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A gender-equality lens on rebuilding Ukraine

If the reconstruction of Ukraine is to result in sustainable development and bring tangible benefits to all Ukrainians, the principles of “building-back better” need to take into account the specificities of gender in the reconstruction process.

Researchers from the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) and the Forum for Research on Gender Economics (FROGEE) together with other gender economics experts are releasing the policy paper “Rebuilding Ukraine: the Gender Dimension of Reconstruction” on International women's day 2023 to highlight the importance of a gender perspective in some of the focus areas of the CEPR Report on rebuilding Ukraine. The authors argue, that if the reconstruction is to result in stable, sustainable development and bring tangible benefits to all Ukrainians, the principles of “building-back better” need to take into account the specificities of gender. Arguments build on the growing literature developed initially in the area of public sector budgeting, which highlights the crucial role of the gender focus to achieve economically efficient as well as a socially just allocation of public resources.

The gender dimension in budgetary planning

The principles developed in the gender budgeting approach have in the past decades been applied to central and local budget expenditure planning as well as in other extraordinary contexts involving public funding, such as conditions of post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction. Before the Russian aggression in February 2022, Ukraine was one of the countries which took a number of initiatives to include the gender dimension in budgetary planning. The concept of gender budgeting is well rooted in Ukrainian public policy making and its principles should thus come naturally to key policy making institutions in the discussion of plans for the country’s reconstruction.

The paper highlights the following:

  • Outlining the key principles of gender budgeting drawing on the existing literature and examples of successful implementation of gender budgeting at central and local government level.
  • Examples of how gender budgeting has been applied in the case of allocation of public funds in extraordinary conditions of post-conflict and post-disaster reconstruction.
  • The record of the Ukrainian government concerning the implementation of gender budgeting during peace times, prior to the Russian invasion. This is followed by a detailed discussion of how the principles of gender budgeting can in the future be applied in the realisation of the reconstruction and recovery plan for Ukraine, going through the physical environment, human capital, and governance.


In 2019 the FREE Network initiated the Forum for Research on Gender Economics (FROGEE). The aim of FROGEE is to contribute to the discussion on gender inequality, with a specific focus on the region of Central and Eastern Europe. By highlighting different dimensions of gender inequality and its consequences for socio-economic development, FROGEE aims at bringing the issue of gender equality to the focus of both the general public and policy makers. These objectives are addressed through publication of reviews and policy briefs, organization of conferences, seminars, and workshops, as well as further development of research collaboration on gender economics with other institutions.

Photo by Diane Woodcheke, Shutterstock.com

SITE Gender Equality Press release