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23.02.2005 Regional News

Gender analysis, budgeting, critical to poverty reduction

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Ho, Feb. 23, GNA - Gender analysis and budgeting in national policies and programmes are critical to poverty reduction and the determination of the differential impacts of policies on women and men towards ensuring gender equity in resource allocation.

Dr Regina O. Adutwum, Acting Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), made the point at a gender mainstreaming stakeholders workshop in Ho to update the current version of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), which expires this year and correct its gender related inadequacies in GPRS II.

"This is being done early enough to inform the 2006 budget, which is to begin preparation in June" Dr Adutwum said.

The three-day workshop, which involves 30 participants from non-governmental organisations and the public sector will discuss among other issues, International policy commitments and gender, gendered poverty and growth diagnostics, dimensions of poverty in Ghana and deciding gender priorities and indicators for GPRS II.

Dr Adutwum observed that, "attempts in the past by NDPC to integrate gender perspectives in national development plans...and participation of women and gender advocacy groups in cross-sectoral planning groups have not yielded the expected results".

"The lessons learnt from this experience have led to significant improvements in the process of engendering the GPRS II, she said. Dr Adutwum said the update of the GPRS provides the opportunity for producing an engendered GPRS capable of promoting gender equity in resource allocation to achieve growth, accelerated poverty reduction and the protection of the vulnerable majority that are women.

She said despite its good intentions the GPRS policy framework was limited by time and programme content hence the need to prioritise.

"The ultimate outcome of the GPRS II is not the document itself but its impact on poverty reduction and improving the livelihood of the people". Dr Adutwum observed.

She said GPRS (2003-2005) represented the government's medium term development policy framework in support of poverty reduction and growth through policies, strategies and programs directing at meeting specific policy objectives within its three-year duration.

It also included a costing of inputs needed by government to implement those programmes and activities and a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan. 23 Feb. 05

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