COVID-19 has left women, more than men, economically disadvantaged through unemployment, underemployment, lowered incomes, less secure work, greater household and family demands, and increased risk of domestic violence.But you’re unlikely to read about it in next week’s budget.Instead you’re likely to read about new (male dominated) construction projects and more work in the electricity and gas industries. And tax cuts, which predominantly benefit higher earners and so are of less use to females.
Gender responsive budgeting could make a substantial contribution, documenting the extent to which investment in childcare and other services is more likely to create jobs, and jobs for women, than spending on construction.
While the current government appears uninterested, the tide is turning.
Almost half of the 37 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development now have some form of gender budgeting. The former head of the International Monetary Fund has declared it good budgeting.