Practical Training Seminar

08.12.2020

On December 4, 2020, Economic Research Institute JSC together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) held a Practical Training Seminar on Implementation of Gender-Responsive Approaches and Gender Budgeting in Kazakhstan. The training seminar was held in an online format as part of a study on gender analysis of documents of the local executive authority for planning and budgeting for the period 2017-2020 (on the example of Akmola region) in the social protection, health and education sectors.   

This Training Seminar was attended by Irina Smirnova, Deputy of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, experts of the Secretariat for the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, representatives of non-governmental organizations were invited to the Training Seminar, they are: the Chairman of the Council of Parent Community of Nur-Sultan G. Umarova and a representative of Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan NGO. Women's NGOs in Kazakhstan are currently able to address the problems of improving the status of women, women's unemployment and enhancing their role in socio-economic life.

Svetlana Garashchenko, an International Expert on Gender Budgeting, acted as a Consultant Coach.

The first welcome speech was given to UN Women Program Specialist G. Smailova, who noted the importance of this research aimed at improving the state's strategic planning and budgeting processes by integrating gender perspectives into national policies, strategies and programmes.  

Deputy of the Mazhilis I. Smirnova in her speech focused on the relevance and necessity of gender research and that gender mainstreaming and gender-oriented budgeting in the public policy processes will lead to an equitable allocation of budgetary funds for women/men, girls/boys and vulnerable groups.

Representatives of women's NGOs also highlighted the problem of ensuring equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women in all spheres of state and public life. Thus, improving the quality and efficiency of public services in relation to different needs of men and women will be an expected result of the implementation of the gender budget.

At the beginning of the training, Svetlana Garashchenko gave the concepts of "Gender and Gender Equality", and that sex and gender have different characteristics. And, despite the obvious differences, both terms - sex and gender - are still used very carelessly, turning into synonyms. The differences between these concepts were considered and discussed using practical examples. The training participants were made more clear that sex is a biological concept defined at birth, and gender is a social gender formed by the relationships and roles of men and women, which is manifested in all spheres of life.

International Expert also noted the difficulties in achieving gender equality: traditionally distributed gender roles of women and men, persistent social stereotypes and cognitive biases.

An interesting example in the area of health protection was considered: inappropriate medical protective equipment that led to risks for female personnel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Doctors and trade unions claimed that women were infected because personal protective equipment was designed to match the parameters of the average man and often turned out to be large in size. This means that in this case, the difference between men and women was ignored.

The second example concerns the wearing of medical masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Research by independent experts found that men were less likely to wear masks to protect against coronavirus. In this example, gender stereotypes such that wearing of masks by men is considered shameful or a sign of weakness affected their health.

S. Garashchenko outlined the goals, principles, and stages of gender budgeting as the next issue of training. It was mentioned here that it is important to take into account the problems and needs of women and men and their groups when planning gender politics. In other words, gender-based budgeting is an approach to budget implementation that focuses on people – men/women, boys/girls, and disadvantaged groups.

International gender budget initiatives in the OECD countries were also presented during the training. Furthermore, the experience of Ukraine was reviewed, where the implementation of the Project on Gender Budgeting in Ukraine with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) since 2013 served as a good practice in the country.

At the end of the seminar, the Director of the Secretariat presented a Methodology for analyzing gender-sensitive planning and budgeting documents. The developed Methodology will be tested in the Akimat of the Akmola region with its further use in other regions of the country.

In conclusion, the Consultant provided valuable recommendations for conducting gender analysis of strategic policy documents and budget programmes at the local level. International Expert recommended that a gender analysis should be initiated for specific areas of concern in the region and for the analyzed sectors. According to the International Expert, the formation of a working group from among the responsible employees of the Akimat will contribute to the successful implementation of the tasks of gender research.

Gender mainstreaming in strategic and policy documents will make the process of developing and implementing gender politics "visible" in terms of their impact on various groups of women and men (children, youth, the elderly, students, pensioners, people with disabilities).

The Training Seminar was very lively and useful for each participant. The topic of gender equality aroused the greatest interest and many of the participants' questions were fully answered.

Knowledge about gender equality allows identifying and taking into account non-obvious consequences for different groups of people and making fair decisions.
   


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Saved: 07.10.2022



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