Nicaragua: “From Rhetoric to Reality”: Promoting Women’s Participation and Gender Responsive Budgeting

Women in Nicaragua face limited access to decent work and credit, low participation in decision-making, little economic autonomy, poor exercise of their rights, including sexual and reproductive, and poor access to justice in cases of domestic violence. This Joint Programme was designed to support the government in ensuring the equality of women and men and enforcing non-discrimination on the grounds of gender.
Specifically, the programme assisted in the implementation of the National Programme for Gender Equality, and had three levels of intervention designed to operationalize a gender focus in public policymaking and budgeting.

These were:

  1. Incorporating a gender perspective in national budgeting processes, especially with regards to health and employment, in order to begin a broader results-based budgeting process with a focus on gender;
  2. Strengthening local development in 22 municipalities through the incorporation of a gender focus in the formulation and implementation of municipal development plans and results-based budgets; and
  3. Contributing to the empowerment of women in 22 municipalities, facilitating access to greater opportunities for productive, decent work and social services to ultimately strengthen women’s participation in all spheres of life.

Main achievements included:

  • Support for participatory planning processes that give women the opportunity to incorporate their priorities and needs.
  • Women in the 15 municipalities of intervention were empowered and their participation increased thanks to the application of gender practices in the economic, political and social spheres. This included: improved access to training, credit, sexual and reproductive health services and the prevention and treatment of domestic violence. It also fostered opportunities for participation of women in public policy.
  • More than 5,700 women obtained access to education and to sexual and reproductive health services at 15 municipal health fairs.
  • A gender focus was adopted in the formulation and implementation of municipal development plans and budgets in 15 municipalities. This strengthened the capacity of local actors to incorporate gender practices in policies, and established municipal information systems for monitoring and evaluation of gender practices in plans and budgets, accountability and social audits.
  • At the national level, gender considerations were incorporated into policies and budgets, particularly those of the Ministries of Health and Labour, to ensure the exercise of human rights in these areas and a decrease in violence.
  • Creation of two gender units within the Ministries of Finance and Labor, which formulated and approved 5 municipal gender policies and a gender strategy in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region.



Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Nicaragua (in Spanish).



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 21 Aug 2008 - 15 May 2012
Net funded amount $7,997,519
National partners Instituto Nicaragüense de la Mujer (INIM), Ministerio Agrícola y Forestal (MAGFOR), Ministerio del Trabajo (MITRAB), Ministerio de Salud (MINSA), Instituto Nicaragüense de Fomento Municipal (INIFOM), Instituto Nicaragüense de Información para el Desarrollo (INIDE), Instituto Nacional Tecnológico (INATEC), Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público (MHCP), Ministerio de Fomento, Industria y Comercio (MIFIC), Instituto Nicaragüense de Seguridad Social ( INSS), Ministerio de la Familia (MIFAM), Instituto Nicaragüense de la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa (INPYME), Banco Produzcamos
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