To fight against gender inequalities, the city of Rennes wants to gradually set up a budget “gender sensitive”. The aim is to ensure that public spending benefits both women and men. How it works ? What can we expect from it? This is our debate.
A lot of ink has been spilled over the past month on the so-called “gender” or “gender-sensitive” budget. And yet, the idea is not new.
The concept of “gender budgeting” was born in 1984 in Australia. Most of the large international organizations: OECD, Council of Europe, IMF … encourage states and cities to adopt this different vision of public spending.
“It is not a gadget. It is something that has been seriously thought out. We ask the states to look at their budgets in terms of equality between women and men. Little by little, it is unfolding. In France, there is some experiments at the level of ministries but also a few cities: Brest, Lyon, Rennes … “
It is a way of analyzing the budget by looking at what promotes equality between women and men.
And to achieve this, the first step is to set up indicators, to train municipal service agents to put on the “glasses of equality”. Because it is necessary to evaluate all the actions financed by the municipality to assess their impact on gender equality.
The work is titanic. Succeeding in producing a fully gendered budget will take several years.
The 2021 goal is for the budget work that is done throughout the year to be done with this angle of attack, taking into account gender inequalities.
“It is rather a budget integrating the dimension of inequalities and the question of knowing how public policies act or not on the reduction of the inequalities which persist and which exist between women and men in our society”, explains Geneviève Letourneux, municipal councilor in charge of women’s rights and the fight against discrimination, in Rennes.
And it starts with the analysis of the subsidies paid by the city of Rennes to associations. Do these expenditures promote equality between women and men or do they reinforce gender stereotypes?
If we do not count, how can we realize whether or not there are inequalities, both in the collection of public funds and in their use?
“For the moment, this 2021 budget is not yet a gendered budget. It is rather a declaration of intention on the part of the municipality. I am delighted to note that the last debate around the budget in coming to the city of Rennes was not the subject of heated discussions on the question of the gender budget, it was sent like a letter in the post, which I think is rather positive.
Nevertheless there is a whole educational effort to be made. I believe that there are still anxiety-inducing representations, perhaps also the impression that it is a punitive tool, which is absolutely not the case “, she concludes, during our video debate.
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