Inspired by women's work on budgets taking place around the world, UNPAC did extensive work in the area of gender budgets between 2004 and 2008. 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 "time-poor" in that there are simply not enough hours in a day to do all the things that women are expected to do. 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 work were:
- To encourage the Manitoba Government to create a more gender responsive budget
- To promote women’s economic literacy especially in the area of budgets
- To encourage Manitoba women’s greater participation in the public budget process
- To raise public awareness as to how government budgetary decisions impact women’s economic equality
- To 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
- We facilitated popular education workshops with nearly 500 diverse women from 17 communities throughout Manitoba
- We consulted with a diverse group of Manitoba women on their budget priorities through our popular education workshops, discussion groups, and through an on-line survey
- We created popular education resources such as our Femme Fiscale superheroine postcard series, to educate the general public on women’s economic equality and encourage women’s participation in the budget process
- We work with the media to promote the ideals of the gender budget concept more widely
- We liaised with local and national groups promoting similar projects
Communication with Government
- We encouraged the Province of Manitoba to implement gender analysis in the budget process
- We raised our voices on specific issues that pertain particularly to women's economic equality such as housing, child care, and minimum wage
- In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba and other community organizations we created a gender-sensitive 2006 Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget to use as a lobbying tool
- We encouraged broad participation in the budget process
For a summary of women's budget priorities that we heard during our 46 workshops, visit Executive Summary.
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.
UNPAC’s Gender Budget Project was profiled at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver in June 2006 thanks to GROOTS Canada (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood). Check out the link for more info and some great photos…
To find out who was involved in our project visit Project Credits.
UNPAC initiated our Women and Economy project in May 2001 in response to the fact that, “There are considerable differences in women’s and men’s access to and opportunities to exert power over economic structures in their societies” (Beijing Platform for Action, 1995). The project worked to promote women’s economic literacy in Manitoba and beyond while making links between the global and local economic realities that women face. In June 2003 we launched our Women & Economy resources including the Women & Economy website, the 26-minute video "Banging the Door Down: Women and the Economy", and a two volume resource book based on the website. We continue to promote and distribute our resources.
To hear what others have to say about our project visit What the Critics are Saying.
To find out who was involved in our project visit Credits.