Kosovo GRPFM 2022 /Gender Annex/
Kosovo possesses a solid legal framework and gender machinery to promoting and reaching the gender equality in the country. Gender equality is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and the Law on Gender Equality (LGE) guarantees, protects, and promotes equality between genders as a basic value of democratic development of society. As per the Law on Gender Equality gender representation in all legislative, executive and judiciary bodies and other public institutions is achieved when ensured a minimum representation of 50% for each gender, including their governing and decision-making bodies. However, stark gender gaps persist in Kosovo, with unequal opportunities of women for economic, social, and political participation (Kosovo Gender Equality Program 2020-2024). According to the Kosovo Labour Force Survey, in 2020 79.2% of the working age women were inactive in the labour market (compared to 44% of men), only 14.1% of women were employed (compared to 42.8% of men) and unemployment rate at 32.3% compared to 23.5% for male counterparts. As a result of mandatory quota of 30% for the local and national assembly, at least 30% of members of assembly are women. Women remain under-represented in decision making position in the government and independent agencies (KAS, 2020). Due to historical low enrolment rates, women in Kosovo are less educated than men and due to patriarchal norms they are owners of only 4.9% of land and 12% of residential property (KPGE 2020-2024). With regards to gender responsive budgeting (GRB), Article 5 of the LGE obliges inclusion of gender budgeting in all areas, as a necessary tool to guarantee that the principle of gender equality is respected in collecting, distribution and allocation of resources.
The main interlocutors responsible for relevant policy areas in the National Government of Kosovo are the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers and the Agency for Gender Equality operating within the Prime Minister’s Office. This assessment has been carried our during June and July 2021, coordinated by the Ministry of Finance, Labour, and Transfers and with great contribution from the Agency for Gender Equality, Kosovo Assembly, General Auditors Office, line ministries, civil society organisations and international agencies active in area of gender responsive budgeting.
This assessment will provide information on the extent to which Kosovo’s PFM system respond to different needs of men and women and promote and contribute to gender equality. The PEFA GRPFM assessment will provide a benchmark of performance, by highlighting areas where progress has been made, and identifying the opportunities for making the Kosovo PFM more gender responsive. Findings from this assessment will be valuable for the Agency for Gender Equality (AGE), who is in the process of developing the concept note for gender responsive budgeting. The assessment will also broaden discussions of PFM reform, action planning, and the contribution of PFM to efficient service delivery by including information on the PFM impacts on men, women.
In line with the PEFA supplementary framework for assessing GRPFM, the assessment collected information on the degree to which a country’s PFM system is gender responsive.
OVERVIEW OF ASSESSMENT FINDINGS
This section provides an overview of findings of the PEFA assessment of gender responsive PFM practices compared with the PEFA GRPFM framework. It also highlights key PFM tools and processes in place to promote gender equality. The detailed analysis of findings and evidence to score the indicators is presented in Section 3.
Before presenting findings from this assessment, it is important to highlight that Kosovo operates a line budget, with expenditures categories under four categories: wages and salaries, subsidies and transfers, capital investment and goods and services. Given that the budget is not performance-based budget, it is challenging but not impossible to implement the gender responsive budgeting and to extract accurate estimation of the amount of spending on gender equality based on budgets.
A stringent adoption of the GRPFM framework shows that, in four out of nine areas (GRPFM indicators 4, 6, 7 and 9), gender considerations are not included in what the GRPFM framework points to as the relevant PFM institutions, processes or systems. In three areas (GRPFM indicators 1, 2 and 3), legal framework has been put in place to mainstream gender impact analysis in the relevant PFM institution, process, or system. Two indicators (GRPFM–5 and 8) show that gender is partially mainstreamed. Gender impacts are not fully mainstreamed in any of the nine areas, according to the criteria. The overview of the findings of the assessment of gender responsiveness of institutions, processes and systems is presented in Figure 1 below.
With regards to GRPFM 1-Gender impact analysis of budget policy proposals for revenue and expenditures, since 2018 gender impact assessments are mandatory for all concept documents which precede development of the legal framework for new policies and amendment of existing policies. However, this assessment has shown that gender impact assessment was carried out for one out of two approved concept documents for new revenue policies and for 33% of approved concept documents for new expenditure policies. However, these ex-ante impact assessments are very weak and not in accordance with Manual developed by the Agency of gender Equality. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen capacities of public officials for full implementation of the gender impact assessments in accordance with the Manual. Kosovo institutions do not systematically collect and maintain gender-disaggregated data to inform budget planning and resource allocation, which is another pressing challenge for undertaking ex-ante gender impact assessments.
As for the GRPFM-2 gender responsive public investment management, as of 2019, gender impact assessments are required for large capital investments in the central and local level. Assessment of 10 largest central level capital investments revealed that such assessment has been employed for some capital investments. Lack of capacities for proper impact assessments has been mentioned as a barrier for fully and proper implementation of the legal framework approved in 2019. In addition, the Public Investment Program maintained by the Ministry of Finance needs to be amended to allow recording of gender impact analysis.
In relation to GRPFM–3, GRB is included in budget circulars at central and local levels. The budget circular’s mainstreaming of gender equality requires all budget organisations to make clear the effects of public spending on gender equality in the annual budget. The circular also requires that all budget organisations: a) disclose sex disaggregated data for employment; report distribution of women and men within wage brackets (to obtain insights for the gender pay gap); and b) to provide information on gender disaggregated data for subsidies and transfers. Despite the requirement to make clear the effects of public spending on gender equality in the annual budget, budget organizations only fill in the ready-made tables for employment, wage distributions and subsidies and transfers but they do not provide information on the effects of public spending on gender equality. To fully comply with budget circular requirements, it would be advisable to develop an explanatory document or manual for budget organizations to make clear the effects of public spending on gender equality in the annual budget.
With regards to the GRPFM 4-Gender responsive budget proposal documentation, the government’s budget proposal documentation for year 2021 did not include information on policy measures aimed at strengthening gender equality and information on the assessment of the impacts of budget policies on gender equality, nor information on overview of government priorities for improving gender equality or budget measures aimed at promoting gender equality; or assessment of the impacts of budget policies on gender equality.
To assess the GRPFM–5 Sex-disaggregated performance information for service delivery, strategic documents of the service delivery ministries were reviewed (which are the basis for developing the annual budget requests) to assess gender responsiveness plans for service delivery and monitoring and evaluation reports were reviewed to assess whether sex-disaggregated performance achieved for service delivery are reported and published. This assessment found that strategic documents of three out of five key service delivery ministries include sex-disaggregated performance indicators and specific measures, and their evaluations include sex-disaggregated data Therefore the score B is set for the GRPFM-5.
Related to GRPFM-6 Tracking budget expenditure for gender equality, it is found that Kosovo does not possess a systematic tracking of expenditure for gender equality throughout the budget formulation, execution, and reporting processes.
Assessment carried out for the GRPFM-7 revealed that the 2020 annual report is not gender responsive-it does not contain any information related to gender equality and it does not provide sex-disaggregated data on budgetary central government employment.
Finally, with regards to the GRPFM-9 on legislative scrutiny of gender impacts of budget, it is found that legislature’s budget scrutiny does not include a review of the gender impacts of service delivery programs and the Office of the General Auditor does not include gender responsiveness as part of their scrutiny of the audit reports.