The gender dimensions of taxes and public spending

Women in a Vietnam market, by Lucas Jans

It is often assumed that fiscal policies and systems are ‘gender neutral’, but this is not the case.

The ways that governments allocate and spend public money, and the ways in which tax revenue is collected, have the potential to either exacerbate or challenge gender inequalities.

BRIDGE has published a new brief, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), which discusses the gender dimensions of both the design and implementation of fiscal policies. It examines how public money can be collected and used in more gender equitable ways. 

The first part of the brief deals with taxation and expenditure policies, asking what tax and expenditure mixes are more likely to reduce inequalities. The second part deals with gender inclusive public finance management (PFM), considering how PFM reforms could integrate lessons from gender responsive budgeting (GRB) initiatives. It also makes suggestions on dealing with gendered barriers within taxation administration systems, and discusses the importance of including a range of actors in the processes of finance reforms, in order to strengthen efforts to make both policies and systems more gender equitable, and ultimately, gender transformative. The brief ends with a series of recommendations divided into the areas of policies, systems, evidence and actors.  

Read the full brief here.

Photo: 'Morning Meeting at the Fish Market in Vietnam' by Lucas Jans, under a CC License.