Comoros discovers the Seal as a tool to support gender-responsive fiscal reforms

A four-day capacity building event on public finance and gender equality took place in the Comoros Islands from 17 to 20 October in the country’s capital Moroni. The event brought together over 20 officers from different public institutions that are stakeholder to fiscal planning processes and efforts to advance gender equality in the country, including the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Banking Sector, national tax administration, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice (national women’s machinery), Agency for Commerce and International Cooperation and the National Statistics Institute.

Comoros recently developed a national development financing strategy with support through UNDP’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) facility which includes objectives to better algin development financing with the SDGs, including leveraging public finance for SDG 5 (Gender Equality) by introducing gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) and undertaking gender-responsive tax reforms. Comoros is also a focus country of UNDP’s Tax for SDGs initiative under which it has committed to exploring ways to better align tax policies and tax administration with the SDGs.

Group photo, 17 October 2023, Moroni

During the event, modules were delivered on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB), including GRB tools and an overview of initiatives from other countries. Furthermore, modules on the links between taxation and gender were delivered in addition to an introduction of UNDP’s SDG Taxation Framework, an analytical tool designed to help countries self-evaluate their tax systems with respect to prioritized SDGs.

A detailed session on the Gender Equality Seal was also conducted, followed by a discussion on how the Seal, notably at the Ministry of Finance and the tax administration, could support gender-responsive budget and tax reforms, by equipping them with the institutional capacities to deliver on gender equality. This is aligned with the logic of UNDP’s EQUANOMICS initiative, which emphasizes that gender-responsive public finance policies can only be developed and administered if the relevant public institutions are adequately equipped.

In addition to modules designed to build technical knowledge, the workshop served as a platform for different actors to come together and discuss how gender equality relates to their institutional mandates and how they could cooperate to leverage public finance and fiscal planning for gender equality. This is important because gender-responsive PFM is not just the business of the Ministry of finance; it requires a multistakeholder approach and recognition that every actor is uniquely positioned to exert influence and contribute to a successful outcome.

Reach out to us if you would like to know more about how the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions can support gender-responsive budget and tax reforms.

Closing ceremony, 20 October 2023, Additional Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Banking Sector (left), Director General of the Budget Deaprtment (right)

30 October 2023.