Why is gender budgeting important in the EU Funds?

Gender budgeting is necessary for achieving the EU’s objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion. At the EU level, there is both a legal and a policy base for gender budgeting (see Tool 1). It also leads to economic gains.

Studies clearly show a link between greater gender equality and increased growth and employment.

“The evidence confirms that improvements to gender equality would generate up to 10.5 million additional jobs by 2050 and the EU employment rate would reach almost 80 %. EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita would also be positively affected and could increase up to nearly 10 % by 2050.”[1] Reducing inequalities in labour market activities, pay and education especially will spur such growth and job creation.

Fully applying a gender budgeting approach by mainstreaming gender perspectives throughout EU Funds cycles will ensure that:

  • EU Funds implementation is of higher quality, reaching both women and men in all their diversity;
  • the EU Funds’ objectives are reached more effectively, because gender budgeting contributes to better planning, implementing and monitoring, while ensuring that inequalities are not perpetuated;
  • we advance gender equality – a basic human right;
  • economic resource allocations benefit both women and men in all their diversity;
  • EU Funds projects are enhanced through better targeting and more effective achievement of overall goals and objectives.

As we’ve seen in this toolkit, gender equality is a recognised fundamental right – a core value and aim of the EU. Equality between women and men is enshrined in the founding Treaty of the European Union. The European Pact for Gender Equality and the European Pillar of Social Rights both enshrine gender equality and better work-life balance as key elements that must be integrated in the EU Funds. All of these commitments strengthen the basis for gender budgeting, as do key international commitments, running the gamut from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights[2] and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Not only is gender equality a standalone global goal in its own right (SDG 5) and a cross-cutting element of all 17 SDGs, the SDG framework also includes a specific indicator on gender budgeting (indicator 5.C.1).[3]

See Tool 1 for more on the EU Funds’ regulatory framework and its emphasis on considering gender equality.