Tamil Nadu bats for women-centric policies through gender budgets in all depts

The gender budget, which will be formed out of the existing budget cell, will examine a department’s biggest policies and analyse them through the perspective of gender.
Government staff working in an office
Government staff working in an office
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Each department in the Tamil Nadu government will, going forward, have a gender budget, officials said on Sunday, September 18. The Government Order (GO), with the necessary guidelines, has been released by the Department of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment. State Minister for Social Welfare and Women Rights P Geetha Jeevan had earlier made an announcement in the regard in the state Assembly.

According to a report by The Hindu, the GO’s guidelines state that gender budgeting means looking at developing, implementing and reviewing any policy or programme through the perspective of gender. Going by the guidelines, all the new schemes announced in Tamil Nadu will be passed through a checklist, and categorise them under four categories — namely gender transformative, responsive, neutral or blind. All the schemes and policies from the year 2022-23 will be analysed through a gender perspective, The Hindu reported.

A gender cell will be formed from a couple of staff members from the existing budget cell, who will then identify upto six of the biggest programmes in place in the state, with regards to budget allocation. Following this, an analysis will be conducted by the gender cell about the gender issues addressed by the programmes. While programmes and policies categorised under the “gender blind” category shall be rejected, those falling under the gender neutral category will be modified.

The gender cell is also tasked to collect periodic data, in order to measure the impact of the programmes, and suggest policy interventions for the same. The cell will also be organising capacity-building workshops for government officials.

Further, the report mentions that it will be the gender budget cell that will be undertaking special initiatives to make sure that women have better access to services and that they shall remain active participants in any decision-making process.

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