Albanian delegation visit Vienna to learn best practices in gender-responsive budgeting

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Albanian parliamentarians and local councilors with members of the Austrian Parliament during the study visit in Vienna
Albanian parliamentarians and local councilors with members of the Austrian Parliament during the study visit in Vienna. Photo: UN Women

A delegation of ten Albanian parliamentarians and local councilors visited Vienna from 25 to 26 March to learn more about the best practices in gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) implementation and the impact on various Austrian institutions. The delegation was composed by members of the Albanian parliamentary sub-commission on “Gender Equality and the Prevention of Violence against Women” and representatives of the National Alliance of Councillors.

During the two-day visit, which was organized by UN Women, the delegation gained insights on the functionality of the gender-responsive system in Austria and its development over the years. Some institutions responsible for gender-responsive budgeting offered presentations on how the gender objectives in the budget are implemented and monitored and how these objectives respond to the needs of women and men.

The delegation met with members of the Austrian Parliament to acquaint themselves with the crucial role of this body in the GRB system and how they handle the issue of gender equality.  

Eglantina Gjermeni, a member of the Albanian parliament for ten years and head of the sub-commission on “Gender Equality and the Prevention of Violence against Women” was part of the delegation. She emphasized that already implemented gender budgeting initiatives in Albania should be further developed and continued to achieve greater impact. “Positive practices from developed countries have shown good results in reducing gender inequalities”, Ms. Gjermeni said.

Albanian parliamentarians and local councilors during the study visit in Vienna on gender responsive budgeting.
Albanian parliamentarians and local councilors during the study visit in Vienna on gender responsive budgeting. Photo: UN Women

Other highlights of the visit included a presentation by the Municipality of Vienna on the successful practices of GRB at the local level. In a statement of praise, Ms. Klodeta Dibra, head of the National Alliance of Councillors in Albania said the initiative undertaken by the institution was very interesting and inspiring. “I believe that getting rich information and access to existing practices can serve us to suggest and implement possible initiatives as per the conditions of our municipalities”, Ms. Dibra said.

UN Women has been working closely with the Ministry of Finance in Albania since 2011 to integrate gender-responsive budgeting at the central and local level. Gender budgeting is a legal requirement for all ministries and budget institutions in Albania since 2016. Currently, 37 budget programs of the Ministries in Albania contain gender equality objectives, while the total amount of funds allocated to addressing gender equality issues in the different sectors is 6.1% of the overall state budget.

In addition, a recently adopted law “On Local Government Finances” requires that local budgets contain gender equality objectives, which would be monitored and evaluated.

Albania has been part of the regional programme on Gender Responsive Budgeting, which is supported financially by the Austrian Development Agency.