New Delhi, NOV 18: Oxfam India in collaboration with Women Power Connect (WPC) has organized a National Consultation on Gender Budgeting and Implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDV), 2005 here at WWF Auditorium in Lodhi Estate on Wednesday.
The consultation was organized to facilitate discussions on gender budgeting and linking it with issue-specific performance budgeting. It was an opportunity to development practitioners to share experiences, learn about different tools and identify their role in the process of Gender Response Budgeting. The central government officials from different departments also participated in this consultation who shared the process of incorporating gender concerns in the state budget and what is being done in this direction.
Welcoming the guests, President, WPC, Dr N Hamsa said, “the gender analysis of government budgets offers a new tool for ensuring a better match between the government’s policy commitments and development outcomes for women recognizing underlying gender inequalities and redressing them through allocation of public resources. Gender Budgeting aims to ensure a fair, just and efficient distribution of public resources for the all-round development of society”.
Pointing towards the domestic violence, she said, “it is indeed one of the most hidden and tragic forms of violence against women. It takes place in the sanctity of the home by someone who is in an intimate relationship with the woman and ideally he should love and care for her. The enactment of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has been a giant step forward for all women in India; however a law is only an instrument of social change. It is the responsibility of those implementing this tool to do so it effectively and in the spirit with which it was envisioned”.
Highlighting the essence of gender budgeting, Director, Centre for Social Research, Dr Ranjana Kumari spoke that if observed closely the actual budget allocation for women has gradually decreased not increased, which clearly indicates that Gender perspective is missing in the planning approach. She stressed on the need for examination of budget through gender lens and a close analysis of all the aspects of gender budgeting not only from Domestic Violence point of view but from other vital issues viz. health, food security etc. as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Madhu Joshi, Program Manager, Violence Against Women, Oxfam India, said, “Ending violence against women is one of the key thematic focus areas for Oxfam India. To this end, Oxfam India is working with women’s organizations and networks in five states for the effective implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and in the coming months hopes to work nationally as well. Looking at the experience thus far and at the Third Monitoring & Evaluation of this act- it is clear that advocacy for resource allocation is going to be one of the key pillars for making this law real for women”.
The panel discussion was focused on Budgeting for Implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, both at the national level and in different states.
The issue of Budgeting for Domestic Violence was dealt in detail by Bhumika Jhamb from Centre for Budgetary Governance and Advocacy.
General Secretary of Friends Association for Rural Reconstruction (FARR), Pramila Swain presented a case study on the status of Domestic Violence Act implementation in Orissa. Satayavathy from Bhumika Help Line, Hyderabad presented the case study of the Helpline and explained that how this helpline is helping women victims of domestic violence to find their own pace in the society with dignity.
The programme concluded with an open discussion on gender budgeting and domestic violence and exploring strategies for advocacy.
As published at www.oxfamindia.org