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Nigerian Experiences in Linking Economic and Social Rights (ESR) with Gender Budget Analysis. Bola Fajemirokun Ph.D . & Edewede Kadiri The International Conference on Economic and Social Rights and Budget Decisions Queens University, Belfast , Ireland 14-15 Novem ber 2009.

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Nigerian experiences in linking economic and social rights esr with gender budget analysis

Nigerian Experiences in Linking Economic and Social Rights (ESR) with Gender Budget Analysis

Bola FajemirokunPh.D. & Edewede Kadiri

The International Conference on Economic and Social Rights and Budget Decisions

Queens University, Belfast, Ireland

14-15 November 2009

Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • Context

  • Conceptual foundation of Gender Budget Transparency and Accountability Project (GBTAP)

  • The policy environment for gender analysis in Nigeria

  • Project actions & the impacts achieved

  • The potentials for linking ESRs with gender budget analysis (GBA)

I context
I. Context

  • Growing interest in social accountability tools since the return of democratic governance to Nigeria on 29 May 1999.

  • Government budgets signpost its development priorities.

  • Tracking expenditure or revenue collection on a multi-year basis can help to ascertain the extent to which social inclusion, poverty reduction and the realization of economic and social rights (ESRs) are being prioritized.

A codifying esrs
a. Codifying ESRs

Global level

National level

Separate legislation is required in order to achieve the recognition and enforcement of ESRs.

Examples are the African Charter Act and the Child’s Right Act.

  • International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

C budget monitoring and esrs
c. Budget monitoring and ESRs

  • Budget monitoring and analysis provides a platform for bringing pressure to bear on governments to meet their ESR obligations.

  • Gender budget analysis (GBA) tracks the implementation of government commitments on women’s rights in particular and gender equality in general.

  • GBTAP was implemented in Lagos State from 1 April 2006-30 September 2008 with the support of the EU and DFID.

Ii conceptual foundation of gbtap
II. Conceptual Foundation of GBTAP

  • GBTAP builds on the results of DIN’s Poverty to Economic Justice Project (PEJP) of 2004.

  • PEJP’s main objective: To determine to what extent national policy and legal frameworks have advanced the economic empowerment of women given ESR commitments under CEDAW and the BFA.

  • Respondents agreed on the feminization of poverty and limited economic opportunities for women in Nigeria.

  • PEJP’s respondents emphasized the need to improve access to social services such as education, housing, health and childcare.

  • This raised further questions.

    • How are government’s spending priorities decided?

    • To what extent are women involved in economic decision-making and their needs, interests and concerns integrated into the implementation of government plans, programmes and projects?

Iii policy environment for gender analysis in nigeria
III. Policy Environment for Gender Analysis in Nigeria

Milestones for gender perspectives in development planning


  • Nigeria’s national income and accounting systems did not reflect the productive contributions of women in the economy.

  • National or sub-national policies and strategic actions to protect women’s rights beyond the basic anti-discrimination guarantee were non-existent.


  • United Nations Decade for Women crystallized broad-based support for gender perspectives in development planning.

  • Emergence of CEDAW.


  • Emergence of Beijing Platform for Action (BFA).

Policy environment contd
Policy environment (contd)


  • First National Policy on Women (NPW) in 2000.

  • Commitment to ‘bringing into the mainstream, gender perspective in all policies and programmes based on a systematic gender analysis at all levels of government.’

    From 2003

  • National poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) known as the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).

  • Also, SEEDS and LEEDS, the State and municipal equivalents.

Policy environment contd1
Policy Environment (contd)


  • National Gender Policy (NGP)

  • Draws on the key global and regional treaties and agreements, e.g. CEDAW, the BFA, the MDGs, the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa and NEEDS.

  • Elaborates more than NPW on the targets, strategies and actions for achieving the empowerment of all citizens, women, girls, men and boys.

  • Crucial interest driving the NGP ‘is the integration of gender sensitive approaches into mainstream policy decision-making within all sectors and at all levels, that is, mainstreaming of gender into policy formulation, implementation, analysis and monitoring.’

Gba in the bfa
GBA in the BFA

“Full and effective implementation of the Platform for Action, including the relevant commitments made at previous United Nations summits and conferences, will require a political commitment to make available human and financial resources for the empowerment of women. This will require the integration of a gender perspective in budgetary decisions on policies and programmes, as well as the adequate financing of specific programmes for securing

equality among women and men.”

