Integrity Watch-Liberia Pushes House's Budget, Gender Committees to Appropriate on Gender Responsive Budgeting

Harold Aido, Executive Director of Integrity Watch-Liberia

The House's Committees on Ways, Means, Finance & Development Planning and Public Account & Expenditure also dubbed as 'the Budget Committee,' have been advised to promote women, children and the youth during appropriation of the resource envelope in the Special FY2021 National Draft Budget.

Harold Aido, Executive Director of Integrity Watch-Liberia, made the recommendation in the ongoing public hearing of the expenditure component of the Special FY2021 National Draft Budget by members of the House's Budget and Gender Committees.  He appeared in a one-day engagement meeting held on Thursday, July 8, 2021 in the House's conference room on the first floor.

Mr. Aidoo told lawmakers to promote gender mainstreaming within the national budget as part of the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB).

Thursday's engagement with the lawmakers at the Capitol Building was aimed at further enhancing the understanding of gender strategies for gender mainstreaming as well as introducing effective tools for gender budget analysis within the Legislature, and it marked the third engagement in 2011 and 2019 respectively.

With support from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of UN WOMEN, formerly UNIFEM, Mr. Aidoo outlined the finding in the Special FY2021 Draft National Budget.

"None of the four institutions; namely, Ministries of Health, Education, Youth and Sports and Gender, has allocations to address gender inequality issues, and the current  method of line-item budgeting makes it  difficult  to determine which budget line supports gender responsive budgeting  implementation."

The remaining findings are indicated as, "There are no gender disaggregated data in the budget plan and the current budget as it does not align with sector policies bridging gender inequality in Liberia."

According to Integrity Watch-Liberia, the total of US$55,583,583 is allocated for the four (4) institutions, of which 83% is allotted for personnel expenditure. 

Making the presentation, Mr. Aidoo, on behalf of Integrity Watch- Liberia, recommended the following:

"That the Legislature informs the ministries and agencies to clearly present concrete and specified gender disaggregated targets based on resources allocated that can be measured by the end of the budget cycle."

"The Legislature commissions a study on the gender impact of the expenditure side of the budget; the Legislature should be guided by a gender impact of the expenditure side of the budget, the Legislature should be guided by a gender responsive checklist to guide the budget hearings, and The General Auditing Commission should add to its auditing profile gender compliance audits."

Making remarks, Reps. Byron Zahweah, Ben Fofana, Roger Domah, Rosana Schaacks and Dorwohn Gleekia praised the Integrity Watch- Liberia for the training and encouraged them to do it earlier before the actual budget hearing, while Rep. Clarence Garr urged Integrity Watch-Liberia to take similar training to the Executive, which owns the budget.