Statement by Mrs. Şengül Altan, Head of department General Directorate on the Status of Women of the Prime Ministery Commision on the Status of Women 52nd Session

Şengül Altan 27.02.2008
Mr. Chairperson,
Distinguished Delegates,

Turkey aligned itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. In this statement I will mainly focus on the priority theme "Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women" from Turkey's national perspective.

We believe that adequate human and financial resources should be allocated in order to achieve gender equality, development and peace. In the process of designing, implementing and auditing of budgets, priority should be given to gender issues.

Budgets can be very strong instruments for change if prepared with a rights-based approach. I therefore would like to underline that government policies and priorities should be more responsive to gender issues.

Promoting and incorporating gender concerns in public spending and specifically increasing women's participation at the governmental budgetary decision-making levels and processes are required. Since budgets effect women and men in different ways as their expectations and needs are different, a gender sensitive approach is highly essential in preparing budgets at all levels.

Mr. Chairperson,
Distinguished Delegates,

It is a fact that gender budgeting is implemented in very few countries. Although it is not yet at desired levels, important progress has been achieved in gender-budgeting in Turkey in recent years, in line with the pre-accession period of Turkey to the European Union and the reforms in public financial management and controlling system.

Public Financial Management and Control Law, which entered into force in 2005, substantially improved the public budgeting system. This has facilitated the work on gender-budgeting. Implementation of "Conditional Cash Transfer" within the "Project on Decreasing Social Risk" is considered a small and indirect sample for gender-budgeting. In this regard, families with low- income receive allowances on condition that they send their children to school regularly. Compared to the families of boys attending school, the families of girl children receive an amount of 21% more for girls attending primary school, and 40% more for girls attending secondary school.

Distinguished Delegates,

Preparation of budgets at all levels with gender sensitivity, with the aim of achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development will bring along equality in allocation and usage of the resources. Gender budgeting will also help to achieve equality, accountability, efficiency and transparency.

An overall institutional perspective is a sine qua non in order to ensure gender budgeting in all pertinent bodies of the administrative structures. Hence, it will be easier to reach the aims of equality, development and peace, as well as to ensure the sustainability of these objectives.

Non-governmental organizations also play a major role in auditing budgetary implementations and drawing attention to the needs of different groups. Therefore, we attach importance to cooperation with non-governmental organizations and academics in mainstreaming gender-budgeting, making necessary analyses in budgetary items and determining the areas to be rectified.

While concluding, I would like to convey my regards to all the delegates, with the belief that the deliberations of the 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women will guide the participatory countries on gender-budgeting.

Thank you.