About the Fund

Fund Management | Steering Committee | Financial Overview

The Fund for Gender Equality is a grant-making mechanism within UN Women. Launched through a visionary contribution of US$ 65 million by the Government of Spain in 2009, the Fund has now consolidated itself as a multi-donor mechanism, with an increasing number and diversity of contributors from Governments, the private sector and individual donors. Today, the Fund constitutes one of the world’s largest grant-making funds advancing the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment globally.

The Fund for Gender Equality works like a fast-track mechanism within UN Women for delivering resources directly to civil society and government partners. It is an innovative, responsive tool capable of combating the structural inequalities that underpin gender inequality, while enabling and amplifying women’s voice and agency.

The Fund is committed to supporting innovative and high-impact programmes that yield concrete results in the lives of women, especially those who are marginalized (including rural women, young women, domestic workers and indigenous women), their families and communities.

In the last five years, the Fund for Gender Equality has successfully awarded USD $56.5 million to 96 grantee programmes in 72 countries. To date, such programmes have reached 9.4 million women, girls and boys as direct beneficiaries.

Fund Management

The Fund for Gender Equality is managed by a Secretariat at UN Women headquarters in New York with the support of four regional specialists deployed across UN Women offices for Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Secretariat is guided by a Steering Committee composed of a rotating group of representatives from donor and programme countries, civil society organizations and multilateral agencies. The Steering Committee advises on the Fund’s overall design, policies and vision and ratifies the grant awards.

Steering Committee

  • Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
    Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women (Co-Chair)
  • Mr. Gonzalo Robles Orozco
    Secretary-General, Spanish General Secretariat for International Cooperation for Development (Co-Chair)
  • Mr. Fredrik Arthur
    Ambassador for Gender and Equality, Norway
  • Ms. Irma van Dueren
    Head, Gender Equality Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
  • Ms. Vabah Gayflor
    Minister of Gender, Liberia
  • Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar
    Former Member of Parliament and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of UNWTO on Women in Tourism, Pakistan
  • HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal
    Member of the Royal Family, Jordan
  • Ms. Helen Clark
    Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Ms. Jeni Klugman
    Director for Gender and Development, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, World Bank
  • Ms. Otilia Lux de Cotí
    President, International Forum of Indigenous Women, Guatemala
  • Ms. Mary Rusimbi
    Founder, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Ms. Lucy Garrido
    Member of Cotidiano Mujer, Uruguay 

Financial Overview

Donors: The Fund has received generous support from the following donors: Spain, Norway, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Goldman Sachs.

Spending Ratio: The Fund for Gender Equality is dedicated to maintaining a spending ratio that ensures that funds benefit national partners—the key drivers of change.

Donor Brochure »