National development plans and strategies identify development priorities and articulate how these will be implemented, financed and monitored. Often, gender equality commitments are not adequately considered or included during the design, implementation and financing stages of planning. Despite efforts to formulate national action plans for gender equality and sectoral gender strategies, these are rarely integrated in national development priority setting and plans. Implementing gender equality commitments requires governments to take a series of actions including formulating policies that remove gender-based discrimination and guarantee women’s rights. Such actions require financial resources, institutional capacity and accountability systems that should be integrated in national plans and budgets in order to enable implementation.
Ministries of Finance have the mandate to set up public finance management systems, define budget ceilings and ensure sound macro-economic frameworks. Gender analysis supports ministries of finance to make better budget choices by highlighting existing gender gaps and the impact of public expenditures and revenue-raising on women and girls.
UN Women supports efforts to mainstream gender in national development plans and strategies as well as sectoral strategies through the provision of technical support to national partners. To illustrate, a total of 43 countries developed gender-responsive national development plans and sectoral plans as a result of UN Women support. Initiatives are also underway to influence national budgetary frameworks and laws especially in the context of ongoing public financial management reform. This involves working closely with civil society organizations, especially women’s groups, to monitor government policy, planning and allocations for budget transparency.