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Gender Analysis for the PRSP and MDGs Monitoring Gulnara Febres, WBI Poverty Analysis Workshop, Belgrade, Serbia, March 31-April 4, 2008. Gender Issues in the Balkan Countries’ PRSPs. Issues: MDG indicators: gender-responsive? To evaluate gender sensitivity of the Balkan countries’ PRSPs

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Gender Analysis for the PRSP and MDGs Monitoring

Gulnara Febres, WBI

Poverty Analysis Workshop, Belgrade, Serbia,

March 31-April 4, 2008

gender issues in the balkan countries prsps
Gender Issues in the Balkan Countries’ PRSPs


  • MDG indicators: gender-responsive?
  • To evaluate gender sensitivity of the Balkan countries’ PRSPs
  • To identify existing gaps in gender-sensitive approach
  • Potential opportunities
why to address gender
Why to Address Gender?
  • Gender based inequalities slow economic growth and poverty reduction, and tend to be most extreme in the lowest income countries and poorest HHs
  • Failure to conduct poverty diagnosis in a gender-responsive manner runs the risk of ignoring important avenues to poverty reduction.
what is gender equality
What is Gender Equality?

Gender equality means equal access to the “opportunities that allow people to pursue a life of their own choosing”—

that is, gender equality in rights, resources, and voice (World Bank 2006, WDR).

what is gender equality1
What is Gender Equality?
  • Equality of rights refers to equality under the law
  • Equality of resources refers to equality of opportunity, including equality of access to human capital investments and other productive resources and to markets.
  • Equality of voice captures the ability to influence and contribute to the political and development processes.
key elements of gender equality
Key Elements of Gender Equality

Gender equality in rights, resources, and voice

Leveling the field of opportunities


Household resource and task allocations, fertility decisions

Economy & Markets

Access to land, financial services, labor markets, technology


Civic and political participation

Domains of choices, domains for policy

Aggregate economic performance (poverty reduction, growth)

framework key elements of gender equality
Framework : Key Elements of Gender Equality

Ties together key elements of gender equality*

  • In the household: increased gender equality between men and women changes the allocation of HH expenditures, resulting in a larger share of resources devoted to children’s education and health.
  • In the market, gender inequality is reflected in unequal access to land, credit, and labor markets, and in significantly less access to new production technologies.
  • In society, gender inequality is expressed as restrictions to women’s participation in civic and political life.
  • In addition to improving individuals’ lives, increased gender equality can contribute to better aggregate economic performance.

*Source – WB Global Monitoring Report 2007

pathways for gender equality
Pathways for Gender Equality
  • There are several pathways through which gender equality in rights, resources, and voice stimulate productivity, earnings, and better child development outcomes, thus generating better development outcomes in an economy.
gender equality growth
Gender equality ↔ growth?

Increased gender equality in households, markets, society

Women have better access to markets

Women have better education and health

Mothers have greater control over decision- making in households

Increased labor force participation by women, productivity, and earnings

Improved well-being for children

Income/consumption expenditure

Differential savings rate

Better health and educational attainment & greater productivity as adults

Current poverty reduction and economic growth

Future poverty reduction and economic growth

pathways for poverty reduction
Pathways for Poverty Reduction

Women’s LF Participation, Productivity, and Earnings:

  • Working women contribute to HH income and expenditure. In poor HH, such contributions can be crucial for keeping the HH out of poverty;
    • this is the reason to increase access to education, markets (labor, land, credit), and technology.
  • This increased access contributes to:
    • current poverty reduction through higher consumption
    • future poverty reduction through the impact on children’s accumulation of human capital and the potential impact on aggregate saving
constraints to women s lf participation
Constraints to women’s LF participation
  • Reproductive role (KR-24.8% of women are kept at home due to care for children, elderly, sick or housekeeping vs. 1.5% of men)
  • Time burden of domestic tasks (Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso – time for collecting fire wood range from 125 to 664 hours per year)
disincentives to women s lf participation
Disincentives to women’s LF participation
  • Current effect: Wage gaps and discrimination against women in labor markets persuades women to stay home.
  • Future effect: The wage loss/segregation into low-paying jobs lead to underinvestment in girls education.
inequality trap
“Inequality trap”?
  • Land: in LAC and SSA, 70-90% of land is owned by men.
  • When women have access to land, they have less tenure rights. SSA-permanent land rights are held by men
  • Women are less likely to apply for loans as they do not have assets to offer as collateral.
  • Cumulative disadvantages (ethnicity, race, location and disability)
pathways for poverty reduction1
Pathways for Poverty Reduction

