Gender-Responsive Budgeting and Taxation: Enhancing Equality in Kosovo 

Elirjeta Beka, our Gender Responsive Budgeting Coordinator, recently participated in the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) Community of Practice in Skopje, presenting the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) paper titled “Gender-Responsive Taxation in Kosovo: Enhancing Equality Through Progressive Policies.” Emphasizing the critical need for gender analysis in tax policy, her presentation took place during the panel on “National Strategies: Effective Budgeting for Equality.” Despite GRB being a legal obligation in Kosovo since 2015 and part of the Law on Gender Equality, issues such as the lack of harmonization with other laws, inconsistent implementation across public institutions, and limited public access to GRB annexes persist. These challenges underscore the need for more comprehensive and transparent implementation of GRB. 

The current tax system in Kosovo does not fully consider gender disparities, often exacerbating inequalities faced by women, including lower employment rates, lower wages, and a greater burden of unpaid care work. To address these issues, KWN recommends eliminating gender bias in taxation, increasing progressivity in personal and corporate income tax rates, and conducting gender impact assessments of the tax system. Additionally, policy options such as introducing financial transaction and carbon taxes, applying reduced VAT rates on essential goods, and exempting menstrual hygiene products from taxes are vital steps toward promoting social equity and enhancing economic participation and fairness for women in Kosovo. 

Renowned experts from around the world participate in the Community of Practice, organized by the Gender Budget Watchdog Network, of which KWN is an active member. The conference was supported by the Austrian Development Agency and Swedish International Development Agency.