Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Latin America and the Caribbean

What are Gender Responsive Budgets?


Public budgets are a government’s most important economic and social public policy instruments, as well as a reflection of its priorities in terms of the well-being of a population, the development of a country, and its real commitment to the human rights of men and women.

For a long time, budgets were seen as “gender-neutral”. However, given the roles assumed by men and women in society, the economy, households, communities, and power or decision‑making spheres, government actions can never be neutral. Budgets also have differentiated impacts on men and women, both directly (through revenue collection and distribution of public expenditure) and indirectly (due to their impacts on employment, inflation, economic growth, or the redistribution of time dedicated to social reproduction, among others), and contribute to exacerbating or overcoming inequalities.

Gender-Responsive Budgets, more commonly known in Latin America as Gender-Sensitive Budgets (GSBs), emerged as initiatives for the analysis and transformation of public budgets to ensure public revenue and expenditures recognize their differentiated impacts on men and women and generate changes in the collection and distribution of public resources to achieve positive impacts in the area of gender equality.


Thus, Gender-Responsive Budgeting is a great tool to advance gender equality and the realization of women’s rights, since it allows for:

Gender Responsive Budgets are also the result of a global commitment made by UN member states as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which measures, through indicator 5.c.1, efforts made by governments to follow up on and identify gender-responsive budget allocations through the public finance management cycle, in addition to making that information fully transparent.

A little history

The first Gender Responsive Budgeting experience in Latin America took place in Mexico in 1997, when the Commission on Gender Equity of the Chamber of Deputies created an “Earmarked Federal Budget” subcommission.

In 2000, the Office for the Andean Region of the former UNIFEM (currently UN Women), as part of its Economic and Social Rights Programme, began promoting the creation of multidisciplinary teams with the participation of experts in the areas of gender and public finance. These teams received training on different methodologies developed in Australia and South Africa that they were able to apply, one year later, in the analysis of budgets in several municipalities of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.


In 2005, UNIFEM/UN Women launched a regional programme for Latin America and began sharing different experiences in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Uruguay, and Venezuela.  Ever since then, GRB initiatives have been expanded to other parts of the region.

Today, 25 years later, we can affirm that Gender Responsive Budgets are present in the majority of countries in the Latin American region and have resulted in a body of experience and knowledge we want to share through this website.

All Rights Reserved UN Women – 2024 | Terms of use | Privacy