The Pakistan National Gender Policy Framework (2022) strives to advance gender-responsive data analysis, planning, programming, budgeting, and monitoring across all programs and ministries. Similarly, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Empowerment Framework (2017) underscores women's empowerment in diverse spheres—social, cultural, political, economic, legal, and personal life—through gender-responsive budgeting.
Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB) is a process aligning budgeting with gender sensitivity in planning, approval, execution, monitoring, and audit. It aims to kickstart a development process encompassing gender equity, economic efficiency, poverty reduction, and good governance. Gender Budget Tagging (GBT) serves as a tool to integrate regular gender budget analysis, indicating the allocated budget for women's betterment in a specific financial year. It identifies budget programs (current and development) where gender is a principal or significant objective. An institutionalized system for tagging gender-related budget allocations and expenditures is crucial for accurate reporting against national and international targets, commitments, and measuring the efficiency of public expenditures.
Recognizing the importance of gender lens analysis for the purpose of women empowerment in budgeting and expenditures, the Finance Department, in collaboration with technical assistance from the UKAID/FCDO funded Sub-National Governance (SNG) program, has embarked on institutionalizing GBT. This initiative prioritizes transparency and inclusivity, aiming to establish a budget tagging and tracking system for budget and spending relevant to girls, women, and gender-diverse persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The tagging system will generate regular reports informing planning and budgeting from a gender perspective.
To guide the GBT process, the Finance Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa formed a committee led by Mr. Arifullah Awan, Additional Secretary Finance Department. The SNG assisted in developing the GBT methodology and applying it to the cost centers' data of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's budgets and actual expenditure over three financial years (FY2020-21, FY2021-22, and FY2022-23).
Following the analysis, the Finance Department, with technical assistance from the SNG, conducted detailed training for over 40 participants from various provincial government departments at local hotel on January 04, 2024. The objective was to familiarize government officials with the methodology and findings of the GBT exercise. The longer-term objective of this training session was to equip key government officials with the necessary skills to implement gender-responsive and inclusive budgeting practices, aligning budgeting processes with the diverse needs and priorities of all citizens.
Mr. Arifullah Awan, Additional Secretary Finance Department, chaired the training session. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Arifullah Awan emphasized the significance of inclusive and participatory budgeting as the most effective approach to translating government service delivery plans into efficient budgetary allocations. He expressed gratitude to all participants and specifically recognized and commended the invaluable technical support provided by the FCDO-funded Sub-National Governance (SNG) Programme.
This strategic approach underscores the KP government's commitment to cultivating an inclusive and equitable financial landscape. The Finance Department is committed to integrating the GBT methodology into the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.