminist economists and activists as well as from other heterodox economics perspectives, which got much attention after the financial crisis, the economics curriculum in universities remains more or less unchanged, the economics profession remains heavily male dominated and the same kind of theories like before, as well as the same economists, still inform economic policy-making in most countries.

Although the states accepted an obligation to implement gender responsive budgeting (GRB) and to better reflect women in the economy and to change women’s economic position, as part of the Beijing Platform of Action, progress has been slow and uneven. In some countries, gender responsive budgeting has been implemented and budget processes have been transformed to involve the participation of women and civil society and to give serious attention to gendered consequences of local and national budgets. In other cases it has not at all been implemented, or it has been implemented in a shallow way, with lip-service paid to ”gender”, rather than reflecting gender and gendered consequences in the budget processes as well as in the budgets.

Marilyn Waring’s book If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics, published in 1988, was used by many activists and feminist economists to mobilise and push for ”counting women” as part of the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action in their countries and communities. A new book, co-edited by Margunn Bjørnholt and Ailsa McKay: Counting on Marilyn, Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics, explores the range and impact of Waring’s seminal book, over the quarter decade since its publication, on feminist economics as a academic field as well as on feminist activism and mobilisation.

Drawing on these experiences we propose a discussion of the institutional and political factors and critera of success in countries or local communities where gender responsive budgeting has been successfully implemented. -What is the relation between GRB and the institutionalisation of feminist economics as an academic field? – What role does the women’s movement play? – What is the role of feminist economists and other academics as public intellectuals?