GENDER BUDGETING: A CHALLENGE FOR THE CITY OF MILAN

Arianna Censi

Abstract


A territory is attractive and sustainable when it is able to develop its human, socio-economic and environmental resources, to take action to simplify and facilitate the reception, settlement and development of families, universities, services, commercial activities and businesses. Human, financial and technological resources are willing to be invested in a certain territory if it is competitive, that is, if it is able to present adequate benefits, in economic, social and environmental terms, for the resources deployed. Indeed, the application of a gender perspective in the governance of a territory leads to such benefits. Although the principle of equal opportunities between women and men is now part of the identity and regulatory heritage of the Western world, the practical and daily implementation of the principle of equal opportunities is still a bit backward, which impacts the development of the socio-economic skills of a territory. The heavier burden that women bear in domestic and care work, the discrimination and difficulties they face in the worlds of work and social activity and in accessing positions of power, not only have a negative impact in individual terms, but are also elements of rigidity and backwardness of the system that prevents the female population from fully contributing to the process of growth and socio-economic development of their territory.

The concept of gender, when used as an indicator of socio-cultural - rather than biological - conditions of people, can effectively serve as a criterion for policy evaluation and orientation, not only related to equality and equal opportunities between men and women, but also in terms of its impact on society as a whole and on the attractiveness of a territory. The awareness that men and women have different needs and requirements must permeate and guide all political and economic policies of a government. Gender mainstreaming ensures that women and men can equally benefit from the effects of these choices. And it does this through gender budgeting, which is the application of the principle of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary procedures of the government of a territory. Through the adoption of a gender budget, in fact, it is possible to stimulate decisive actions of gender mainstreaming in local policies, so that such policies are able to meet the needs – expressed or not - of male and female citizens. This means giving special attention to people's needs, more public space in terms of quantity and accessibility, an idea of mobility that allows everyone to move easily and safely, a strong integration between people’s residences, services and territorial functions. A territory that uses the needs of women as an indicator for its transformation ends up being more attentive to the needs of society and its various components, making it more attractive and sustainable.

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