Trying to bring to the fore, gender and diversity equality
Birgit Buchinger, is a social researcher and organisation developer. She is the head of 'Solution, Sozialforschung & Entwicklung', which is located in Salzburg, Austria. This company is a think tank and consulting organisation conducting applied qualitative social research and organization development. Birgit Buchinger is a qualified gender and diversity expert, who has many years of experience in gender studies as well as in organisational development, as well as project evaluation.
She works for regional, national, and international clients. Her areas of work include the labour market, unions, health promotion for women, education and science, gender mainstreaming, and gender budgeting. She also lectures at various universities in Austria. She received several awards for her scientific work. Her latest award is the, ‘Award for Social Politics for the 21st Century’, from the Academia of Science in Austria. She has published many books, articles and studies.
Birgit says about herself: “I see my roots in the international feminist movement. I have been active in various feminist grassroots movements in societal and scientific contexts and have engaged myself in many interest groups dealing with women and gender issues in the provincial government and universities.”
Birgit on her vision to support others, in the future: “I see great potential in people and in structures. I am driven by wanting to make the world a better place. I am interested in people, their many-sided talents, skills and resources. I bring them to light and place them in the context of social structures. I find potential in many organisations and institutions which are trying to initiate changes in order to reach gender and diversity equality“.
Gender Budgeting in Austria
According to Art. 13 (3) of the Austrian Constitution, which has been in force since January 1, 2009, »[t]he federal state, the Länder, and the municipalities must aim at achieving the actual equality of women and men in budget processes.« Austria thereby became the first country to embed gender budgeting and make it legally binding for all public administrative bodies. This provision was introduced in the wake of a far reaching budget reform, the core element of which was the inclusion of outcome-oriented budget processes. In addition to the Article cited at the beginning, it was standardized under constitutional law that outcome-orientatedness - to be introduced by 2013 - must be applied “in particular with regard to the aim of the actual equality of women and men” (Art. 51(8) b-vg). In this way, Austria has imposed some exacting requirements on itself at constitutional level.
The integration of gender budgeting in public budgets is not only a matter of improving equality, but also represents – apart from the implementation of international commitments, including within the framework of the Beijing Platform for Action at the World Conference on Women 1995 – a contribution to good governance and the realization of accountability, as well as to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public finances, and to greater transparency and participation (Council of Europe 2005: 11f).