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Gender budgeting - How?

Implementation of gender budgeting

Gender budgeting has been practiced in Iceland since 2009 and been mandatory at state level since 2016 as laid out in the Public Finance Act. In its implementation of gender budgeting, Iceland has drawn on guidelines from the Council of Europe and the OECD, among others.

The work is framed by a five-year plan on gender budgeting (only available in Icelandic) and its implementation is overseen by a steering committee on gender budgeting, led by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and with participation of all ministries. The ministries’ representatives work with steering groups in their respective ministries that are responsible for implementing gender budgeting within each ministry.

The introduction of gender budgeting is to significant extent a question of changing the mindset of those that generally prepare budgets and fiscal plans. Knowledge of gender issues and an understanding of people's social situation is a prerequisite for further work. Training and knowledge sharing have therefore been pivotal parts of the work. Processes and procedures have been developed and gender budgeting is integrated into traditional budgetary procedures at all stages.

To increase understanding of the current situation, gender analysis of government expenditure areas is conducted and updated annually in a base report on gender budgeting (only available in Icelandic).

Mainstreaming gender considerations in the budgeting process

In drafting of its five-year fiscal strategy and annual budget the government must make decisions on social and economic priorities. Gender budgeting considers the impact of different options by analysing the situation of different groups and evaluating the options with this information in mind. 


Challenges and opportunities relating to gender equality as well as objectives and activities to address these, are highlighted in the strategic planning for each expenditure area that accompanies the fiscal strategy. Line ministries also account for the gender impact of their budget proposals and the overall gender impact of the annual budget is assessed and the results published in the budget bill. Finally, progress relating to set objectives and planned activities is reported on in each Minister’s Annual Report.

A prerequisite for all gender analysis is gender disaggregated statistical data. In order to enhance access to gender disaggregated data a working group has been formed, which task is to improve overview of gender disaggregated data and to facilitate standardization of its collection and use among public entities.

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