Chairperson of Women caucus of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Beatrice Nyamupinga said there is a need for the region to have gender sensitive budgets as one way of promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming; saying such initiatives can also promote overall human development, effective use of scarce resources hence helping eradicate poverty.
She said this at the opening of 32nd plenary assembly of the SADC PF in the lakeshore district, of Mangochi.
“For budget oriented debate in parliament, MPs have to ensure that gender considerations are injected as one way of making gender analysis an integral process in budgeting.” said Nyamupinga.
According to the SADC PF Women Caucus chair, giving a gender focus on the budget could be a concept that unpacks the presumption about how resources are being spent on women issues including children. She said in terms of budget impact analysis, the use of gender implies a breakdown of government expenditure according to their impact to women, men, boys and girls.
The theme of the plenary which is ‘Enhancing the role of parliaments in budget oversight and economic governance in the SADC countries cleary falls within the SADC PF’s mandate and efforts aimed at strengthening the regional block to ensure that gender perspectives amongst others is integrated into the overall budgetary process.
She, however, said that the new development in Africa where two women assumed powerful leadership positions is a good development in as far as women participation in positions of power and decision making is concerned.
Nyamupinga concurred with the SADC PF Chair Lovemore Moyo in congratulating Malawi for being the first country to have a woman president since the gender protocol established and adopted in 2008. Coincidentally, the protocol was adopted and signed in Malawi during the 24th plenary assembly of the SADC PF. The protocol calls on member states to ensure gender sensitive and responsive budgeting at both micro and macro levels.