Factors forChildren’s Well-Being

  • Women’s education, health
  • Mothers’ greater control over resources

more resources allocated to food and to

children’s health and education.

better child dev-t in the presentintergenerational transmission

of earnings capacityprospects

for future poverty reduction

mdg 3

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Target 10: Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education
  • Target 11: Eliminate gender disparity in elected organs and decision making positions
mdg3 effect on other mdgs
MDG3 Effect on Other MDGs

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are channels to attaining other MDGs —

  • universal primary education (MDG2),
  • lower under-five mortality (MDG4),
  • improved maternal health (MDG5),and
  • lower likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS (MDG6).
official indicators for mdg31
Official Indicators for MDG3
  • Show progress and responsiveness of girls’ school enrollments to gender informed policy interventions (stipends, conditional cash transfers, etc).
  • But gender gaps remain: of the 137 mln. illiterate youths in the world, 63% were female (UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report)
  • The female-to-male literacy ratio was lowest in SSA, MENA, and SA (in 25 countries, fewer than 80 literate women to 100 literate men). In Yemen and Afghanistan – 36 to 100 respectively.
limitations of the official mdg3 indicators
Limitations of the Official MDG3 Indicators
  • Partially measure gender equality
  • Do not monitor key elements of gender equality (health outcomes and disparities in access to productive resources such as land, credit, and technology)
  • Inadequate measurement of empowerment
  • National-level indicators can veil inequalities between particular subgroups
the unfinished education agenda
The unfinished education agenda:

Must attend to:

  • Fragile states and countries unlikely to meet the enrollment target—22 countries unlikely to achieve the target even by 2015, 16 countries are in SSA, nine of which are fragile states.
  • Disadvantaged and excluded groups within countries, seenwhen statistics are disaggregated by income, race, ethnicity, disability and rural-urban residence.
  • Levels of enrollment (especially secondary), not just gender parity ratios.
  • Gender disparities in the transition from one level of education to the next.
some numbers
Some numbers:
  • Of the 60 mln girls not in primary school in 2002, 70% were from excluded groups
  • In Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, and Panama, HH survey data show gender gaps in school attainment among indigenous children.*

* UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2005

official mdg indicators conceal inequalities within countries
Official MDG indicators conceal inequalities within countries
  • I. 1. Ratio of girls’ to boys’ enrollment in primary, secondary, and tertiary education –
      • say nothing about educational outcomes (Completion? Getting a job?) Gaps b/w boys and girls completion rates remain high in SSA and SA (90% to 83% and 67% to 57% respectively) QUALITY?
      • Changes in the indicators based on parity ratios are difficult to interpret. (Increases in female-to-male ratios can result from a fall in male rates with female rates remaining constant)
      • Measure the status of women relative to men, rather than whether women are empowered (whether they have the ability to exercise options, choice, and control)
where are the limitations
Where are the limitations?
  • I 2. Share of women in non/agric. wage employment
      • Is not taking into account the circumstances of each country – such as the share of n/a employment as a percentage of total employment.
      • Is of limited use for low-income countries where wage employment is not a main source of jobs.
      • Does not capture the dimensions of job quality/ability of women to work for pay (economic empowerment) – no disaggregation within countries (indigenous people LAC)
      • Does not quantify barriers inhibiting women from participating in a LF.
      • Does not capture the ability of women to control their fertility
  • I 3. Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments
      • Political participation is captured only at the national level, not at provincial or local levels,
some statistics related to indicators
Some statistics related to indicators:
  • In 2005 the share of women in n/a employment was highest in ECA (47%) and lowest in MENA (20%).LAC and EAP – 40%.
  • Quotas to increase women’s presence in parliament were adopted by 40 countries by 2005. Example: Argentina, Costa Rica, Mozambique and South Africa reached levels of women’s parl. Representation comparable to those in Nordic countries.
gender equality vs empowerment
Gender equality vs empowerment:
  • Knowing that girls are equally likely to be enrolled in secondary schools as boys indicates gender equality but not empowerment if only small %-tage of girls are enrolled.
  • National level indicators-parity levels or absolute levels-----can mask inequalities between groups. It is critical to disaggregate indicators by characteristics related to disadvantage and exclusion and to develop targeted interventions not only at the national level, but for particular subgroups.
additional indicators value added
Additional indicators: value added?
  • Meet 3 criteria:
      • data availability (wide country coverage),
      • strong link to poverty reduction,
      • and amenability to policy intervention
  • School completion rate is measured (MDG2), under five mortality (MDG4). A low-cost step forward – just sex-disaggregate the data.
  • Contraceptive prevalence is measured (MDG6), - just find % of use of modern contraceptives.
statistics on teenage childbearing
Statistics on teenage childbearing
  • More than 10% (15-19 years olds) are mothers in SSA.
  • More than 30% - Bangladesh, Mozambique.
    • Marriage before age 18:
  • Less than 20% - Central Asia
  • More than 60% - Bangladesh, Guinea, Mali (36% married by age 15), and Nicaragua.
3 patterns in female lfp
3 patterns in female LFP
  • Regions where women’s LFP is low: MENA, SA, LAC and the Carribean. For 20-24 age group, the female LFP ranges from 37% to 49%; and for 25-49 age group – from 37 to 60%.
  • Countries with high female participation rates – SSA- close to 80% for both age groups. But: in low-paying agricultural jobs.
  • Countries with high part. Rates for both age groups – ECA 60%, except Turkey (38%). But: lower wages than men.
data needs on gender equality
Data needs on gender equality:
  • The proposed complementary indicators do not remedy all the shortcomings of the official MDG3 indicators. Data collection efforts must be scaled up.
  • Inter-agency Expert Group on Gender Statistics was formed in December 2006 by the initiative of UNSD, WB and UNFPA.
      • 3 Task Forces were formed: (TF on VAW, TF on GS training, TF on Time Use Surveys).

