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Northern Europe

Gender Budgets: The Experience of the UK Women’s Budget Group


Rake, Katherine. 2002. “Gender Budgets: The Experience of the UK Women’s Budget Group." Paper presented at conference on Gender Balance - Equal Finance, Basle, Switzerland.

Author: Katherine Rake



Drawing on the experience of the UK’s Women’s Budget Group (WBG), this paper starts by defining what a gender budget is, outlines the imperatives to conduct a gender budget and then proceeds to detail how such a budget may be constructed. It reflects upon the political, institutional and ideological transformations that are needed for such a process to be successful. Before embarking on the main body of the paper, however, some background on the work of the WBG is necessary.

The Women’s Budget Group has lobbied successive Governments on gender and economic policy since 1989. It is an independent organisation that brings together academics and people from non-governmental organisations and trades unions to promote gender equality through appropriate economic policy. The WBG has gained extensive access to policy-makers and now works most closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury (the UK’s Ministry of Finance). The annual Budget, and now the Pre-Budget Report, provide opportunities for the WBG to lobby Treasury on a range of social and economic issues. We also have a series of meetings throughout the year which may be focused on particular policy reforms, on issues of analysis and on ways that Treasury might use gender analysis to improve its economic policy making. For example, we have recently had meetings in which the Treasury’s model of the UK economy was scrutinised for gender blindness and we are currently meeting with Treasury to discuss how a gender perspective might be introduced in the planning of the next three years’ of Government expenditure. It should be noted that our independence from Government makes us rather unique in an international context where most gender budget initiatives are internal to Government. Although there are considerable advantages of having an independent body scrutinise policy for its gender effects, as discussed in section four below, there are limits to how far external organisations can go in conducting gender budgets. There is an irony also in the fact that most gender budget work in the UK is generated by the unpaid labour of feminist economists.

The work of the WBG is focussed at the national level, but it has links with a group that has a similar aim for Scotland, and with both NGOs and intergovernmental organisations that promote gender budgeting internationally. In short, our aims are to:

·         develop analysis and lead debate on the gender implications of economic policy, 
bearing in mind the multiple dimensions of women’s disadvantage;

·         expand understanding among policy makers and opinion formers of the gender 
implications of economic policy and give policy advice;

·         promote gender mainstreaming in economic policy making, presentation and 

·         work with other organisations to raise public awareness of gender equality issues in economic policy and the importance of assessing the effects of economic policy on women.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Budgeting Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2002

Gender Budgets Make More Cents: Country Studies and Good Practice


Budlender, Debbie, and Guy Hewitt. 2002. Gender Budgets Make More Cents: Country Studies and Good Practice. London, UK: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Authors: Debbie Budlender, Guy Hewitt


This Commonwealth Secretariat publication by Debbie Budlender and Guy Hewitt (2002), documents "good practice" in gender budget work from across the globe. Practitioners share their first-hand experiences and in-depth knowledge of the why, where and how of gender responsive budget (GRB) initiatives. They reflect on both the challenges and successes of initiatives in the Andean region, Australia, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Rwanda, Scotland, South Africa and the UK. A chapter on the Commonwealth Secretariat's involvement in developing and implementing GRB initiatives is also included to suggest the role that can be played by external agencies at the national, regional and international level.

This book builds on a previous publication, Gender Budgets Make Cents, which was designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of GRB initiatives. It described the conceptual framework, evolution of the work and lessons learned, and provided brief summaries of country initiatives. Together, these titles show the importance of integrating a gender perspective into budgetary policies to promote equality between women and men. 

(Abstract from UN Women)

Topics: Gender, Gender Budgeting Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom

Year: 2002

A movement stalled: outcomes of women’s campaign for equalities and inclusion in the Northern Ireland peace process


Cockburn, Cynthia. 2013. “A movement stalled: outcomes of women’s campaign for equalities and inclusion in the Northern Ireland peace process.” Interface 5 (1): 151-82.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn


The Good Friday Agreement signed in Belfast in April 1998, and the post-conflict constitution embodied in the ensuing Northern Ireland Act, differed in one important respect from most other peace accords. Thanks to the input of civil society, and particularly of the women’s voluntary, trade union and community sectors, the Agreement was not limited to a settlement between the belligerent parties. It envisioned a transformed society, rid of the inequities of a colonial past and reshaped according to principles of inclusion and human rights. The persuasiveness of this agenda lay in its promise to address the poverty, disadvantage and exclusion afflicting the working class of both Catholic and Protestant communities. This article draws on a re-interviewing in 2012 of feminist activists with whom the author engaged in a major project in the 1990s. It evaluates the extent to which the principles and policies for which their movement struggled have been enacted in Northern Ireland governance in the intervening decade and a half.

Keywords: post-conflict, civil society, women, human rights, working class, Catholic, Protestant, feminist activists

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Nonviolence, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2013

Contested Terrain: Oxfam, Gender, and the Aftermath of War


Williams, Suzanne. 2001. “Contested Terrain: Oxfam, Gender, and the Aftermath of War.” Gender and Development 9 (3): 19-28.

