This report presents a gender review of Nigeria’s 2018 Federal Budget. It examines the current administration’s commitment to economic consolidation from a prism of inclusiveness and shared growth. The report focuses on an assessment of key selected sector capital allocations and their potential to diffuse the benefits of growth as well as promote sustained progress in living standards. It also contains includes a set of proposed gender inclusive indicators for promoting gender justice in the budgetary process.
The term ‘gender’ refers to the socially accepted constructions of what it means to be male or female in a particular society based on customary, traditional, social and religious beliefs. When these constructions limit access, opportunities and choices, as they sometimes do, then the need arises to renegotiate them and in some cases, take a deliberate policy and practice steps to reverse the inequities which they facilitate. Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is one of such steps. It involves the allocation of government budgets for programmes and interventions that address identified gender gaps within specific sectors.
Gender-responsive budgeting is an approach to budgeting that seeks to address the limitations which either gender face when it comes to accessing public goods and services. Usually, these limitations are identified based on country-level data which confirm gender-specific disparities in access and opportunities. The ultimate goal of such an approach is to expand choices and opportunities for these demographic groups, thereby improving their relative well – being, their economic capacity and consequently their contributions to national development.
Men and women experience poverty differently and are constrained differently with respect to accessing public goods and services. As a result of these differences, the dividends of policy interventions are not necessarily democratic or inclusive. In the absence of a gender-responsive budgetary approach, some citizens will have more limited access to public goods, services and opportunities than others, no matter how well-intentioned the duty bearers who provide these goods and services are. In most countries, data obtained across sectors indicate that women and girls form higher numbers of those with disproportionate access and opportunities, which is why gender discourse generally tends to focus on them.