The full and equitable inclusion of women in all stages of decision-making is critical for effective oversight and implementation of gender equality commitments. For women, meaningful inclusion requires capacity, open spaces to engage and influence policy dialogue, transparent and accessible information, and recourse mechanisms. These conditions are also necessary for the engagement of gender advocates in policy formulation and implementation. The active participation, voice and influence of gender advocates, civil society and national mechanisms on gender equality in decisions and policy-making ensures that services are more demand-driven and more effectively targeted and financed.

UN Women provides comprehensive support to women’s organizations, gender advocates and national women’s machinery to strengthen their essential role in national policy and planning processes. This includes technical support for their full engagement in formulating national policies and plans and in monitoring governments for effective implementation of gender equality priorities. UN Women also supports civil society organizations to develop social accountability and monitoring tools such as budget and expenditure tracking systems, which provide evidence for policy advocacy. These efforts have led to increased visibility of women’s voice and influence in decision-making and policy formulation at both national and local level. 

CSOs in Serbia demand for gender responsive local plans and budgets

Women-led CSOs play a crucial role in gender responsive budgeting processes. The Association Fenomena (CSO) in Serbia led an initiative to demand better service delivery for women and girls in selected municipalities and towns. The CSO worked with eight women’s organisations from seven towns/municipalities to influence local budgets and plans in a wide range of sectors that affect women's lives. Analysis of municipal budgets was conducted to assess whether women and men benefitted equally from budget allocations.

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Key Resources

Watering the Leaves, Starving the Roots. Association For Women's Rights in Development AWID

The publication produced by AWID provides the latest analysis on the funding trends impacting women’s rights organizing and the financial status of women’s organizations around the world. Based on a survey of over 1,100 women’s organizations in every region of the world, the report helps make sense of the rapidly changing funding landscape and makes recommendations for how to mobilize more and better resources for women’s rights organizing through a feminist collective resource mobilization...

Budgeting for Women's Rights: Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW

The report, authored by Professor Diane Elson, a leading feminist economist, makes a significant contribution to the advocacy work on the transparency of budgets. It provides arguments for increasing the accountability of government budgets to women's rights.

Gender in Local Planning’. Guidebook for civil society organizations  

The manual is addressed to representatives of civil society and aimed at increasing their participation in the development of local development...