Encouraging budgets that directly benefit women and girls
From making sure women have access to water, to ensuring employment for all, to enabling women to voice their concerns about safe transport and adequate maternal healthcare – gender budgeting can benefit both men and women by reducing inequalities and ensuring that public money is better targeted and spent more efficiently. With women estimated to account for 49 per cent of the population in Nigeria, the entire country stands to benefit from any economic benefits they might gain. Yet until recently, government budgeting tended to neglect their needs.
Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria (GWIN) is a gender budgeting initiative coordinated by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance launched in 2013. Supported by Voices for Change (V4C), the initiative aims to integrate tangible results for girls and women in the annual budgets of Ministerial Departments. All five Ministries that participated in the first pilot projects recognised the universal gains of adopting gender budgetary processes and the positive impacts of women’s economic empowerment on the country’s burgeoning economy.
In 2014, an all-female camera crew belonging to V4C partner, Media, Information and Narrative Development (MIND) set out to capture the budget mainstreaming practices piloted in GWIN. The crew traveled across Nigeria to capture the first results of GWIN, visiting project sites and interviewing all kinds of stakeholders – from beneficiaries to Federal Ministers. The resulting films were screened at a range of international platforms including the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, the African Development Bank and the World Economic Forum on Africa and were welcomed by finance ministers who established a World Bank-supported Community of Practice for countries interested in replicating the budget mainstreaming practices as piloted in GWIN.