To advance women’s rights,

resources, and voice through:

  • Laws
  • Institutions
  • Policies (for example, gender-informed budget)
  • The difference between high and low performer countries in not in the laws themselves, but in the mechanisms to implement them.

Formula :

institutions to enforce good laws (A) +

sex-disaggregated statistics (B) +

associated budget allocations (C)

Successful gender policies

  • Most countries now have separate gov-t agencies to promote gender equality, some are elevated to ministerial status (Cambodia Ministry of Women’s Affairs).
  • “National Women’s Machineries”
  • Integration of gender concerns in donor agencies (for example: WB Gender Action Plan 2007-2009, UNDP Gender Plan)
  • Alliances between the gov-t and advocacy organizations, NGOs and civil society
  • Moving beyond gender-targeted interventions to full and sustained gender mainstreaming in the budget process
  • Good practice example: Moldova’s Gender Equality Law of Feb.2006
        • Specifies the mandates & responsibilities of public institutions with a role of enforcement;
        • Authorizes public budget funding for these agencies;
        • Establishes penalties and reparations for violations of the law.
gender informed budget tools
Gender-informed budget tools:
  • Gender-disaggregated beneficiary assessments
  • Public-expenditure benefit incidence analysis
  • Tax incidence analysis
  • Good practice example, Chile:
      • has included gender as a cross-cutting theme in a performance-based national budget,
      • is using incentives (salary bonuses) for public sector staff as a tool to achieve measurable results.
business case for investing in mdg3
Business case for investing in MDG3?
  • Progress toward attaining MDG3 should have multiplier effects and spur progress to other MDGs.
  • There can be significant advancement in gender equality when there is a will.
  • Laws, institutions and policies matter.
  • Gender mainstreaming will work with high level leadership as well as technical and budgetary resources. It is not cost free.
part 2 gender in the balkan countries prsps
Part 2. Gender in the Balkan Countries PRSPs
  • Five Balkan PRSPs (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia) were reviewed to:
  • Examine the degree to which gender issues were included:
    • In the 4 core PRSP elements (diagnosis, public actions, monitoring, and consultative process);
    • In the 8 sectoral areas (health, education, labor markets, agriculture, safety nets, infrastructure, governance and financial services)
rating system
Rating system
  • Rating system used in the review of core PRSP elements:

“0”= no mention of gender issues

“1”= brief mention of gender issues

“2”= gender issues treated with some elaboration

  • Scores averaged for each core element
coverage of gender issues in core elements of prsp in the balkan countries
Coverage of Gender Issues in Core Elements of PRSP in the Balkan countries

