By G9ija

The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA) and 100 Women Lobby Group (100WLG), an NGO on Wednesday advocated for increased gender response in budgeting to promote awareness, equity and equality in a gender-sensitive way.

Mrs Felicia Onibun, National Coordinator, 100WLG, at a workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting Framework for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Abuja said the event aimed at teaching gender desk officers on gender mainstreaming, gender responsive budgeting, amongst others.

Onibun, represented by Irene Ugbah stressed the need for gender budgeting, which should be all inclusive and capture women, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and all vulnerable people.

”Gone are the days of just making general budgeting, we need to look at those key things that women need and other vulnerable groups needs to be able to achieve their goals.

” So, the outcome basically is to ensure that they are equipped with the right tools, resources to be able to achieve this particular project.

“Budgeting for gender response is important because women’s needs are different from men’s needs. What a woman needs to achieve her goal is different from what a man needs.

“And, in order to achieve equity and equality, we must take those things into cognisance. So, what a woman needs to achieve her goals is totally different from what a man needs, and it should be captured in the budget,” she said.

According to her, the women group lobbies, encourage women to participate in politics and trains political parties on giving more space to women to participate in political space.

Also, Mrs Adetayo Erinle, Board member, 100WLG, said the increased gender budgeting would aide in addressing discrimination, biasnesses and other forms of violence against women and children.

On his part, Mr Edo Ekata, Gender Unit, FMWA, said advocacy and capacity building was critical to gender mainstreaming, inclusiveness and equity.

“Trainings are channels to communicate to management and each government have their priority, but it is our job to try to make the government through channels like this to make gender budgeting a priority.

“We must keep building our capacity to keep advocacy for gender response budgeting,” he said.

Ms Ijeoma Echeruo, Gender and Development Consultant, stressed the need for political will on gender responsive budgeting to end GBV and improve nation’s economy.

“Unless we have the political will to accept the fact and understand how women are relevant to economic growth, we miss the opportunity to incorporate gender into our budgeting processes.

“Unless we do that we miss the opportunity to grow the economy and make sectors open to women, who are over 50 per cent population.

” Having allocation for GBV is not really the whole point, because it is just going to do certain specific things but you just have to look at what the issues that creates that situation of violence and address it.

” Sometimes you will find that those situations rise out of neglecting to incorporate women and look at the reasons why they are at the other side of the violence,” she said.

Ms Josephine Erhagbowa, a participant from the Gender Desk Unit, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said the concept of gender mainstreaming aim at reducing disparities by focusing on equality or inequity.