DANGME WEST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY AND CSOS TO....
Dangme West District Assembly and CSOs To Work towards Gender Sensitive Budget The Integrated Social Development Centre, ISODEC, has organized a workshop on planning and working towards a gender sensitive budget for Members of the Dangme West District Assembly and Civil Society Organizations in the region. To this end, participants at the workshop have agreed to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service to help improve gender equality in education and health in the district. Organized in collaboration with the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Nigeria for staff of the Dangme West District Assembly involved in planning and budgeting, some members of the Finance and Administration, Development Planning and Social Services Committees, ISODEC seeks to enhance gender sensitivity in the budget processes.
Facilitators at the workshop, Ms. Stella Amadi of CDD, Mrs. Chris Dadzie and Nicholas Adamtey of ISODEC informed participants during the deliberations that the government budget, both local and national, is a key policy document which sets out government’s intentions for raising revenue and using resources during the year. According to Mr. Adamtey, though a budget is traditionally presented as a gender-neutral policy instrument with the assumption that it will affect all citizens more or less equally, it has been recognised that the usual formulation of a budget ignores the different socially determined roles, responsibilities and capabilities of men and women. These differences, he explained, are generally structured in such a way as to leave women in an unequal position in relation to the men in their communities with less economic, social and political power.
Mrs. Dadzie informed participants that the overall goal of the workshop was to impart skills and techniques of gender budgeting to those involved in the district’s budgeting process in order to enhance their capacity in integrating of gender concerns into the formulation of the district budgets. This knowledge acquisition was also to ensure the implementation of the budget as gender sensitive instruments. Participants at the workshop examined and learnt simplified ways of the difficult terminology used in policy and financial documents in order to make the whole budget process a more friendly and efficient activity for all concerned. At the end of the four-day workshop, (27thto the 30th of May 2008 at the Marina Hotel, Dodowa,) participants agreed on an action plan to ensure that their district’s budget increasingly responds to the gender needs of the people in the district.
The District Assembly also pledged to undertake a needs assessment exercise before the preparation of the next budget; collect gender disaggregated data; ensure that revenue generation is gender sensitive; and plug the loopholes in the process for increased revenue generation for development. Also present at the workshop were civil society groups who called on the Assembly to facilitate their involvement in the budgetary process to ensure the community’s participation by monitoring the implementation of the district budget and relevant policies and programmes.
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