Gender Responsive Budgeting in Fragile States: The Case of Timor-Leste, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Gender Responsive Budgeting in Fragile States

The Case of Timor-Leste, 1st Edition

By Monica Costa


174 pages

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pub: 2017-08-15
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A growing number of governments have made commitments to achieving gender equality and women's rights, with many using gender responsive budgeting (GRB) to allocate resources for the delivery of economic policy and governance that benefit men and women equally. At a time when GRB is growing in global traction, this book investigates what it can deliver for gender equality and state resilience in contexts where the state is weak or prone to violence, such as in Timor-Leste.

Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Fragile States: The Case of Timor-Leste uses the Timor-Leste case to investigate whether gender equality reform can be adopted at the same time as establishing economic and institutional fundamentals. While some may have thought that the adoption of GRB strategy in 2008 was premature, Monica Costa argues that GRB initiatives have contributed to budget accountability and transparency, and ultimately improved policy and budget processes and decisions. This multi-disciplinary analysis of a decade of GRB demonstrates why GRB is important to inform the debate on state fragility-resilience and argues that fragile states cannot defer gender equality in the name of getting the economic and institutional basics right.

While a growing number of fragile states have taken steps to make their budget more gender responsive, questions remain for economists and policy makers about what can be achieved, and how. Gender Responsive Budgeting in Fragile States is the first international publication on GRB in fragile state contexts and will be of interest to researchers, upper level students, policy makers and NGOs with an interest in policy, economics, gender and development.


"This book makes a unique contribution by focusing on gender responsive budgeting in Timor Leste, a fragile state, recently emerged from years of conflict. It shows how GRB can make a positive contribution to both gender equality and state resilience. It is highly original in its reflection on how knowledge is produced and communicated; and in identifying the contexts and actors that enable effective translation of gender analysis into improvements in opportunities for women and girls. Essential reading for scholars and students of feminist economics and gender and development; and for development practitioners in international NGOs, aid agencies, and international financial institutions." — Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

"While women’s gender equality claims can be slim in fragile states, Timor-Leste’s engagement with gender responsive budgeting offers hope. This book demonstrates the critical role of women’s participation in civil society and state institutions in establishing an agenda for integrating a gender perspective in the spending and revenue raising activities of government. Its untangling of complex relationships between researchers and policy actors increases our understanding of how policy and budgetary change is affected."Rhonda Sharp, Professor of Economics, University of South Australia, and former President of the International Association for Feminist Economics

"Despite the progress made in women’s political participation in Timor-Leste, gender inequality still persists, due to a lack of investment in the social and economic factors that impact on the status of women and girls. In 2016, Timor-Leste confirmed its commitment to leave no one behind by adopting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – with gender equality being recognized as key to the success of global development. Gender responsive budgeting is an important mechanism to help the Timor-Leste government understand how to allocate and reallocate resources to more efficiently achieve their priorities including gender equality. This book shows that the participation of policy actors and civil society in engendering budgets, is a concrete action for greater accountability to women’s rights, that can improve women, girls, men and boys access to resources and opportunities in a fragile state like Timor-Leste." Alita Verdial former CEO of Alola Foundation Timor-Leste

Table of Contents


2. The Emergence of Gender-Responsive Budgeting: Gender Machinery and the State

3. The Influence of Parliamentary Gender-Focused Institutions in Gender-Responsive Budgeting

4. The Contribution of the Women’s Movement to Making Economic Policy More Gender Responsive

5. The Role of Parliamentary Bodies in Supporting Gender-Responsive Budgeting

6. Administrative Data and its Potential for Gender Analysis in the Education Sector

7. The Potential of Gender Analysis to Improve Policy and Budgeting

8. Conclusion

About the Author

Monica Costa is a former international gender adviser to the government of Timor-Leste and holds a doctorate on gender equality and policy in Timor-Leste from the University of South Australia, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge ISS Gender, Sexuality and Development Studies

The Routledge ISS Gender, Sexuality and Development Studies series explores the diverse ways in which topics of gender and sexuality relate to international development, both in theory and in practice. The book series aims to publish ‘classical’ gender, sexuality and development themes – such as the sexual and reproductive rights policy debates on population and sustainable development, adolescence and sex education, and policy on abortion – together with cutting edge work on embodiment, queer theory and innovative strategies of resistance to hegemonic discourses of sexuality and gender. The book series will pay special attention to the role of intergenerational power relations and how they interact with different gendered understandings of sexuality at diverse stages in the life cycle.

Wendy Harcourt leads the international editorial board with her colleagues from the renowned International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University The Netherlands. The Board welcomes book proposals from researchers working in all geographic areas with special interest in research undertaken from feminist grounded theory and with marginalized groups in the global South and North. To find out more about how to submit a book proposal, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd ([email protected]) or Wendy Harcourt ([email protected]).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries