Gender Responsive Budgeting Përmet-Këlcyra Municipalities

Milieukontakt Albania with support of UN Women Albania during December 2015 has developed several meetings with inhabitants of Përmet and Këlcyra municipalities on planning and gender responsive budgeting (GRB). These meetings were expanded in all new territories of both municipalities aiming to cover urban and rural areas such as Municipality of Përmet, Administrative Unit of Carshovë, Administrative Unit of Piskovë; Municipality of Këlcyra and Administrative Unit of Ballaban. Active engagement and involvement of public was one of the indicators that Milieukontakt wanted to reach through these meetings. Gender view has a place and should be reflected in the 2016 budget in both municipalities as a necessity not only of men but also of women to represent their ideas into projects that the municipality carries out.

The meetings took place not only with municipal staff, but also with various groups: young people (high school students), women, third age group, reeves and inhabitants. One of the reasons in meeting with various stakeholders was to get as many ideas, thoughts and the needs to be addressed to the respective municipalities. Inhabitants were very welcoming and willing to discuss the management of services provided in the area they live. A large part of the villages, where the meetings were held, for many years felt the lack of investment. Although the focus of the discussion was gender budgeting, people expressed their social and economic problems as a need to share with other people and to find solutions. Majority of the needs in the area were mainly infrastructure investments followed by the employment for both women and men and the lack of social and cultural activities. All needs addressed by inhabitants, especially women and children are recorded and will be presented to the respective municipalities together with a detailed gender analysis of the services. Awareness of citizens to be part of the decision making is a very good motive but often remains on the willingness of municipal employees whether these needs will be taken into consideration in next year's budget or will remain just written on paper.

UN Women will provide training for specialists and councilors of municipalities on gender budgeting and gender statistics. Trainings will be followed by on job counseling for responsible staff for services in the municipality to develop gender indicators as part of municipal development programs. Staff of municipalities (in an integrated manner) will be assisted to develop formats and procedures to facilitate their work in creating a good database disaggregated by gender, in fulfillment of the request and standards of the central government and indirectly in providing better and equal service for women and men.

Gender responsive budgeting is a relatively new tool for gender mainstreaming in municipal budgets. It enables drafting and implementation of policies to take into account the views of women and men and different obstacles they face, and at the same time creating more effective programs for spending public funds on an equal basis.

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