Frequently asked questions
UN Women Contribution Process
1. Is UN Women subsidized by the United Nations regular budget or by UNDP?
In accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/289, the resources necessary to service the normative intergovernmental processes are funded from the United Nations (UN) regular budget (approximately 2 per cent of total budget) while those required to service the operational intergovernmental processes and operational activities at all levels are funded from voluntary contributions (approximately 98 per cent of total budget).
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) does not provide funding to UN Women; UN Women is an independent entity. UN Women does outsource certain administrative services to UNDP.
Additionally, UN Women partners with many other UN organizations for joint programming in support of activities aimed at effectively and efficiently achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other international commitments arising from UN conferences, summits, conventions and human rights instruments.
2. Why do Member States contribute to the core budget of UN Women?
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, "Investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do." Core contributions fund the bedrock of UN Women's programmes; it directly translates to increased responsiveness and sustainability of UN Women programming on the ground. These contributions sustain UN Women's programmes and affirm support for gender equality goals. A number of governments have made generous and increasing commitments to reach this objective, which provides UN Women with flexible resources that can be used for all its programme of work, including under-funded or emerging priorities.
Despite financial and economic difficulties affecting many Member States, 2014 was a record year for resource mobilization with a total of USD 330 million. UN Women is encouraged because 143 governments contributed to core resources and of these, 26 countries were new donors.
3. Why are core contributions to UN Women –in general– relatively small in comparison to other UN agencies?
Gender equality and the empowerment of women are not products that can be shipped, warehoused and distributed. They are long-term sociocultural and behavioural processes that change over longer periods of time and require strong financial commitments in order to see results and impact. Although, many decision-makers have now come to this understanding, not all have acted accordingly and strengthened funding to UN Women.
UN Women was established during dire financial and economic times (2010) which resulted in reductions from donors contributions to UN organizations across the board and shrinking Official Development Assistance budgets in general, leaving little room for budget increases for UN Women, although some donors have started to contribute at the double-digit level (above USD 10 million).
The low base line of the old UN institutions dedicated to gender (before UN Women’s establishment in 2010) caused a certain bureaucratic inertia. It also allowed donors to double or triple their financial support without making a substantial increase in absolute figures. Generally speaking, political support has only been modestly and partly translated into financial support.
4.Why is UN Women widening and deepening its donor base?
The year 2015 represents a landmark period for the gender equality agenda. The 20-year commemoration of the Beijing Platform for Action, the end of the Millennium Development Goals, and the anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, are a timely reminder of the need for governments, corporations and individuals alike to enhance their support for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
UN Women has an active campaign to widen and deepen its donor base to decrease reliance on a small number of donors and increase the predictability of resources. This will help to improve results on the ground and ensure implementation of UN Women's mandate to advance gender equality and women's empowerment. Widening the donor base also helps expand political support and raise awareness about UN Women's mandate across a broader constituency.
UN Women will continue to work directly with all donors, encouraging them to enhance their contribution and engage all Member States across the spectrum – from traditional donors to emerging donor countries and programme countries – to find means whereby all can contribute to the common objective, whether through symbolic contributions, or by increasing the predictability of funding through multi-year pledges. Finally, UN Women will continue to strengthen and expand partnerships with foundations and the private sector tapping into their multinational presence through collaboration at the country, regional and global levels. In 2014, almost USD 7 million was raised from corporations and foundations.
5. Why do Member States provide supplementary funding through earmarked non-core contributions and Trust Funds?
Based on regional interests and priority areas for development assistance, Member States may choose to provide supplementary funding to non-core resources, which are earmarked contributions to UN Women from any donor for a specific programme or theme provided those programmes are consistent with the regulations, policies, and strategic plans of UN Women.
Non-core resources include funds provided in co-financing arrangements for specific programmes, including flagship programmes, as well as funding for the two funds managed and administered by UN Women, the Fund for Gender Equality and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. In 2014, Non-core contributions accounted for approximately 48 per cent of UN Women's total resources.
6. How does the contribution process work?
UN Women recognizes revenue when written confirmation is received from a donor. Pledges shall be dated in the same year as the financial year of UN Women.
Additionally, Member States may choose to announce their contributions during UN Women's Executive Board Session which typically holds three main meetings a year: a First Regular session, in January, an Annual session in June and a Second Regular session in September; or during the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities which is held annually in November.
If you have questions regarding the contribution process or would like additional information regarding UN Women, please contact:
- Mr. Antonie de Jong, +1 646 781-4458, antonie.dejong[at]unwomen.org
- Ms. Mame Selbee Diouf, +1 646 781-4409, mame-selbee.diouf[at]unwomen.org
7. How can individuals, corporations or foundations make a contribution to UN Women?
There are a number of avenues available to support UN Women:
Every donation helps and will make a difference. Online donations are processed through a secure server; your information is protected. Make an online donation here
Donations by Mail:
You may write a cheque or international money order payable to UN Women. Mail your donation to:
Attn: Resource Mobilization
220 E 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10017
Kindly note that tax-deductions for US taxpayers are only possible through contributions via the US National Committee for UN Women.
Representatives of foundations, corporations and organizations interested in discussing ways to contribute to UN Women, and individuals who would like to explore other donation options — for example, gifts of stock, bequests, planned giving — may contact: privatesectorteam[at]unwomen.org or +1 646 781-4853.
National Committees for UN Women are independent non-governmental organizations that support the mission of UN Women through their dynamic membership programmes, advocacy, public education about UN Women and global women's issues. They raise funds and awareness to support UN Women programmes worldwide. Currently, there are National Committees for UN Women in 15 countries. Individuals may contribute directly to their respective National Committee.