The UNPAC Gender Budget Project - active from October 2004 to August 2007 - acted as the second phase of our Women & Economy Project continuing our work of promoting women’s economic literacy while striving towards the goal of economic security for women.
For a good overview and analysis of our work read our Speaking notes from UNPAC presentation at the Social Justice and Human Rights conference held at the University of Winnipeg's Global College in February 2007.
To see the faces behind our Gender Budget Project visit Project Credits.
The overall goal of our project was to reduce women's poverty. We understand women's poverty as financial in that women are too often "money-poor" but we also see that women are what we call "time-poor" in that there are simply not enough hours in a day to do all the things that need to be done. Government policies and budgetary decisions can either alleviate or exacerbate this time crunch.
Our project examined both the expenditure/spending aspect of government budgets as well as the revenue/taxation aspect of budgets.
The objectives of our Gender Budget Project:
- Encourage the Manitoba Government to create a more gender responsive budget
- Promote women’s economic literacy especially in the area of budgets
- Encourage Manitoba women’s greater participation in the public budget process
- Raise public awareness as to how government budgetary decisions impact women’s economic equality
- Promote women’s economic security as articulated in the Beijing Platform for Action and numerous other United Nations documents on women’s equality
UNPAC used the following strategies to meeting the above objectives:
Education and Consultation
- Facilitate popular education workshops on gender budgets throughout Manitoba
- Consult with a diverse group of Manitoba women on their budget priorities through our popular education workshops, discussion groups, and through an on-line survey
- Create popular education resources to educate the general public on women’s economic equality and encourage women’s participation in the budget process
- Work with the media to promote the ideals of the gender budget concept more widely
- Liaise with local and national groups promoting similar projects
Communicating with Government
- Encourage the Province of Manitoba to implement gender analysis in the budget process
- Raise our voices on specific issues that pertain particularly
to women's economic equality such as housing, child care, and minimum
- In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba and other community organizations create a gender-sensitive 2006 Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget to use as a lobbying tool
- Encourage broad participation in the budget process
How we got started
Working in the area of gender budgets followed naturally from our previous work on Women & the Economy. We explored the idea of gender budget work through an April Fool’s Day 2004 Forum, a fun event with balloons, costumes, and lots of great ideas. The list of 129 Suggestions on a Gender Budget was presented to Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Selinger along with a letter encouraging him not to consider the budget balanced just because the numbers crunch but rather to consider equality of outcome. We also asked him to make the budget process more participatory and expressed our desire to work with him on this. Although our project is primarily funded through our federal government (through the department of the Status of Women), we are also grateful to our provincial government for their financial contribution to our work.
Working with other groups
We have enjoyed contact with groups working on similar projects around the world. We are happy to share our resources and learning and are eager to learn from others. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-772-7876 for further discussion.
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