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Women’s volunteer contributions to civic engagement

Elsa del Carpio, national UN community Volunteer in Tarija, Bolivia, reviews the municipal budget allocations and analyses the allocations for gender equality. (Carla Alcocer/UNV, 2010)Elsa del Carpio, national UN community Volunteer in Tarija, Bolivia, reviews the municipal budget allocations and analyses the allocations for gender equality. (Carla Alcocer/UNV, 2010)
08 March 2012

In recent decades, most Latin American countries have made increasing commitments to gender equality. However, the commitments alone have not been sufficient to fully address gender gaps and inequality, as they require appropriate budget resources to ensure effective implementation.

In response to this need, UN Women promoted Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as a tool for linking women’s and gender-equality public policies with budget allocations, and for strengthening the capacity of governments to implement the relevant policies.

UNV joined UN Women’s work in the region with the project ‘Gender Budgeting and Volunteering through Civic Engagement: A Contribution to Democratic Governance and Gender Equality in Latin America’.

The project aims to measure and make more visible women’s volunteer contributions to civic engagement through three case studies in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. The project will also develop and implement proposals which strengthen women’s participatory decision-making in local government planning and budgeting.

One international UN Volunteer, five national UN Volunteer specialists, and 26 national UN community Volunteers initiated a monitoring and registration system; worked with women’s organizations to enhance their capacity to influence governmental planning and budgeting processes; worked with governmental mechanisms and public policies to enhance their effectiveness in promoting women’s rights and gender equality; coordinated three studies on women’s contributions to civic engagement; and carried out numerous workshops related to GRB and civic engagement.

The project has resulted in the recruitment and training of 32 UN Volunteers, and the establishment of both a knowledge management strategy and a monitoring and registration system.  In addition, there is evidence of increased municipality budgetary allocations as a consequence of UN Volunteers’ engagement with local women’s organizations and municipalities.
UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)