Building the case with the UK Women’s Budget Group

What is the practical value of gender responsive budgeting? Sometimes we can use gender responsive budgeting as a way in, to build a persuasive case for investment or spending in a particular area of public policy. 

One example of this is by calculating the costs of violence against women and girls. This has been done in a number of countries: and it builds a case for investment by governments in prevention work and better services and support for women and girls, by making the economic case for this investment – through calculating the true cost of violence. Time and again we have found that the argument for women’s rights is more powerful and persuasive when it is based on the economic case for investment rather than the moral case. If governments see that they can save money in the long term by spending money on prevention, they are more likely to make the necessary budget allocation. 

This case study explains how it was done in one country (the United Kingdom) and how costings work originally undertaken by civil society organisations began the costings process and how the government finally took over this work, establishing a reliable database covering all the costs  of violence – such as hospital stays, accident and emergency, loss of wages, criminal justice costs – and using government’s own costings methodology to calculate the cost to the state, the community, and to individual women themselves. 

Take more advocacy advice from the expert in women’s rights: Janet Veitch.

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