Making policymakers more gender aware: experiences and reflections from the women's budget group in the United Kingdom

Himmelweit, Susan (2005). Making policymakers more gender aware: experiences and reflections from the women's budget group in the United Kingdom. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 27(1 & 2) pp. 109–121.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1300/J501v27n01_07

Abstract

The UK Women's Budget Group (WBG) is a think tank focusing on the gender implications of economic policy that attempts to influence UK government policy to be more gender aware and adopt policies that decrease gender inequality. The WBG has had the overarching aim of encouraging the government to take account of gender in policy formation and to monitor and hold itself accountable for the gender effects of its policies. At the same time the WBG has advised the government on the gender effects of particular policies and proposed modifications to make policies more supportive of (or less harmful to) women, and poor women in particular. Such advice has covered a number of areas, including fiscal policy, tax credits, income support, financial support for children, childcare policy, maternity and parental leave, work-life balance policies, pensions, pay equity, training and productivity, the use of indicators and the collection of government statistics. While the government has been keen to acknowledge the WBG's influence on certain policies, in other areas the WBG has had no discernible effect on policy. This analysis focuses on several common gender issues, including taking account of gendered life-courses, intra- as well as inter-household gender inequalities, valuing and remunerating care and accounting for unpaid work, to assess the WBG's impact and possible reasons for success or failure.

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