Fund for Gender Equality
Photo: Adamu Gudeta / UEWCA, Ethiopia.
The Fund for Gender Equality is UN Women’s global grantmaking mechanism dedicated to the economic and political empowerment of women worldwide. Guided by UN Women’s mandate, the Fund provides technical and financial support to high-impact, innovative initiatives from women-led civil society organizations that demonstrate concrete results on the ground, especially for women in situations of marginalization. Since its launch in 2009, the Fund has delivered grants of USD 64 million to 120 grantee programmes in 80 countries, touching the lives of more than 10 million direct beneficiaries.
In 2015, the Fund for Gender Equality awarded USD 7.3 million in grants to 24 top-quality programmes to be implemented in 2016-2018 in six regions – East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, Americas and the Caribbean, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia. The 24 new programmes will reach more than 325,000 direct beneficiaries, of which 45 per cent come from low-income countries and approximately 53 per cent are based in fragile states.
Through this new grant-making cycle, UN Women has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting and strengthening women’s organizations as catalyzers of change and as critical players to achieve gender equality and the sustainable development agenda. The new portfolio will meaningfully contribute to SDG5 on Gender Equality, as well as to at least another 9 Goals, reflecting the multi-dimensional nature of women’s empowerment.
The Fund provides grants on a competitive basis within the following thematic areas:
Women’s economic empowerment – to increase women’s access to and control over decision-making, land, technology, credit, livelihoods and other means of production and social protection.
Women’s political empowerment – to support women in taking on leadership roles and participating more fully in political processes and in all spheres of public life. Young women leaders are also a particular focus.
In just six years of grant-making, the Fund is already demonstrating strong impact and has proven itself to be an efficient and effective mechanism to align global and regional commitments to gender equality with tangible real-world results.