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On April 4, 2017, we had a day-long research round table on gender budgeting which included a public keynote speech from Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex and former Chair of the UK Women’s Budget Group.

For lessons learned from the gender budgeting research roundtable, see our research brief and infographic here.

For a short recap of Dr. Elson’s talk, see the video below.

About the talk

In a context of widening inequalities, it is more than ever important that the alignment of government budgets and social justice should be improved.  Gender budgeting seeks to secure this through a focus on how budgets impact on gender equality and the well-being of women, in particular women who also experience other inequalities, such as those related to class, ethnicity, age, disability and sexual orientation.  Professor Elson’s talk drew on UK experience with gender budgeting, focusing on the different and changing roles of government and civil society; the implications of equalities law; and research conducted by the UK Women’s Budget Group on the distributional impact of budget measures. She highlighted lessons learned that may have relevance to Canada.

About the speaker

Professor Elson is an internationally known researcher on gender, economic rights and social rights, and government budgets. She is one of the founding thought leaders for gender-responsive budgeting – the analysis and development of government budgets from a gender equality perspective, and has given presentations on this to government officials and parliamentarians in numerous countries, including South Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Morocco. From 2009 to 2016, she served as chair of the UK Women’s Budget Group, which brings together feminist economists, researchers, policy experts and activists to work towards a gender-equal society in which women’s financial independence gives them greater autonomy at work, home, and in civil society.  Professor Elson is a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy and consultant to UN Women. She has served as Vice-President of the International Association for Feminist Economic and on the advisory committee of the IMF project on gender budgeting. She is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at Essex, Research Associate at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University and has held visiting appointments at several schools including Carleton University, Ottawa.  In 2016 she was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.


The event will be co-sponsored by the York Research Chair on Global Governance, Gender and Human Rights; The Gender Budget Lab @ York; and The Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman.

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