Congress Resolution on Gender Budgeting

27 July 2007

The 29th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, meeting July 21-27, 2007 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia 

Recognizes that: 

1. Budgeting is not just a financial exercise; it is a method of planning, priority setting and decision making that has consequences for people and their environment; 

2. Gender budgeting is a tool that takes into account the needs of women and men in their different social and economic positions and therefore helps determine how the prioritisation, allocation and spending of resources can contribute to achieving equality between women and men.

Emphasizes that: 

1. Progress toward gender equality is slow, due in part due to the failure of governments to attach financial resources to policy commitments; 

2. By signing and ratifying the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and agreeing to the 1995 Platform for Action of Beijing, countries have committed themselves to implement gender mainstreaming in ALL of their policies; 

3. Gender budgeting is a powerful tool for gender mainstreaming because all policies require human and economic resources in order to be implemented. 

Condemns 

1. The allocation and spending of billions of dollars/euros to the military, which distorts the economy and prevents economic justice, equality and human security; 

2. The recent enormous increase in military spending due to the so-called ‘global war on terror’, which has taken military spending to an unprecedented level of US$ 1,204 billion in 2006. 

3. That defence budgets are non-transparent and non-accountable and have disproportionately high spending. 

Therefore, WILPF urges all governments, 

1. To reveal the current level of military expenditure by annual participation in the UN’s international standardized reporting of military expenditures, established under UN General Assembly Resolution 46/25 

2. To dramatically reduce military spending and reallocate these resources to tackling the real daily threats to human security such as climate change, poverty, hunger, overpopulation, organised crime, gender-based violence, and trafficking in drugs, people and arms. 

3. To apply gender budgeting in ALL national, regional and local budget lines in order to implement international obligations. 

4. To allocate financial resources for implanting gender budgeting, including training civil servants and financial decision-makers in gender budgeting.