Engendering Government Budgets in the Context of Globalization(s)


Elson, Diane. 2004. “Engendering Government Budgets in the Context of Globalization(s).” International Feminist Journal of Politics 6(4): 623-42.

Author: Diane Elson


This article considers the strengths and weaknesses of attempts to ‘engender’ government budgets in the context of globalization, drawing on my own personal engagement in such attempts, and on the work of many gender budget initiatives (GBIs) all around the world. GBIs have sought to improve the distribution, adequacy and impact of government budgets at national, regional and local levels; and to secure greater transparency in the use of public money; and greater accountability to women as citizens. Their spread has itself been an example of globalization, in this case the globalization of action for gender justice; facilitated by e-mail, the Internet and air travel; supported by international foundations and international development cooperation funds. But, it may be argued, GBIs have begun to engage with government budgets just at the time when governments, especially in the South, have less and less control over public finance decisions, due to other aspects of globalization. This article considers whether there is any point in GBIs if economic power lies in international markets, rather than in the Ministry of Finance, and draws on examples from a wide variety of countries.


Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Gender Budgeting, Globalization

Year: 2004

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