Declaration of the Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Summit

Declaration of the Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Summit held on 29 and 30 November 2018 at the Birchwood Hotel, Gauteng


We, the delegates gathered at this Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Summit from 29-30 November 2018 held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Boksburg, Gauteng, comprising representatives from various government departments, provinces and public sector entities; the Commission for Gender Equality, NGOs and civil society in South Africa, both women and men, young and old, from urban, rural areas; from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda; as well as International Development Partners, especially UN Women.

Noting that:

1. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms by people of all genders and the realisation of a non-sexist society.
2. Despite the notable strides made in women’s empowerment and gender equality in the country since the advent of democracy in 1994, the majority of women and girls still suffer from multi-dimensional poverty, inequality and discrimination on the basis of sex and gender; multiple social problems such as gender-based violence and violence against women and girls, the high unemployment rate of women, especially young women, and the increasing feminization of poverty;

3. While women’s representation and participation in political, decision-making and leadership levels has demonstrably increased across the different sectors of the social fabric of South African life, it has not fundamentally resulted in transformation for women and girls in the country, and they continue to face political, social and economic exclusion;
4. Patriarchy, its practices and habits, remain entrenched in society and manifests itself in various and ever changing forms;
5. Although all women in South Africa experience gender discrimination, sexism; patriarchy, and institutionalised inequality, women do not comprise a homogenous group, and the deprivation and lived experiences of discrimination they face is also based on race, class, creed, religion, sexual orientation, geo-spatial location, among other dimensions;
6. Women’s exclusion from the mainstream economy and lack of access to economic opportunities is underpinned by unequal ownership, access, control and management of productive resources including land, water and energy and finances;
7. Women’s unequal burden of unpaid care work and household responsibilities;
8.  The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995 emphasized the need for political commitment to make available human and financial resources for the empowerment of women and that funding had to be identified and mobilized from all sources and across all sectors to achieve the goals of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and its General Recommendations, states that States have primary responsibility for promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and that gender mainstreaming and national machineries are necessary and play a critical role in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
9. The UN CSW 52nd Session, March 2008 (Agreed Conclusions) on “Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women” urges Member States to ensure that public finance includes the process of gender responsive budgeting.
10. Sustainable Development Goal 5 particularly addresses the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. The Outcome Document adopted in 2015 noted that there is a need to significantly increase investments for gender equality and track public allocations for gender equality. Target 5.c in SGD 5 calls for the adoption and strengthening of sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels. Indicator 5.c.1 specifically measures the percentage of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the financing framework for the SDGs, emphasises the importance of gender responsive planning and budgeting for achieving national gender equality objectives.
11. The African Union (AU) Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004) and the Optional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003), known as the African Women’s Protocol, reinforces the articles outlined in CEDAW and the principles underpinning the Beijing Platform for Action on the need for adequate and appropriate funding for achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality in AU member states. Article 19 on the Right to Sustainable Development states that:“Women shall have the right to fully enjoy their right to sustainable development. In this connection, the States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to introduce the gender perspective in the national development planning procedures”.
12. The SADC Gender and Development Protocol explicitly calls for gender responsive budgeting. Article 15 on Economic Policies and Decision Making in the Protocol, section 2, calls on State Parties to: “..ensure gender sensitive and responsive budgeting at the micro and macro levels, including tracking, monitoring and evaluation.”
Acknowledging that:
13. Gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and gender auditing is a critical country intervention to improve the quality of life of women and girls in South Africa.
14. The ultimate goal of gender budgeting is the achievement of gender equality and equity and the achievement of our constitutional vision of a non-sexist society.
15. Research has shown that investment in women’s empowerment and gender equality not only benefits women and girls but also stimulates inclusive economic growth and development in general.
16. South Africa has a well-developed government-wide planning, monitoring and evaluation and auditing systems as well as public finance and budgeting systems.

17. Gender responsive budgets are not necessarily separate budgets for women, but instead mainstream budgets that are planned, approved, executed, monitored and audited in a gender-sensitive way.

18. Previous efforts to implement gender-responsive budgeting in South Africa were not sustained as they were not sufficiently institutionalised across the state machinery, institutions of democracy and legislation.

19. The key role players in driving gender-responsive planning and budgeting include centre of government departments – the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and the Department of Women in the Presidency and the National Treasury.  However, all government Departments and public entities at national, provincial and local level have a responsibility to implement GRPB.

20. Parliament and legislatures have a central role to play in ensuring government is accountable for the implementation of gender-responsive planning and budgeting and the achievement of better outcomes for women and girls and gender equality.

21. Chapter 9 institutions, particularly the Commission for Gender Equality, has a key role to play in holding public and private institutions accountable for gender equality results.

22. Civil society, community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations have a direct interest in and an important role to play in gender-responsive planning and budgeting systems.    
 Remain concerned that:

23. Although the gap between policy commitments at the national level and action on the ground is well recognized, there has been limited resource allocations to close the gaps in support of commitments to advance women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality.

24. Despite the mounting body of evidence demonstrating that promotion of gender equality is a development driver, most government planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation instruments remain largely gender blind and public sector expenditures have not systematically addressed gender equality concerns.

25. Inadequate efforts have been made to integrate gender perspectives into the national budget and planning processes in order to better align policy commitments on gender equality with resource allocations.  Only 7% of indicators in the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) are gender responsive.

26. The lack of gender mainstreaming within planning, monitoring and evaluation and budgeting processes results in a lack of credible gender data to inform evidence-based performance and expenditure reviews.

27. These weaknesses result in insufficient resource allocations to support policies and programmes that promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.  This includes under-funding of interventions to eradicate the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa.

We therefore commit ourselves to the following:

28. Ensure the development and implementation of a Gender-Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring, Evaluation and Auditing Framework in South Africa.

29. Urge all government Departments and public entities at national, provincial and local level to
a.   Institutionalise gender-responsive planning and budgeting systems, including within the Mandate Paper, Medium Term Strategic Plan, Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and Budgets.
b. Develop and implement gender-responsive monitoring, reporting and evaluation systems including regular performance and expenditure reviews on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

30.  Urge parliament and provincial legislatures to include performance and expenditure on women’s empowerment and gender equality within their oversight functions, including at the level of oversight committees.

31. Continue to lobby for increased public investment in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, taking into account the diversity of needs and circumstances of women and girls and ensuring the necessary human, financial and material resources for specific and targeted activities to ensure gender equality.

32. Integrate a gender perspective into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and reporting of all national policies, strategies and plans, in a coordinated manner across all policy areas and across sectors and spheres of government.

33. Ensure gender mainstreaming across public sector systems, including within the Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) and induction programmes and through the rollout of capacity building on gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive planning and budgeting through the National School of Government.  

34. Strengthen the capacity of the Department of Women in the Presidency to effectively lead, coordinate and monitor the implementation of the GRPMBEA and performance on women’s empowerment and gender equality.

35. Develop and implement a Country Gender Indicator Framework linked to global, continental, regional, national and sectoral policy frameworks for integration within planning, budgeting and monitoring instruments.

36. Improve, systematize and fund the collection, analysis and dissemination of sex-disaggregated and gender-related data, including data disaggregated by age and other factors and develop the necessary input, output and outcome indicators at all levels to measure progress on women’s empowerment and gender equality, including through the national statistical system administered by Statistics South Africa.

37. Ensuring that the voices of women and girls underpin gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and auditing systems across sectors and spheres of government.

38.   Join hands as government and civil society towards the realisation of our constitutional vision of a non-racial and non-sexist society in South Africa.

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