The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), an agriculture, trade and policy advocacy non-governmental organization (NGO), has urged government to enact laws that would formalise gender responsive budgeting at all sectors of the economy.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC, said governments needed to pass laws to mandate all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement gender responsive budgeting in their operations to ensure gender-equitable distribution of resources.
He said this at a policy dialogue on gender responsive budgeting, in Savelugu, in the Northern region.
The engagement brought together stakeholders from MDAs in the Savelugu Municipality, to share and discuss findings of a study jointly conducted in March 2020 by GTLC, SEND Ghana and OXFAM in Ghana on gender responsive budgeting in the country.
Mr Akalbila said the study revealed that, “There is currently no formalized law in place mandating gender responsive budgeting in Ghana, however, the need for gender responsive budgeting is explicitly mentioned multiple times in the National Gender Policy (2015).”
He therefore, indicated that “gender responsive budgeting efforts should be formalised at the organizational level and not be dependent on individuals or which political party or government is in power.
“This formalisation can be done by codifying gender responsive budgeting into law, as has been done in countries like Rwanda and Timore Leste.”
“As a country, if we want to have development devoid of inequalities and discrimination, we need to get our acts right and that means we need to plan adequately to include; all manner of persons to ensure that the budgets that we draw, take care of their needs to improve on their wellbeing,” he added.
He appealed to government to promote the use of participatory approaches in the budget process.
This, he added, would create space for all citizens to meaningfully engage and make their inputs to guarantee successful implementation of budgets.
Some of the participants called for review in the existing budget process at all levels including; national, regional and local.
This would help identify actions and accountability mechanisms needed to improve gender responsive budgeting implementation in Ghana.