This fiscal year Finance Minister John Rwangombwa's budget has ensured that the budget is gender responsive.
Gender Responsive Budgets are often misinterpreted as the creation of a separate budget that benefits women, but that is not the case, according to Oda Gasinzigwa, the Chief Gender Monitor.
"When we speak of a Gender Responsive Budget, we imply that both women and men are equally benefiting from the allocation of public resources. This ensures that women who are usually left out, are empowered in their respective communities," Gasinzigwa says.
Previously, only four ministries; Health, Education, Infrastructure and the Ministry of Agriculture, had Gender Budget Statements (GBS) that are used to assess the impact of the budget on the lives of women.
As a result, Gasinzigwa said, the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, set up guidelines to ensure that all institutions and ministries understand the need to present gender sensitive budgets.
It's a win-win given the circumstances says Gasinzigwa.
"Recognising the importance of gender mainstreaming within institution's budgets is vital because it creates a baseline for analysis and implementation of Gender Budget Statements and its impact on both women and men."
Emmanuel Mupende, Budget Planner at the Ministry of Finance, says GMO's role is to ensure that the entire society benefits from the budget.
"The budget is not entitled to one part of the society, but is developed for the benefit of all. For this reason, GMO looks into institution's biggest budget allocations and ensures that programmes are in place to benefit both men and women," Mupende said.
Mary Alice Bamusiime, Gender Advisor at USAID Land and Lakes Project, said real development is measured when both men and women equally achieve prosperity. She cited the need for specific empowerment of women within institutions by including them in programmes that develop their capacity to deliver as professionals.
"Even when enough resources are allocated to a particular sector, the questions we should be asking is, 'how many women are actually benefiting?' or, 'how much is being done' and, 'how much is spent to upgrade the skills of women as opposed to men?" said Bamusiime.
She said having 30 percent of women taking up leadership positions in government institutions is not enough if they do not participate in decision making processes.
"If Gender Budgeting is not considered then, big gender gaps in professional fields will continuously exist," she explained.
According to the GMO chief, in six month's time, a law that requires all institutions to present Gender Budget Statements to the finance ministry will be passed.
"What we discovered was that the budgets actually had great programmes but they were not specific on which ones benefited women," she explained, adding that, "the will to empower women is there but the challenge is the absence of skills required to formulate and merge their action plans and activities into a Budget Statement."
Consequently, the GMO District Assessment Report, 2012/13 GBS tasks the Local Government with the responsibilities to address gender-related gaps in all sectors.