About the Fund

Fund Management | Steering Committee | Technical 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 five regional specialists deployed across UN Women offices for Africa, Americas & the Caribbean, Arab States, Asia & the Pacific and Europe & Central Asia, and a network of country-level 
focal points. 

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee aims to provide high-level strategic guidance and resource mobilization advising to the Secretariat and validate the selection process and final list of grant awards. It is composed of a rotating group of governmental and non-governmental representatives from programme countries, donor countries, renowned civil society representatives, multilateral organizations and private sector donors. The Steering Committee can either operate on a regular basis, or be formed and meet ad-hoc at the end of a grant-making cycle.

Technical Committee

An independent Technical Committee is organized to support each new round of grant-making. The Technical Committee is comprised of independent experts based in the regions from which proposals are being submitted and includes both gender experts and thematic experts in the areas of women’s political and economic empowerment. The Committee members appraise the proposed designs and implementation frameworks, and score proposals based on their relevance, quality and potential for impact.

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