Programming Essentials, Monitoring & Evaluation
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Securing resources/gender-responsive budgeting

Last edited: October 31, 2010

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Securing resources and budgets is central to successfully undertaking implementation efforts and sustaining them. Resources and contributions from diverse participating stakeholders can be financial or in-kind (technical expertise, free space and facilities, equipment or materials needed for services, free mass media time to raise awareness or information for abused women on where to call, etc.) Advocacy, dialogue with policy-makers and other strategies for securing resources and longer-term budget lines should be built-in from the beginning of programme planning and design. Ultimately, however, governments hold primary responsibility for ensuring that adequate public sector budgets are made available to address violence against women and girls.

A leading approach is gender-responsive budgeting, a methodology and tool to promote more equitable allocation and utilization of government resources. It encourages accountability in legislative and policy implementation, thereby advancing commitments to prevent and respond to violence. Gender-responsive budgeting can be applied in the development and execution of national and local funding mechanisms and can ensure the needs of women and girls, among other particularly marginalized social groups and communities, are met. It can be employed to analyze and track government commitments to address violence against women and girls in multi-sector or sector-specific budgets. (UNIFEM and UNFPA, 2006)

  • Engaging ministries of finance to address violence against women in budgeting processes generally.
  • Collaborating with sector-specific institutions to address violence against women in budgeting processes as they relate to specific issues within the sector (e.g.  sexual violence and HIV in the health sector; prevention curriculum for children and adolescents in the education sector; and so on).
  • Analyzing and monitoring of budgets to review:
    • the sectoral and inter-sectoral allocations to women’s machineries or institutions coordinating efforts to address violence against women and girls;
    • allocation and distribution of funds at both the central and local levels;
    • the extent to which gender-responsive budgeting is practiced; and
    • the level of access to free legal, health and economic support services for survivors and for low-income populations in particular.
  • Complementing gender-responsive budgeting with costing exercises to determine what an adequate level of funding is to deliver all of the services required under laws and policies.
Lessons Learned
  • Gender-responsive budgeting programmes in support of investments to prevent and respond to violence have been more successful in securing allocations at the sub-national level than at the national level.
  • Though gender-responsive budgeting entails a range of tools and processes, many organizations only analyze budget allocations and do not go so far as to analyze expenditures or service delivery.
  • Investments in other areas of gender equality that may serve as protective factors should be assessed and monitored to ensure overall disparities between men and women that perpetuate gender-based violence are being addressed, such as secondary education, sexual and reproductive health programmes (Heise, 1999; Morrison, et al., 2007), as well as women’s economic and political participation.
  • Gender-responsive budgeting supports the long-term, sustained funding stream required to provide quality services to survivors (e.g. housing, shelters, legal aid, health services, vocational skill-building, etc.); develop capacities across sectors (e.g. for training and infrastructural improvements); and allows planning, implementation and monitoring of polices over multiple years.  This is especially relevant for primary prevention interventions that require programming over several years to impact behaviour change and transformation of social norms.


Illustrative Reports:

Opportunities and Challenges for Introducing Gender Sensitive Budgeting in the Area of Domestic Violence on Local and Entity Level in Bosnia and Herzegovina (United Women Banja Luka, 2007).  Available in English.
Violence against Women in Mozambique (UNIFEM, 2009).  Available in English.


Manual for Costing: A Multidisciplinary Package of Response Services for Women and Girls Subjected to Violence (UN Women, 2013). Available in English.

The Costs of Violence - Understanding the Costs of Violence against Women and Girls and its Response: Selected Findings and Lessons Learned from Asia and the Pacific (UN Women, 2013).  Available in English.

Costing the Implementation of Violence against Women Laws and Policies (UN Women webinar, 2011).  Read the background note.  See the presentation:

Budgeting for Women's Rights: Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW (Elson, 2006).  Available in English,  French, and Spanish.

Gender Responsive Budgeting in Practice: a Training Manual (UNFPA and UNIFEM, 2006).  Available in English, French and Spanish.

Budgeting for Equity: Gender Budget Initiatives within a Framework of Performance Oriented Budgeting (Sharp/UNIFEM, 2003).  Available in English.

Gender Responsive Budgeting and Women's Reproductive Rights: a Resource Pack (UNFPA and UNIFEM, 2006).  Available in English, French and Spanish.

Making the Case for Domestic Violence Prevention through the Lens of Cost-Benefit:  A Manual for Domestic Violence Prevention Practitioners (Transforming Communities Technical Assistance, Training and Resource Center, 2008).  Available in English.

Calculating the Cost of Domestic Violence Toolkit (Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, 2008). Available in English.