Budgets are means to implement political promises and to set priorities. In order to institute equality in society, it is essential to ask whether the principles of gender equality have been applied in the drafting of the budget. Different measures, approaches and strategies are used to track results, expressions, activities and inputs from a gender aspect in the drafting of gender based budgets. The integration of gender equality aspects into the budget drafting process helps to expose the differences in women’s and men’s conditions, and to document them. Whenever the conditions, needs and preferences due to gender are taken into account, public resources can be used better in the interest of target groups and the expenditures have more effectiveness. The results of gender based budgeting are more equal conditions, and user-friendly public services which reflect the target groups’ needs.
The necessity to observe gender based budgeting and its critical role in the implementation of the gender mainstreaming process are acknowledged in many international documents to which Estonia is a signatory. In recent years, EU member states have increasingly adopted gender based budgeting methods on both the central and local levels, applying them either to the whole budget or some parts of it.
Gender budgeting has been a priority activity for ENUT since 2008.