Presenter: Naima Imam Chowdhury, Women’s Leadership and Gender Specialist
Program Teaching Staff, Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University
Feminist economics principles involve inclusion, rights, and justice, but it is difficult to translate those principles into practice in capitalist economic systems. Gender budgeting is an approach to enhance gender equality-related investments between women, men, boys, and girls. It invests in areas to counteract situations that increase the gaps between the genders. The purpose may not necessarily be to offer direct investment to the disregarded gender, but more to reduce the gaps and create enabling circumstances and environment to act towards equality for all. A key strength of gender budgeting is to uphold the idea of a shared feminist transformative approach, where people in the community—particularly women and marginalized—get the opportunity to bring their voice and take the leadership to influence public expenditures. This webinar is about presenting the tools and techniques for inclusive gender responsive budgeting for community leaders, and how to simplify feminist economics and bring it to the practice level, how inclusion and rights can be ensured in budgeting and public expenditures, and how the local economy and budgeting processes can consider women’s and marginalized people’s voices and rights instead of considering them as products/markets/actors. Funding for the research that informed this project was provided by the Government of Canada; the Coady International Institute; and the WAVE Foundation, Bangladesh. Thanks to Roksana Hoque, Coady Global Change Leaders 2017 graduate, who partnered for the community consultation process.
An expert in the area of Gender Equality and Women’s Leadership with experience working in Asia, Africa, and North America, Naima is the Lead for Coady’s Global Change Leaders course and also facilitates participant learning in gender justice and women’s leadership in other Coady courses. As a seasoned practitioner in bridging gaps between policy and practice, Naima represents the Coady in women’s rights policy groups in Canada and significantly contributing in the areas of women, peace and security, feminist aid, and policy discussion. She has worked as Gender Equality Advisor for Global Affairs Canada, as well as international organizations and donor agencies such as Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Plan Canada, ActionAid, CARE International, DANIDA, and SwissContact. Naima’s more recent work involved policy and programming on gender equality and women’s leadership towards a gender-responsive health system in Central Asia, particularly in conflict-affected countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic. Naima’s work in the area of economic empowerment and inclusive economy has had significant impact in the lives of women and the marginalized in many remote communities of Asia and Africa, where sustainable changes through policy advocacy and amendments have been implemented. Currently, Naima is broadly researching the area of feminist economics, particularly participatory inclusive gender budgeting.