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Gender Impacts of Revenue Collection in Uganda

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Gender responsive budgeting is a key instrument to track how governments are investing in advancing gender equality and equity. While most studies of gender responsive budgeting work so far have examined the expenditure side of the budget, the revenue side is equally important. In this Economic Paper, Nite Tanzarn looks at the revenue and tax system in Uganda, a country that has moved from analysis to action in gender responsive budgeting. This case study will show policymakers in ministries of finance worldwide how government revenue collection practices affect men and women differently, and how to build an awareness of gender into financial policy.

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How Revenue Generation Affects Women and Men

Since, as discussed above, women and men have different and unequal economic and social positions and roles, they are affected differently by revenue generation measures. Men bear the burden of most direct taxes because they are likely to be formally employed, be corporate persons and be service providers (hotels, telecommunication) and commercial property owners (see Table 4.1). Indirect taxes on goods such as beer, spirits and cigarettes also primarily fall on men as the main consumers. However, as the prices of these goods increase, household consumption patterns may be affected as money that would be otherwise be spent on meeting family basic needs is spent instead on alcohol or cigarettes. The tax burden on essential household necessities such as salt, sugar and soap is, however, likely to be borne directly by women, who are responsible for taking care of their families. Also, if one factors in women’s unpaid work in the care economy, which averages more than 10 hours a day, their contribution to revenue becomes enormous.

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