Elisabeth Klatzer Christa Schlager

The Big Picture Makes a Big Difference: Taking into Account Changed Framework Conditions for Budgetary Policies at European Level in Gender Responsive Budgeting

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While a lot of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) work is carried out throughout the world in the context of public finance, little focus is paid on macroeconomic policies and framework conditions. To support the closing of this gap, the paper presents a framework for gender analysis of macroeconomic policies and governance bringing together important contributions from feminist economics and feminist political science. When applying the framework to the economic governance regime in the European Union which emerged in the aftermath of the economic and financial crisis, significant gender implications become visible. The paper shows that in spite of the assumed gender neutrality, economic governance mechanisms, especially decision making processes and institutions have built-in gendered content and economic policy rules carry gender biases. The transformation of the welfare state towards a competitiveness state has strong gender implications and macroeconomic policies have significant impact on well-being and living conditions of women and on gender equality. The main focus of this paper is to highlight these gendered influences of EU economic governance and direct attention to the need to include macroeconomic policies in GRB work.


  • feminist macroeconomics
  • gender responsive budgeting
  • budgetary policies
  • European integration
  • economic governance


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