Gender-responsive budgeting was not well known in Jordan, until the 2013 budget circular required all ministry plans and budgets to include a gender dimension-a move advocated by UN Women. The next step was implementation. Working closely with the National Women's Commission and the General Budget Department, we helped teach staff in key ministries how to move forward.
The training opened their eyes to various measures they could take to look at how well-or not-plans and budgets were taking Jordan closer to gender equality, and what could be done to redress gaps. It also opened ministry coffers. Budget allocations for gender equality increased from US$1.9 billion in 2013 to US$2.15 billion in 2014. In the area of health care, for example, this has meant that more women are covered by health insurance, and have access to expanded reproductive health and family planning services. Funds for vaccines and medicines specifically for women have more than doubled. For the first time, a citizen's budget brochure has been issued, showing people at large the breakdown of funds for gender equality./p>
Countries across Europe are increasingly tapping UN Women's widely recognized and unique expertise in gender-responsive budgeting. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Government in 2014 adopted a method to integrate gender across selected programme budgets of all central institutions within five years. Moldova took steps to extend gender-responsive budgeting to the local level, as part of decentralizing government functions. Ukraine introduced local gender-responsive budgeting several years back, resulting in an increase in services for women and youth, and has now moved to apply the practice at regional and national levels. Serbia has expanded the use of gender-sensitive indicators at the provincial level that provide a precise picture of how well budgets support the achievement of gender equality goals.