Community, Economy, Gender, Govt

NEWS: MPSP to table gender responsive budget

This was a “scary photo” of me by the Star, but the news is worth it all.

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Source: The Star

THE Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) will for the first time table a budget by 2015 which ensures that the needs of both male and female are met equally.

Council secretary Rozali Mohamud said council president Maimunah Mohd Sharif conveyed the council’s interest on the matter to Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan during a meeting at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Wednesday.

He said the council was working with a non governmental organisation — Good Governance and Gender Equality Society (3Gs) Penang as well as Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Women’s Development Research Centre (Kanita) on a three-year pilot project to explore the various scopes to implement, which he described as a gender responsive budget (GRB).

“The concept of gender equality is a basic understanding to achieve good governance.

“Sadly, gender bias still exists in the fields of economy, administration and politics,” he said after delivering an opening address at the MPSP’s ‘Introduction to Gender Equality and Good Governance in Local Authorities’ working labora-tory at the council headquarters on Thursday.

3Gs Penang executive director Steven Sim Chee Keong, who is also an MPSP councillor, said among the basic approaches for the GRB would be to conduct an analysis on determining the needs of both sexes.

“We will study the needs of men and women in town planning, cleanliness, transportation and in the development of a safe city. These are basic good governance concepts but now we have to deliberately put them in the gender lens because they are often ignored,” he said.

Sim: We will study the needs of men and women in town planning, cleanliness and development of a safe city

Kanita deputy director Dr Noraida Endut said there was a general assumption that what was decided as ‘best’, was best for all, without looking through the gender lens.

“And, because the decision makers are always men, it is more likely that their considerations took into account mostly from the male perspective only. GRB is a deliberate way of budgeting, where you look at the impact of finances on men and women, as well as areas where they intersect such as their socio-economic background.”

Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Penang programme director Dr Prema Devaraj said it was important for the local authorities to adopt good governance.

“When you look at the principles of good governance, these principles need to be gender responsive.”

 

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