A GENDER-RESPONSIVE ASSESSMENT OF FISCAL STIMULUS PACKAGES, INCLUDING FOR COVID-19, EXISTING FISCAL POLICIES AND RELATED LEGAL FRAMEWORKS IN ETHIOPIA
This study has been conducted to assess the gender responsiveness of national fiscal stimulus packages and existing fiscal policies and related legal frameworks that support gender equitable inclusive growth.It specifically reviews the government’s COVID-19 response measures, such as fiscal and monetary policy interventions, from a gender equality perspective. It also reviews existing fiscal policies, such as tax policy legislation, including income tax, excise tax and VAT, along with the government’s spending and financing policies, focusing on their distributional effects in relation to the possible differential impacts on women and men.
The assessment finds that the Government of Ethiopia's (GoE’s) fiscal stimulus packages are either gender neutral or gender blind.The impact of the GoE’s interventions on women and girls was not taken into account when the interventions were formulated. There are no explicit indicators that show how the interventions could address women’s and men’s different priorities, needs, constraints, etc. From a gender point of view, social protection, health, food security, housing, water, and education interventions were at least partly responsive to women’s differential needs.
The study indicted that even though explicit gender bias in the tax system is not common, there is a risk of implicit gender bias in Ethiopia.There are implicit biases in the Federal Income Tax Proclamation of Ethiopia regarding income tax-related exemptions. Besides, consumption taxes such as VAT and excise tax, which are regressive in nature, can negatively impact women more than men. Regarding expenditure policy, it is not gender responsive enough, despite achieving a significant milestone in practising gender-responsive budgeting.