Following the analysis of the benefits of GEPs with an integrated Gender Budgeting (GB) approach, let’s now go through the required steps.

STEP 1: Getting started

In addition to the overall recommendations suggested by the Gear Tool step-by-step Guide (EIGE), designing a GEP with an integrated GB approach requires some further specific initiatives. For this reason, before starting with a broad internal sensitisation campaign, it is important that the Team is well-trained on GB and can take inspiration from other RPOs’ experiences having experimented with GEPs with an integrated GB approach.

Firstly, it shall be well-informed on what GB is. Then, the development of GEPGB requires an additional effort to be ready to implement the budgeting perspective with a mainstreaming approach, i.e., introducing into RPOs the idea that the performance cycle may be analysed for the Gender Equality (GE) aims and also evaluating the way resources are used.

This is a challenging preparatory phase since RPOs’ budget is the source of power for RPOs governance and concrete obstacles and barriers may be encountered in the process of discussing improvements to be made in the allocation of budget resources, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

The perceived threat of GB to the status quo is usually very high since it involves the gender mainstreaming perspective that may question almost every budget item by combining the quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Implementing a GEP without a broad GB approach may lead to a push-back to opt for a ‘less threatening’ result since such GEP may appear limited to only gender-targeted measures without challenging the whole RPOs’ framework. Thus, RPO’s resistance to GB is a sign of its resistance to transformative change.

At the same time, insisting from the beginning on the importance of a GEPGB, even by accepting a somewhat limited approach to GB, is a good starting point since it allows RPOs to get used to considering the whole budget about GE. Even if GB does not change the allocation of funds in the first years, supporting and developing this approach is crucial. It does not matter if it will be a slow process: it must be a constant one.

LeTSGEPs Handbook is available in open access here in English and in the national languages of LeTSGEPs partners (Albanian, French, German, Italian, Serbian, Spanish). There is also a version in English for people with visual impairments, so that nobody is left behind.