Qualitative Rating: 0- No mention of gender, 1 – Brief mention of gender issues, 2 – Gender issues treated with some elaboration

gender issues in core elements of prsp by country in the balkan region
Gender Issues in Core Elements of PRSP by Country in the Balkan region

Qualitative Rating: 0- No mention of gender, 1 – Brief mention of gender issues, 2 – Gender issues treated with some elaboration

coverage of gender issues in sectoral areas in the balkan countries
Coverage of Gender Issues in Sectoral Areas in the Balkan countries

Qualitative Rating: 0- No mention of gender, 1 – Brief mention of gender issues, 2 – Gender issues treated with some elaboration

results of the review
Results of the Review:
  • Notable feature: differences in average scores across core elements
  • General problem (not unique to the treatment of gender issues): disconnect and absence of a logical flow from:

diagnosis => public actions =>monitoring

  • Public actions :
    • did not correspond to the majority of the problems identified in diagnosis
    • often identified without any plans for monitoring outputs or impacts
western balkans specific challenges
Western Balkans – specific challenges:
  • Conflict legacy in most of the Balkan countries
  • Political and institutional systems are relatively new. State-building is still underway.
  • Human Rights Violations (refugees, internally displaced persons, Roma)
  • High Rates of Unemployment, especially of the young (BiH, Albania, Macedonia)
  • Grey economy
  • Inadequate Social Assistance System
  • Slow Implementation of Reforms
  • Quality of Education (Albania, Macedonia)
  • Corruption
  • Emigration
western balkans specific challenges 2
Western Balkans - specific challenges (2)
  • Data on poverty remains poorand is not gender-disaggregated
  • Poor governance environment
  • Both, government and civil society have faced difficulties in meeting the requirement for a participatory PRSP
trends in gender profile of the balkan region
Trends in Gender Profile of the Balkan Region
  • Female employment as a percent of total number of employed has declined almost twice over the last decade – BiH, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia.
  • Women account for only 35% of the employed in BiH, which is the lowest proportion of women in the total labor force of any country in Southeastern Europe.
trends in gender profile of the balkan region1
Trends in Gender Profile of the Balkan Region
  • Gender disparities in access to some parts of the labor market : women are disproportionately represented in lower paying social sector jobs
  • Gender discrimination in employment in both private and public sector (women are the first to be fired during restructuring, fewer opportunities for promotion, wage gaps) (BiH)
  • Low percentage of women in decision-making positions (BiH – 2.4%, Albania)
  • Male depopulation (Albania, Macedonia) due to out-migration of male population
trends in gender profile of the balkan region2
Trends in Gender Profile of the Balkan Region
  • Large gender disparities in access to land, capital and credits
  • Maternal mortality decreased over the past decade but still remains high (Albania – 22 per 100,000 live births)
  • Gender disparities at all levels of education enrollment (Albania, Macedonia)
  • Human trafficking (Albania, BiH)
country specific trends in the balkan gender profiles
“Country Specific” Trends in the Balkan Gender Profiles
  • “Missing young women” of BiH (in the population structure the age group of females from 19-29 with higher education) is very low due to out- migration. (The same trend is increasing in Albania and Macedonia)
  • About 92,000 young people left BiH between January 1996 and March 2001, and surveys show that 62% of the young would emigrate if they had the opportunity.
country specific trends in the balkan gender profiles1
“Country Specific” Trends in the Balkan Gender Profiles
  • In Albania, maternal mortality rate is the highest in SEE (22,7 per 100,000 live births). To compare, in BiH – 5, Montenegro - 2 per 100,000 live births
  • Maternal mortality is even 5-6 times higher in rural areas in Albania than the national average
country specific trends in the balkan gender profiles2
“Country Specific” Trends in the Balkan Gender Profiles

Albania has the largest in the Balkans gender gap in:

