While there will be many long-lasting impacts of the pandemic –the impact on gender equality is particularly troubling. 

Long pipelines over the ocean stretching into the distance

Key findings

Women have fallen out of the paid economy at faster rates than men – partly because they had to shoulder more unpaid care responsibilities and because they work in sectors more vulnerable to disruption.

Rates of domestic violence are on the rise and UN Women predicts that 47 million more women will fall into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic. 

A targeted solution 

Incorporating gender-responsive budgeting into economic recovery packages can help identify the gendered impacts of the pandemic so we can mitigate or rectify them with targeted policies and budgets.

First it requires assessing the socio-economic situation of men and women so that policymakers can develop policies and allocate resources suitable for their differing needs.

It also plays a key role in the auditing and evaluation stage, understanding the impacts of policies and budgets on men and women so they can be improved upon for the next cycle. 

However, gender-responsive budgeting is not solely a technical process of resource allocation and policy design, it is a set of decisions at the highest-level about how spending should be prioritised.

Based on new evidence of a widening global gender equality gap, ACCA has produced guidance for the public finance profession on how to use gender-responsive budgeting to ensure that the economic recovery accounts for the different needs of men and women. 

The project was informed largely from interviews carried out with 15 gender-responsive budgeting experts from around the world.

Gender responsive budgeting video

A video illustration demonstrating the gendered differences of the impact of covid-19 and the need for gender responsive budgeting

An important role for the public finance profession

Our short video, policy brief and slide deck demonstrate why we need gender-responsive budgeting, how to implement it and the role of the public finance profession in promoting and employing this tool.

While the pandemic has had devastating impacts on lives and livelihoods, it presents an opportunity to be more forward-looking in our response and recovery, to build back with more resilience together with a greater focus on reducing inequalities.

The public finance profession can, and should, play a central role in this approach by employing techniques associated with inclusive budgeting, such as gender-responsive budgeting, which is just one of the many tools that can help every country build back with a central focus on inclusivity and sustainability.

Note: The binary terms used in the project - women and men - reflect the way governments collect official data on sex but ACCA understands these terms to be inclusive of all who identify as male, female or non-binary.