Author: Suzanne Williams


In this paper I explore the terrain of the international NGO (INGO) - in this case Oxfam GB - and some of its difficulties in integrating gender equity goals in the institutional structures and policies which govern its activities in conflict and its aftermath. I look at terrain that is divided into areas that are treated very differently. These are, on one hand, the field of humanitarian interventions in the throes of an emergency, and on the other, the 'non-conflict' field of reconstruction and development. Historically, these two fields of activity have been governed by very different ways of thinking and acting, often in conflict with each other. Gender analysis and gender-sensitive programming are central to these differences, and essential tools in the attempts to overcome them. In Oxfam GB at present, the differences in approaches to gender equity in these two territories are acknowledged, if not routinely addressed; but the importance of addressing gender equity in order to overcome some of these differences, is more complicated and controversial.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, NGOs Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, United Kingdom

Year: 2001

Women, Peace, Security, and the National Action Plans


Fritz, Jan Marie, Sharon Doering, and F. Belgin Gumru. 2011. “‘Women, Peace, Security, and the National Action Plans.” Journal of Applied Social Science 5 (1): 1-23.

Authors: Jan Marie Fritz, Sharon Doering, F. Belgin Gumru


Twenty criteria are used to analyze sixteen national action plans that focus on women, peace, and security. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, a base for the national plans, highlights the terrible consequences of violent conflict on women and girls as well as the important role of women in all peacebuilding processes. Suggestions are made for those developing or revising plans and include addressing the relevant points from four UN Security Council resolutions (1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889); specifying all processes and timelines; and including civil society participation in all phases of a plan's development; implementation, and assessment.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889 Regions: Africa, West Africa, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Côte D'Ivoire, Denmark, Finland, Liberia, United Kingdom

Year: 2011

Nordic Exceptionalism and Gendered Peacekeeping: The Case of Iceland


Loftsdóttir, Kristín, and Helga Björnsdóttir. 2015. “Nordic Exceptionalism and Gendered Peacekeeping: The Case of Iceland.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (2): 208–22. doi:10.1177/1350506814543839.

Authors: Kristín Loftsdóttir, Helga Björnsdóttir


The Nordic countries have been major contributors to peacekeeping, often seen as particularly well suited due to their lack of ties to colonialism and supposedly peaceful nature. The article critically addresses this idea in relation to how gender equality has been conceptualized in peacekeeping taking as an example Icelandic peacekeeping. Iceland’s recent engagement in peacekeeping has strongly emphasized gender issues but has lacked an engagement with issues of power and domination and thus reflects a particular idea of ‘Nordic exceptionalism’. The authors emphasize in their discussion the need to maintain critical feminist perspectives that take diverse relations of power into account.

Keywords: exceptionalism, gender, Iceland, peacekeeping, racism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacekeeping, Race Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Iceland

Year: 2015

Between Manliness and Masculinity: The “War Generation” and the Psychology of Fear in Britain, 1914-1950


Roper, Michael. 2005. “Between Manliness and Masculinity: The “War Generation” and the Psychology of Fear in Britain, 1914-1950.” Journal of British Studies 44 (2): 343-62.

Author: Michael Roper

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, PTSD Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2005

Challenging Imperial Feminism


Amos, Valerie and Pratibha Parmar. 2005. “Challenging Imperial Feminism.” Feminist Review 80: 44-63.

Authors: Valerie Amos, Pratibha Parmar

Keywords: gender, feminism, imperialism, sexuality

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Race, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2005

Trafficking — a Demand Led Problem?


Anderson, Bridget, and Julia O’Connell Davidson. 2003. Trafficking — a Demand Led Problem?. 15. IOM Migration Research Series. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Authors: Bridget Anderson, Julia O’Connell Davidson


The 2001 ASEM Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children stressed the need to encourage research on the demand for the most common forms of exploitation of trafficked women and children, in particular for commercial sex services, and recommended a multi-country study into the demand side of trafficking as one of its follow-up actions.

In response to this recommendation, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SLDA and Save the Children Sweden, commissioned this pilot research study on the demand underlying two sectors where labour/services of trafficked persons are known to be subject to exploitation: prostitution and domestic work. This report sets out some of the findings of the pilot study and ongoing research concerning employer demand for domestic workers in private households, and consumer demand for commercial sexual services in selected European and Asian countries.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Households, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Southern Europe Countries: India, Italy, Sweden, Thailand

Year: 2003

Forced Marriage as a Harm in Domestic and International Law


Dauvergne, Catherine, and Jenni Millbank. 2010. “Forced Marriage as a Harm in Domestic and International Law.” The Modern Law Review 73 (1): 57–88.

Authors: Catherine Dauvergne, Jenni Millbank


This article reports on our analysis of 120 refugee cases from Australia, Canada, and Britain where an actual or threatened forced marriage was part of the claim for protection. We found that forced marriage was rarely considered by refugee decision makers to be a harm in and of itself. This finding contributes to understanding how gender and sexuality are analysed within refugee law, because the harm of forced marriage is experienced differently by lesbians, gay men and heterosexual women. We contrast our findings in the refugee case law with domestic initiatives in Europe aimed at protecting nationals from forced marriages both within Europe and elsewhere. We pay particular attention to British initiatives because they are in many ways the most far-reaching and innovative, and thus the contrast with the response of British refugee law is all the more stark.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, International Law, Sexual Violence, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom

Year: 2010


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