  • enrollment rates (ratio of girls to boys in primary education – 0.94),
  • literacy (ratio of literate women to men – 90 in urban areas, 87 - in rural), and
  • infant mortality rates (17.4 per 1,000 live births)
country specific trends in the balkan gender profiles3
“Country Specific” Trends in the Balkan Gender Profiles
  • In BiH, the most vulnerable categories of women are:
  • Women refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs)
  • Single mothers
  • Elderly women
  • Roma women
  • Victims of violence
  • Uneducated and unemployed women
  • Women in returnee households (the worst position of all)
balkan countries prsps gender sensitive
Balkan Countries PRSPs: Gender-Sensitive?
  • The major problem: gender is not addressed as a cross-cutting issue in PRSPs(except BiH), rather the discussion of gender is isolated to some specific sectors
  • In most cases, PRSP emphasizes market economy (paid labor/male dominated) at the expense of the HH economy (unpaid labor/female dominated).
balkan countries prsps gender sensitive1
Balkan Countries PRSPs: Gender-Sensitive?
  • Problems with household survey data:
      • Unitary household model (only BiH and Albania used LSMS)
      • Unawareness of sectoral gender issues (e.g. transportation, infrastructure, etc.)
      • Lack of gender-focused questions
  • In some cases, the analysis does not take a note of the factors that cause change in HH structures to female/male headed HH (except BiH), and their implications for stability and sustenance of families.
balkan countries prsps gender sensitive2
Balkan Countries PRSPs: Gender-Sensitive?
  • In most cases, the discussion on education does not incorporate analysis of underlying factors that contribute to non-enrollment, poor performance, and dropouts of boys and girls:
      • government withdrawal of resources from the sectors,
      • low quality of teaching, prioritization of boys’ education in some countries (Albania, Macedonia),
      • use of girls labor for domestic purposes, lack of adequate facilities (BiH),
      • drop-out of boys for economic assistance to their families (Albania)
learning by doing
Learning by doing:
  • In the Balkan countries, a process of consultation amongst government bodies is a new way of working.
  • Pre-existing government processes are usually hierarchical, while horizontal links are weak. The PRSP process both reveals this weakness and provides an opportunity to strengthen this link
  • PRSP formulation led to the creation of a number of thematic or sectoral working groups (for ex., BiH -20; Serbia -7)
bosnia herzegovina prsp
Bosnia & Herzegovina PRSP
  • BiH PRSP (2004-2007) - number of reforms to reduce poverty, including implementation of the BiH Law on Gender Equality, which is expected to lessen the gender effect on poverty level.
bih prsp special section on gender and poverty issues
BiH PRSP -Special section on Gender and Poverty issues

It analyses:

  • The impact of poverty on men and women
  • The most vulnerable categories of poor women (single mothers, elderly women, women refugees, Roma women, victims of violence, uneducated or unemployed women, women in returnee households, and women in rural areas);
  • Gender discrimination at the labor market (females have higher risk of unemployment – 35% of total employed);
  • Gender wage gaps;
  • Implementation of the Gender Equality Law;
  • Gender Specific Action Plan.
bih prsp concludes
BiH PRSP concludes:
  • Poverty cannot be measured purely on the basis of income indicators : men and women are affected in different ways by other aspects of poverty.
bih prsp

Labor Market:

  • female –headed HH are exposed to higher risks of falling into the category of the poor than male - headed HH
  • Women receive lower wages than men for the same work and they have fewer opportunities for promotion.
  • Lack of child-care institutions tends to be a barrier to women’s employment in BiH.
good practice examples bosnia herzegovina prsp
Good Practice Examples: Bosnia & Herzegovina PRSP


  • Gender differences at all levels of education: primary education is more accessible to boys.


  • Participation of women in the executive authorities is very low – 2.4%
bih prsp description of participatory process
BiH PRSP: Description of participatory process
  • Combination of top-down to bottom-up approach
  • Inter-sectoral; intra-sectoral and national participation
  • BiH Council of Ministers played a leading role
  • Local authorities played an active role
  • Civil society: private sector, trade unions, Parliament, national NGOs, youth, scholars, and experts .
bih prsp m e
  • With the assistance of UNDP, BiH PRSP was able to incorporate the MDGs and indicators adapted to BiH, into the PRSP monitoring mechanism.
  • Thus, indicators monitoring gender equality, women’s health and women’s social inclusion were incorporated into the set of indicators monitoring PRSP objectives.
bih prsp1
  • Overall, there is already official recognition in BiH that poverty affects men and women differently and the policies have to take into account these differences.
  • Great efforts have been made to ensure that gender issues are reflected in the priorities of the PRSP.
potential opportunities
Potential Opportunities
  • Gender-disaggregated data should be addressed as a priority in order to enhance the development of gender sensitive PRSPs and MDGs
  • Unless these specific impacts on the lives of women and men are analyzed, understood and captured fully by all poverty interventions, it would be very difficult to tackle poverty.