Women, Substantive Equality, and Fiscal Policy: Gender-Based Analysis of Taxes, Benefits, and Budgets

Citation:

Lahey, Kathleen A. 2010. “Women, Substantive Equality, and Fiscal Policy: Gender-Based Analysis of Taxes, Benefits, and Budgets.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 22 (1): 27-106.

 

Author: Kathleen Lahey

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
One of the most pronounced socio-legal characteristics of women is their persistent economic inequality throughout life, when compared with men. Despite decades of agitation for fairness in taxation, state benefit programs, and government budgetary allocations,fiscal policies continue to do little to promote women's equality and, in some countries, are undermining it. This article demonstrates that even in countries such as Canada, which is perceived to be a world leader in sex equality, fiscal inequality can quickly undercut women’s gain unless clear institutional mechanisms ensure that all programs and practices are continually monitored for their gender-specific impact on women. This article outlines how gender mainstreaming,gender-based analysis, and gender budgeting-which were all called for by Canada's ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1982 and the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action into federal policy in 1995-offer a "broad third path to equality" that can be used to identify and eliminate discrimination against women, including in the crucial areas of taxation, expenditures, and government budgets. 
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’une des caracte´ristiques socio-juridiques les plus marque´es chez les femmes demeure leur ine´galite´ e´conomique par rapport aux hommes, et ce, durant toute leur vie. En de´pit de de´cennies de pressions sociales pour obtenir l’e´quite´ dans l’imposition, dans les programmes d’avantages sociaux e´tatiques et les allocations budge´taires gouvernementales, les politiques fiscales continuent de faire tre`s peu de choses en vue de promouvoir l’e´galite´ des femmes et dans certains pays, elles empeˆchent l’atteinte de l’objectif vise´. Le pre´sent article de´montre que, meˆme dans des pays comme le Canada, qui est perc¸u comme e´tant un chef de file mondial en matie`re d’e´galite´ des genres, les ine´galite´s fiscales peuvent rapidement re´duire a` ne´ant les acquis des femmes, a` moins que des me´canismes institutionnels clairs n’assurent que tous les programmes et toutes les pratiques soient continuellement controˆle´s pour mesurer leur impact sur les femmes en particulier. Le pre´sent article expose les grandes lignes de l’inte´gration a` tous les stades de l’analyse fonde´e sur les rapports de sexe et de l’e´tablissement de budgets en fonction des sexes—mesures ne´cessaires suivant la ratification par le Canada en 1982 de la Convention sur l’e´limination de toutes les formes de discrimination a` l’e´gard des femmes et de la mise en oeuvre de la De´claration et du Programme d’Action de Beijing dans les politiques fe´de´rales en 1995—et de´montre comment ces analyses offrent une «large troisie`me voie vers l’e´galite´» et peuvent servir a` identifier et a` e´liminer la discrimination a` l’e´gard des femmes, y compris dans les domaines critiques de l’imposition, des de´penses et des budgets gouvernementaux.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2010

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