Parliament House, Islamabad – Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) organized a two-day workshop with the support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) on “Gender Budgeting” for WPC members and parliamentarians. Secretary WPC, Ms. Shahida Rehmani MNA, welcomed the members, parliamentarians, and experts on the said workshop and shared the distinguished performance of WPC in the House business, especially in budget sessions. Head of the Asia-Pacific Department of FES, Mr. Mirco Gunther also put forward his introductory remarks and shed light on the importance of gender inclusivity and the efficacy of taking human rights-based approaches in budget formation and allocation stages.
1st November 2022: Day.01 of the workshop was designated to a detailed briefing session on the budget-making process in Pakistan and the role of parliamentarians and legislators in critically evaluating gender inclusivity in grants’ allocation to specific sectors as in the development sector, health sector and education sector. Two distinguished trainers and experts Ms. Marion Boker and Ms. Elisabeth Klatzer briefed the members on international best practices on the inclusion of gender-centric approaches in national budgets and Pakistan’s international commitments on similar subjects. In continuation of this briefing, parliamentarians discussed key challenges they face in reviewing certain allocations and possible solutions to make such grants more gender inclusive. Day 1 was closed with a question-answer session.
2nd November 2022: Day 2 of the workshop was more focused on the “Hearing on Gender Budgeting: Experience with Implementation and Perspectives Future Work.” During day two the Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha joined the workshop along with other stakeholders including the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and representatives from civil society and academia. State Minister, Dr. Aisha stressed that every fiscal year budget needs to primarily focus on the education, healthcare, employment, and skill set training of common citizens, especially women. Secondly, each year’s budget should be evaluated with an impact framework as in how much impact it is going to make in terms of effective and efficient allocations.
Furthermore, other stakeholders discussed different socio-economic and political instances that prevent a reasonable and equitable investment of development funds. The subject specialists and trainers also participated and commented on different socio-economic and political practices with an aim to integrate and inculcate equity, equality, and inclusion principles in the national and provincial budgets. The two-day workshop was closed with the firm support of WPC to make the upcoming budget more gender-inclusive by ensuring the participation of members of WPC and parliamentarians in the decision-making process.