UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub hosted the latest cohort of the SDG Finance Academy in Bangkok from 14-16 June. The event brought together experts from UNDP global, regional and country offices across the Asia Pacific region under the objective of building a foundation of knowledge and skills on how to leverage public and private finance for sustainable development and the SDGs. Participants were provided with the skills they need to co-design innovative financing solutions for meeting governments’ SDG targets with a particular focus on environment and climate, ending poverty and gender equality. Events organized by the SDG Finance Academy are ultimately intended to contribute to UNDP’s ambitious objective of mobilizing US$1 trillion in public and private finance for the SDGs—a “moonshot” target.
On the second day of the Academy, an expert from the Gender Equality Seal team co-led a session on Financing for Gender Equality. In her presentation, she highlighted how public finance and fiscal governance can and should play an important role in advancing gender equality, including through gender budgeting and gender-responsive taxation. In this regard, she presented the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions as a tool to help the Ministry of Finance and tax administration make meaningful contributions to advancing gender equality across all institutional functions which in turn equips them to implement gender-responsive fiscal policies to better align public finance with SDG 5. A new Seal stream targeting Ministries of Finance and tax administrations was recently rolled out in partnership between UNDP’s Gender Team and Tax for SDGs Initiative.
In her presentation, the expert from the Global Gender Equality Seal team further introduced the EQUAONOMICS initiative, a global endeavor to make fiscal policies work for gender equality and to mobilize financing for SDG 5 through public finance and fiscal governance. With generous funding from the Republic of Korea, eight countries have already been selected for support in advancing the gender-responsiveness of their tax systems under the EQUANOMICS initiative with many more countries expected to join soon. Implementing the Seal at the Ministry of Finance and tax administration is a key intervention under EQUANOMICS.
Finally, participants were encouraged to engage with their counterparts on the topic of gender equality and to actively seek out opportunities to embed gender equality into their programs and advisory services related to fiscal policies and taxation. The Gender Equality Seal for Ministries of Finance and tax administrations is a good place to start.