MEST to Utilize Gender Responsive Budgeting

Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) is a strategy for the inclusion of a gender perspective throughout the budget process. Considering the novelty of institutionalizing GRB in Kosovo, as well as the limited expertise in this field, the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), has begun offering mentoring and assistance to various budget organizations on how to implement GRB.
    This year, KWN is collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) to integrate a gender perspective in MEST budget processes and fiscal policies.
    On March 27, KWN held an initial introductory GRB workshop at MEST. In total, 22 participants attended, including heads and directors of various departments and divisions, and budget officers. The opening remarks of the workshop were made by MEST Secretary General Xhavit Dakaj and KWN Executive Director Igballe Rogova. 
    In his opening remarks, Secretary Xhavit Dakaj expressed his delight in cooperating with KWN, and emphasized the importance of GRB. KWN Executive Director Igballe Rogova stated, “We are very happy to be collaborating with MEST. MEST is considered a leading institution, and we hope that our successful cooperation will set a positive example for other Ministries.”
    Following the opening remarks, Donjeta Morina and Nicole Farnsworth held an introductory workshop on GRB. The presentation included the legal framework, definitions, and very practical examples.
“There are two widespread misunderstandings concerning GRB that frequently lead to budget organizations being hesitant towards implementing it,” said Donjeta Morina during the workshop. “These include the belief that GRB is for women only, and that GRB requires additional funds.” She explained why these two assumptions are incorrect.  
Finally, the department leaders and budget officers contributed with examples of how gender equality could be furthered within their own departments.
    This was only the first step in the process of institutionalizing GRB in MEST. Next week, Coordinator Donjeta Morina will meet with all department leaders individually to gain access to qualitative and quantitative data. The data will be used in a publication to be released later this year with concrete recommendations for the Ministry’s budget documents. A similar process was followed last year with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, supported by GIZ.
This workshop and KWN’s cooperation with MEST is supported by the Austrian Development Agency.