Statement on the budget proposal for 2021 (TAS 422/2020, issued on 14 October 2020)

The Ombudsman for Equality issued a statement to the Employment and Equality Committee of the Parliament of Finland on the Government’s budget proposal for 2021 to the Parliament (HE 146/2020 vp). The Ombudsman for Equality called the Committee’s attention to the gender impact assessment in particular. Gender impact assessment cannot be a simple formality; its objective must be to implement equality in practice.

The commensurability of the administrative branch-specific gender impact assessments in the budget, their concreteness and the connection of potential goals to the appropriations require further development. Only some of the gender impact assessments of the administrative branches include information on quantitative goals and the appropriations reserved for them. In some, it has been stated fairly straightforwardly and without grounds that the expenses of the main title of expenditure do not include direct or significant gender impacts. However, the indirect impact on gender equality of benefits, support and other use of appropriations as well as taxation should also be taken into account.

It is important to assess the gender impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, too, and take them into account in planning and funding the stimulus and other measures caused by the coronavirus situation.

The current operating resources of the Ombudsman for Equality are not sufficient for monitoring the obligation to promote equality effectively. The Ombudsman for Equality hoped that the Employment and Equality Committee would propose granting the Ombudsman for Equality the resources to establish two new positions in 2021 and that in the future, the potential increase of law enforcement and other tasks would also be taken into account by increasing the resources.