Women’s Participation in National Budgeting Process in Zimbabwe

Introduction

A national budget represents the preferences and priorities of the government in a given period and is an influential management tool for achieving development objectives. This explains why the budgetary process should be an inclusive one so that all the sections of the society are able to contribute to the final product. The trend for budget processes in Zimbabwe has been that the marginalised (women and youths) have not been fully participating. Women participation and contribution to national budget processes at national level in Zimbabwe is a key element in ensuring fiscal transparency and accountability. The constitutional and Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) accords all citizens the right to participate and contribute, however the situation on the ground reveal minimal participation of women in the budgetary processes. This has been revealed by 2019 Open Budget Survey (OBS) results. There are limited or no consultations which are extended to the marginalised communities especially women from the grassroots and as a result, the budgetary outcomes are top-down. The top-down budgeting programs and processes remain a privilege of the state and monetary authorities; and various parliamentary portfolios, elites and close cartels. To this effect, women’ participation in budget consultations processes is mainly inclined to those in urban areas. This has resulted in the ministry responsible for women affairs allocated less than 1% of the total budget since 2016.

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Source: Institute for Community Development in Zimbabwe Trust (ICODZIM)