Gender Responsive Budgeting: A case of four Zambian Government Ministries 2003-2006
Matakala, Monde M.K.
This study was an attempt to determine the extent of Gender Responsive Budgeting being undertaken in four government ministries namely; Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy and Water Development and Ministry of Health. The study further attempted to find out the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Government workers in the same ministries towards Gender Responsive Budgeting. A third objective was to determine the extent to which ministerial budgets build women capacities. Survey research design at descriptive level was used in this study. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative procedures. Quantitative data was generated from the questionnaire while qualitative information was generated from in-depth interviews. Document review of governments yellow books and financial reports were also scrutinized to ascertain the extent of Gender Budgeting. Findings of the study revealed that in the year 2003 before the introduction of Activity Based Budgeting (ABB), it was not very clear if gender was considered during the budgeting process.However, after the ABB was introduced in 2004 to date, it became clear that Gender issues were considered during the budgeting process. The challenge however, came to disbursements of budgeted amounts and implementation. The period between 2003 to 2005 very little funds were utilized in all the ministries. The situation improved in 2006 in that a substantial amount of funds were released. Findings on knowledge, attitudes and practices of Government workers revealed that there were high levels of knowledge about gender issues among the respondents. Similarly, their attitude was also positive towards gender responsive budgeting but the practice lagged behind.Results on in-depth analysis revealed that ministerial budgets do not build women's capacities.Few women were trained on long term courses compared to men. Women were sent on short term courses that do not enable them meet their strategic gender needs.The principle recommendation suggested among others is that the Government of Zambia to pilot study participatory budgeting that would enable citizens to actively participates in the budget process. This will overcome some of the challenges that are currently being experienced in the budget process.