Ministers Katainen and Wallin: We are introducing gender glasses!
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health distributed the brochure Sukupuolisilmälasit käyttöön - Introducing Gender Glasses! to all civil servants of the Government ministries on 7 March 2008. The brochure gives the civil servants instructions for how to take the gender perspective into account in their work.
By means of the ‘gender glasses’ the state budget for 2009 will be formulated so as to be the first gender equality budget. This presupposes that the civil servants preparing the budget use the gender glasses in their work. The Ministry of Finance will ensure that the ministries’ civil servants have the adequate prerequisites for that work. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, in turn, will develop and support the skills of the civil servants in using the glasses.
The gender perspective in the draft budgets for 2009 will be revised
How the joint funds are divided has consequences for the everyday life of women and men. Therefore, the gender perspective is important when drawing up budgets. In the budget, the gender perspective should be included in the criteria for the main titles of expenditure for each administrative sector. The Ministry of Finance assigns the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to inspect if the rules concerning gender impact assessment have been taken into account in the draft budgets, stated Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen when studying the new brochure.
Why are gender glasses needed?
Proper glasses have two lenses, one for the male perspective and the other for the female perspective. Both are needed in order that the overall picture will be correct, said the Minister for Gender Equality Stefan Wallin, when he was handed the new brochure of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
When the gender perspective is involved in all preparation, the financial and other resources can be targeted properly and equitably. This is also good financial administration since the funds are allocated sensibly. The whole of Finland will benefit from this, and gender equality is promoted at the same time.
Finland is the first country to assess the gender impact of the budget
Along with the project Introducing Gender Glasses, that has been supported financially from the EU Progress Programme, a training campaign in gender mainstreaming is carried out in all the twelve ministries in Finland during 2008. Every ministry organises two training events, one for the management and one for the civil servants of the ministry. The training will provide basic knowledge on gender mainstreaming and gender impact assessment.
Gender equality reviews were already included in the formulation of the budget for 2008. In other words, an exercise round has already been conducted. The objectives of the Government Programme and of the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality, which is to be completed this spring, will be essentially advanced as all the ministries take definite steps to mainstream the gender perspective.
For further information please contact Reetta Siukola, Project Coordinator, tel. +358 9 160 74003.