High Level Workshop on Gender Equality in Budgeting Launched in Erbil
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched on Monday, at Shahid Saad Abdullah Conference Centre in Erbil, a three-day high-level workshop on gender sensitive budgeting.
The workshop is part of the activities implemented under the UNDP Local Area Development Programme (LADP), a project funded by the European Union (EU).
Organized in cooperation with UN Women, the workshop aims at building capacity and providing technical assistance to selected Governorates of Iraq to adopt gender sensitive budgeting and planning process.
In his opening remarks, Minister of Planning of the Federal Government of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Salman Al Jumaili, stated: “Increased community participation, decentralization in managing development and coordination between the Governorates and the Federal Government are crucial for overall area development, planning and implementation.”
Flagging key highlights of LADP’s phase II, Mr. Al Jumaili added: ”The project aims at capacity building in governorate planning, in addition to contracts and procurement processes, emphasizing on local expertise, vulnerable groups, youth and women. We hope to direct activities towards the empowerment of women in rural areas, specifically family keepers.”
“We are here not just to learn more procedures or techniques, but also to learn how to invest in women and girls, for gender equality and women empowerment. In doing so, we are also investing for the future of the Kurdish Region and Iraq,” said Minister of Planning of Kurdistan Regional Government, H.E. Mr. Ali Sindi.
“In the context of the current situation in Iraq, the budget lies at the very core of good governance and policy-making; fair and efficient sharing of the budget facilitates women’s participation and benefit development.”
In turn, Minister of State for Women Affairs of the Federal Government of Iraq, H.E. Mrs. Bayan Nouri Tawfeeq, said: “We have to attempt to make budgets responsive to the needs and objectives of human rights and development. Gender sensitive budgets make transparency and accountability easier.”
In the same context, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq, H.E. Ambassador Jana Hybaskova, noted that “providing equal opportunities for women in all governorates is crucial, otherwise there will be no peace and stability in Iraq. Women representation in all offices, including in budget committees, should be no less than 30%.”
UNDP Country Director Mr. Adam Abdelmoula commended the EU, as a partner of crucial and vital importance and LADP as one of the many success stories to come. He further elaborated: “Gender equality and the empowerment of women are at the heart of UNDP’s development mandate.
First and foremost, gender equality is a matter of human rights and a driver of development progress. Unless women and girls are able to fully realize their rights in all spheres of life, human development will not be advanced.”
Among the issues on the workshop agenda are women offices and structural challenges, gender sensitive budget and human rights, criteria and strategic framework for gender equality before and post 2015.
The workshop will conclude on 26 August with recommendations that would help improve the gender equality environment and employment into local development and service delivery in Iraq.
(Budget image via Shutterstock)