Our story:

The genesis of this project emerged, as do many research endeavours, from a fortuitous meeting between myself and a group of like-minded feminist scholars.  We were at the launch of the Australian Federal Labor Party’s 2016 Women’s Budget Statement at Parliament House in Canberra.  Australia was a very early adopter of gender responsive budgeting thanks to work of Rhonda Sharp and others, but over time, applying a gender lens to the allocation of public finances disappeared from their government’s budgetary process.

It has, however, remained at the forefront of the minds of women scholars and activists committed to gender equality at the state and federal level in Australia, a number of whom were at the launch that day. Professor Helen Hodgson was one of those I met, and she later e-introduced me to Dr Suzy Morrissey, who was writing on tax, gender and budgeting.  Suzy and I had much in common, including both having been inspired by the intrepid scholarly and public intellectual endeavours of Prue Hyman and Marilyn Waring.

And so our determination to work on advancing gender responsive budgeting in Aotearoa New Zealand began to grow.

From left: Catriona McLennan, Jennifer Curtin, Katie Cammell, Suzy Morrissey, Rhonda Sharp, Margaret Wilson, Helen Hodgson and Prue Hyman


In November 2017, with the support of the Public Policy Institute, Suzy, Katie Cammell (our summer scholar) and I organised a one-day workshop with a range of experts, to discuss what an effective gender responsive budgeting process required.  We gained significant insights from Australian Professors Rhonda Sharp and Helen Hodgson, now emeritus Professors Margaret Wilson and Prue Hyman, and gender equality advocate Catriona McLennan.

Several months later, we co-hosted with the New Zealand Treasury, a visit by feminist economist Professor Sue Himmelweit from the UK Women’s Budget Group, and our project design began to take shape.  We then recruited Associate Professors Maria Bargh (Victoria University) and Barry Milne (University of Auckland), submitted a grant application and crossed our fingers.  In October 2018, we won support from the MBIE Smart Ideas Fund to begin our research in earnest.

On these pages you will find a range of evidence-informed reports, resources and analyses from country experts, international think tanks, feminist activists and our own research team which, in combination, demonstrate a growing global consensus that the substantial economic and social costs associated with gender inequalities can be significantly ameliorated through effective gender responsive budgeting.

Research Team

Professor Jennifer Curtin

Director, Public Policy Institute

Sarah Bickerton

Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute

Dr Yanshu Huang

Research Associate, Public Policy Institute

Dr Maria Bargh

Associate Professor of Māori Studies, VUW

Te Arawa (Ngāti Kea/Ngāti Tuarā), Ngāti Awa

Associate Professor Barry Milne

Director, Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences (COMPASS)


Expert Advisors

Professor Rhonda Sharp

Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of South Australia

Dr Suzy Morrissey

Research Associate, Public Policy Institute

Professor Susan Himmelweit

UK Women’s Budget Group

Dr Angela O’Hagan

Reader in Equalities and Public Policy, Department of Social Sciences, Glasgow School for Business and Society

Dr Monica Costa

Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics, Finance and Property, Curtin University

In June 2018, Professor Jennifer Curtin was invited to attend the OECD Experts’ Meeting on Gender Budgeting and on Day Three, Jennifer presented a review of New Zealand to the OECD’s Roundtable on ‘Better Governance on Gender Equality’.  Jennifer is one of the few non-government members of the Gender Budgeting Experts Group and continues to liaise with the OECD on new global developments on gender responsive budgeting and mainstreaming gender analysis.

In July 2019, Prof Jennifer Curtin and Dr Suzy Morrissey, met with officials from Canada’s federal Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Women and Gender Equality to discuss how gender equality objectives have been advanced by the wellbeing budgetary approach in New Zealand; we also learnt more about the process by which Canada legislated for, and subsequently implemented, a public facing gender budgeting process.

In July 2019 and January 2020, Prof Curtin met with Scherie Nicol from the OECD to continue discussions on new developments globally and the scaffolding required for successful gender responsive budgeting implementation by government agencies.