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Experiences

Participatory Gender Budget in Wenling of Zhejiang Province in China

  • Switzerland
  • Centre for Women’s Studies in Zhejiang University
This experience was presented as candidate for the 9th IOPD Award for Best Practices in Citizen Participation in 2015.

Description

Wenling, a China’s east coast city, has a highly developed private economy, well-known as the birth land of stock corporation in China. The private-owned enterprises accounted for over 90% of the total. There have been fierce conflicts among multi-stakeholders since economic reform era, particularly tensions between the public and local governments during the transformation of society. To release the social conflicts, local government innovated the way of consultative meeting, so called “thought political education” in 1999through which the folks are invited to dialogue with the officials in order to get agreement.

Based on the primary experience, the local People’s Congress went a step ahead in 2005, initiated the participatory budget, running under the framework of consultative meeting. This adventure is significant since the party-state has remained a strong control not only within its political mechanism but on the entire society.

The local government started the participatory budget in the same year, and invited the public to review the annual budget in the township level. In order to equally allocate the quotas of participants, the players technically design a procedure for selecting the participants, i.e. by lottery.

It has been developed into participatory gender budget in 2010, the aim is to deepen and widen the participatory budget. The pilot experiment has been running since then.

 

Objectives: Design a new procedure of gender budget which will act together with the democratic deliberation meetings. Under this new procedure, the budget items will be discussed, based on the gender disaggregated data, to expand gender budget programmes.

Train participants of gender budget meetings, especially women, to improve their capability in reviewing government budget from a gender perspective. It focuses particularly on the knowledge of gender budget, the skills for gender analysis of budget, and the ability of conveying public opinions about government budget from a gender perspective.

Assess the impacts of the selected budget programmes on females and males, to examine whether and to what extent the resources are allocated between the sexes, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of budget programmes.