Gender Budgeting Implementation in Italian Regional Governments: Institutional Behavior for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

  •  Carla Del Gesso    


Gender budgeting has great potential to promote the United Nations 2030 Agenda concerning gender equality and women’s empowerment. This article shares some reflections on the need to implement and institutionalize gender budgeting at the regional level, both by embedding gender issues into the overall regional government budgetary process and by promoting gender equality disclosures. An empirical insight into the institutional behavior of Italian regional governments is provided. The study seeks to understand how the gender perspective is integrated into the governmental strategy that informs the entire budgetary cycle of Italian regional governments, by performing a thematic analysis of the key regional planning documents. The local promotion of gender budgeting implementation through institutional norms and the practice of gender performance reporting in Italian regional governments are also addressed. The results highlight that although there are differing degrees of commitment to gender equality and women’s advancement within the regions, the gender perspective is quite homogeneously integrated into the governmental strategy. Four gendered transversal thematic priorities are identified: the encouragement of women’s employment, the promotion of equal gender opportunities, the enhancement of social inclusion, and the combatting of gender-based violence. Furthermore, although nine regional laws establish gender performance reporting, additional reporting tools integrating non-financial information on gender issues are included solely in a small part of the regional government performance reporting systems. A greater organizational and cultural commitment to the institutionalization of the gender budgeting idea is needed in order to allow stakeholders to appreciate the government’s value outcomes in all their dimensions, including the gender-related social dimension.

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