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31.01.2005 General News

Incorporate gender perspective into budget - AWLA

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Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - The African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA), on Monday called on the Government to introduce gender budgeting perspective into the 2005 financial statement.

"Engendering the budget does not mean creating a separate budget for women, but rather taking into account the fact that different gender roles and responsibilities are socially attributed to men and women," Nana Oye Lithur, AWLA Executive Member, said in a paper presented to Parliament.

AWLA noted that gender budgeting was an important tool for advancing equality through fair distribution of resources, "it makes economic sense as it ensures that the vulnerable are catered for according to their specific needs.

"Men and women have different patterns in life, living conditions, needs, opportunities; policy formulation and allocation of resources affect them differently.

"Defence spending for instance affects men and women differently and it holds more interest for men. Armies are almost predominantly male, the arms industry is male dominated, and those who raise armies and prosecute war are overwhelmingly male.

Government spending on defence, therefore, holds few direct benefit to women in terms of employment, whilst wars have a devastating impact upon women's social, economic and domestic well being.

The Women Lawyers noted that two main advantages of gender budgeting to Ghana was that, it would serve as important tools for advancing women's rights and empowerment for achieving gender equality through the equitable distribution of resources.

It would ensure prudent management of resources for total transformation of the economy.

AWLA explained that gender budgeting would guide policy implementers' direct revenue towards the specific needs of the vulnerable and marginalized members of society.

AWLA said Ghana needed to adopt gender budgeting to reduce the inequalities in the social and economic status of men and women in the country, "women are poorer than men; own fewer assets and have limited access to work".

The Gender Advocacy group called for the intensification of gender sensitisation for the empowerment of women, which would lead to a healthy atmosphere for the co-existence between men and women.

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