Iv implementing gbtap
IV. Implementing GBTAP

1. Building Political Support

2. Advocacy

3. Capacity Building

4. Generating Evidence

A building political support
a. Building Political Support

  • MoU formalized with the key budget institution in Lagos State, the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB) in June 2006.


    • To define the contributions of DIN and MEPB respectively.

    • To gain the support and interest of the Budget Departments of the 57 municipalities within Lagos State and other State institutions , e.g. the Office of the Auditor-General and the Lagos State Board of Inland Revenue.

    • To serve as an entry point for participation in economic policy making processes, e.g. State Economic Summits.

B advocacy
b. Advocacy

  • Sensitization visits to the 57 municipalities and to legislators at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

    • helped to identify the key actors who could ensure that elected representatives and budget officers participated in GBTAP’s research and capacity building activities.

  • Establishment of Lagos Gender Budget Network (LGBN) in October 2006

    • Mobilizing support for institutional and administrative reforms at all levels of government.

    • Founding members are NGOs in Lagos State working on women’s rights issues.

    • In March 2008,LGBN became an affiliate of the National Gender Budget Network.

C capacity building
c. Capacity Building

  • Published a Training Manual.

  • Training of 1,123 beneficiaries.

  • Launched a website in May 2007,

GBTAP pictures

D generating evidence
d. Generating evidence

  • Analyzed budget transparency at the State level using the Open Budget Scorecard.

  • The Scorecard identifies seven key budget documents that are integral to analyzing the transparency performance of a government budget.

    • pre-budget statement;

    • executive's budget proposal;

    • enacted budget;

    • in-year reports;

    • mid-year reports;

    • year-end reports; and

    • audit report.

V major constraints
V. Major Constraints

  • Absence of internet links for key budget documents

  • Limited distribution of documents related to the executive's budget proposal

  • Restricted distribution of the enacted budget and other budget documents

  • Lack of enabling legal frameworks

  • Dearth of sex-disaggregated data

  • Limited public participation in budget processes

  • Uncooperative attitudes and covert opposition

  • Community apathy

Vi key success indicators
VI. Key Success Indicators

  • A total of 1,123 beneficiaries (government officials, women and human rights advocates, community leaders and the media) registered and took part in the capacity building events. This was made up of 1,046 women and 77 men.

  • A total of 48 State and municipal planning and budget officers (30 men and 18 women) were trained on gender responsive budgeting techniques.

  • Launch of dedicated gender budget website, with a focus on Lagos State budgets.

  • Establishment of the first State-level gender budget NGO network.

Vii potential for linking esrs to gba
VII. Potential for Linking ESRs to GBA

  • ‘Gender responsive budgeting is not something that can be done and finished within a year or two. It is a process that government officials need to learn over time and for which they need support.’

    Commonwealth Secretariat’s Report on Gender Responsive Budgets in the Commonwealth 2005-2007.

  • Women in Nigeria are more disadvantaged and generally bear a greater share of the burden of income poverty. ESRs are crucial to improving their status and condition.

  • But ESRs have limited enforceability in Nigeria. It has been argued that this is sound because ‘economic and social rights are different’ because ‘they do not impose any limitations on governmental powers.’

Potential for linking esrs to gba contd
Potential for Linking ESRs to GBA contd.

  • Key facts

    • Nigeria has ratified CEDAW and ICESCR.

    • Also, legislation exists such as the Child’s Rights Act, which recognize some ESRs.

  • GBA can help to track compliance with ESR obligations but collaborations between government bodies and civil society groups need to be actively encouraged.

Viii the way forward
VIII. The Way Forward

  • Introducing new legislation to domesticate key provisions of CEDAW, ICESCR and the Protocol to the African Charter on Women’s Rights, is crucial to bypass constitutional limitations.

  • Civil society groups should engage in collaborations with government MDAs on gender budget analysis work.

  • More studies on the gender impacts of the privatization of public enterprises and the provision of social benefits such as health insurance, housing credit and contributory pensions.

The way forward contd

Way Forward (contd.)

The Way Forward (contd)

  • The right to publicly-held information should be recognized and protected through the passage of the Right to Information Bill at the national and State levels.

  • Fiscal transparency at the State and municipal levels needs to be promoted through the introduction of State equivalents of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.