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 six years, the Fund for Gender Equality has successfully awarded USD $64 million to 120 grantee programmes in 80 countries. To date, such programmes have reached over 10 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 governments of Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Japan, Mexico and Israel; the private sector partners Angelica Fuentes Foundation, Tupperware, L’Occitane en Provence, Esprit, Net-A-Porter, and Goldman Sachs Gives; and UN Women National Committees from Iceland, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

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 »

Featured video
Gender Equality is Happening Now

The Fund for Gender Equality is supporting high-impact, innovative civil society initiatives that are igniting the unstoppable spillover effect of women’s empowerment worldwide. Join us – let’s keep it growing!

Featured publications
  • Fund for Gender Equality Annual Report 2015

    Fund for Gender Equality 2015 annual report
    The report highlights key aggregated results from the 2015 active programmes, presents the main lessons learned from the Fund's knowledge initiatives and introduces its new portfolio 2016–2018 of 24 programmes poised to contribute to 11 SDGs. More

  • Supporting Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality in Fragile States: Guinea, Lebanon and Sudan — Research Series Summary

    Women’s economic empowerment in fragile contexts
    With a focus on Guinea, Lebanon and Sudan, this knowledge initiative explores women's economic barriers and opportunities, captures good practices from Fund-supported programmes, and offers recommendations to strengthen programming in fragile situations. More