Chapter 03: Services
Gender Responsive Budgeting
Gender Responsive Budgeting
The term "Gender Responsive Budgets" (GRB) broadly refers to government budgets that are formulated based on an assessment of the different roles and needs of women and men in society. READ MORE

The delivery of public services is the most direct measure of government accountability to women. By this measure, many governments do not fare well: women around the world face glaring failures in public service delivery on a daily basis. By contrast, where women enjoy access to appropriate and good quality services, it is likely that public resource managers and public service delivery staff are informed of women's needs, and that women as citizens are able to influence decisions over the allocation of public resources.

  • Failing services can undermine women's ability to realize basic rights.
    • In sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of universal access to water means that women spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water – the equivalent of a year's worth of labour by the entire workforce of France.
  • Sexual extortion is an unrecognized 'currency' of corruption.
    • In both developed and developing countries, there are increasing reports regarding violence and sexual abuse in schools, often by teachers. The Forum of African Women Educationalists has successfully campaigned to expose the discriminatory effects of rules against pregnant pupils. In Kenya, since 2003 female students who become pregnant have had the opportunity subsequently to apply for re-admission.
  • Service delivery has been a rallying point for women's collective action.
    • In India, women's mobilization around the Right to Food has sparked a process that led to the reform of the city-wide food distribution system in Delhi.
    • In Argentina, women's groups have used the Right to Public Information to investigate adequate service delivery and as the basis of a broader agenda aimed at fighting corruption and supporting democratic governance.
    • In Peru, the comedores, originally community kitchens set up for the urban poor, became important sites of social mobilization, particularly for women.
  • Conditional cash transfers can make service providers more accountable, but not always
    • In Mexico, Bangladesh and Cambodia, cash transfer programmes have contributed to improving girls' educational opportunities by offering payments to families who enrol their daughters in school. However, evidence from Brazil and Paraguay suggests this can only work if women have relatively easy physical access to services and can choose from a range of providers.