Exploring the Role of Public Expenditure in Advancing Female Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality


Charla Britt ; Danielle Egerer

Publication Date:

May 24, 2024

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper discusses connections between female economic empowerment and government spending. It is an abbreviated overview for non-gender-experts on how fiscal expenditure may support female economic empowerment as an interim step toward advancing gender equality. From this perspective, it offers a preliminary exploration of key factors and indicators associated with gender-differentiated impacts in each of five main categories of public spending (education, health, capital expenditure, government employment and compensation, and social protection and labor market programs). It examines and proposes indices within each category that can be used to identify and measure related gender gaps and suggests associations and connections between those indices, public spending, and other available proxy measurements with some benchmarking potential which is summarized at the end of each category in a Gender Lens Matrix for ease of reference. The paper draws on an extensive literature review and examination of publicly available datasets. It also highlights and discusses gaps in data which limit gender analysis. The purpose of the paper is to advance dialogue on the adoption of a gendered approach to government spending, by providing a gender lens that may assist country level assessments and discussions among IMF staff and member country authorites.


Working Paper No. 2024/108





Publication Date:

May 24, 2024



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