A roadmap for closing gender gaps in Bihar: Gender Responsive Budgeting

  • Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) is a globally recognised framework to mainstream gender in public planning and budgeting processes and mechanisms. In doing so, GRB paves the way for equitable and inclusive development and has been adopted in one form or the other in over 100 countries.
  • India has led efforts on GRB in Asia, being one of the most relevant countries in the region to have made significant policy interventions and set up institutional mechanisms on GRB. 27 out of 36 Indian States/Union Territories have undertaken diverse efforts on GRB.
  • Bihar is one of the early starters on GRB, with the first known GRB initiative in 2008-09. Bihar’s budgets allocated for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) are about 3 percent of the state’s GDP and 14 percent of the state’s budget in 2019-20.
  • While Government of Bihar’s policy commitments on GRB are a step in the right direction, they do not seem to be enough to demonstrate output and outcome level results in GEWE, which must be recorded and monitored to address generational gender inequality, discrimination and marginalisation.
  • The state’s policy commitments on GEWE must be realised through a robust operational GRB architecture where key institutional actors identify their roles and responsibilities.