STATUS ON ENGENDERING THE GOVERNMENT BUDGET IN TANZANIA: ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES
Paper Presented at the 53rd Conference for Commission on Women Status – 2nd -9th March 2009 NEW YORK –USA
Tanzania is among the countries that have accorded higher priority on gender equality, and women empowerment. This is evidenced by the various affirmative actions undertaken by the government at the level of Parliament, Judiciary and Executive for creating a levelling playing field particularly for women and other disadvantaged groups in the society. The government is committed to ensure that, through gender equality and equity women of this country will become agent of their own development. Hence, to attain that goal, the government has been in the process of engendering her national budget.
This brief paper highlights on the gender budgeting initiatives in Tanzania, how the government has integrated it in the planning and budgeting processes, as well as funding of gender targets and activities for attaining the desired results. The paper also points out challenges encountered and how the government is committed to address them.
2. Gender Budgeting Initiatives in Tanzania
Gender Budgeting initiatives were first pioneered in the country by the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP), a Non-Government Organization, way back in 2000. The intervention was supported by the Government whereby the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA) in collaboration with TGNP conducted number of awareness training sessions to the government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Regions and Local Governments Authorities (LGAs) on Gender Responsive Budgeting. Planning and Budgeting Officers were trained on how to mainstream gender in their plans and budgets. Following the training, in the financial year 2006/07 a section was included in the Plan and Budget Guidelines instructing MDAs, Regions and LGA’s to develop targets and activities addressing gender equality issues in their respective institution’s Medium Term Strategic Plans and Expenditure Frameworks. To date MOFEA has continued to allocate resources to the MDAs, Regions and LGAs targets and activities for achieving the long-term desired goals on gender and equity aspects.
3. Integrating Gender into the Planning and Budgeting Processes Government Budget is the key policy instrument that the government uses to ensure that, targets and activities are accomplished to realize the desired set of national goals and objectives. Over the years, Government has made strides to make gender equality and women’s empowerment as the main instruments for achieving the country’s national economic growth and poverty reduction objectives.
Engendering of the government budget is a complex process that requires a well designed planning and budgeting processes. Government has a good designed planning and budgeting processes in place, which involves many actors at different stages. Therefore, in the financial years 1998/99 and 2000/2001 government adopted performance –oriented budgeting and Medium Term Expenditure Framework with the aim of improving service delivery to its citizens. Under the model, each MDA, Regions and LGA is required to have a three years Strategic Plan indicating its mission, vision and well articulated objectives, targets and action-oriented activities inline with the national priorities and other sector policy interventions.
National and international commitments are reflected in the national Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction (NSGRP) and in the institutional strategic plans. The objectives and targets in the Strategic Plans are reflected in the Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks for MDAs/Regions/LGAs for effective implementation. Hence, strategically these systems in place have been used as an entry point for engendering the national budget.
4. Financing for Gender Equality, Women Empowerment and HIV/AIDS Pandemic...
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