Grant-Making Principles | Statistics | Impact

The Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) conducts global, bi-annual grant-making cycles that award grants to programmes seeking to advance women’s economic and political empowerment.

The Fund has now closed the selection process of its third Call for Proposals launched in March 2015. In total, 24 high-quality programme proposals were selected from the pool of 1,400 applications that UN Women received in response to the Call — accounting for a demand of over USD 530 million covering 146 countries. For a list of the awarded organizations and a description of the selected programmes, please click here.

Through the third grant cycle 2016-2018, the Fund will jumpstart progress on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Fund prioritizes programmes that:

  • Demonstrate a special emphasis on engaging and partnering with marginalized women,
  • Illustrate the capacity to achieve tangible impact and results in the lives of women and girls,
  • Emphasize innovation,
  • Prioritize participatory approaches.

The Fund will also look at added-value elements such as:

  • Initiatives to monitor SDG implementation locally,
  • Innovation and ICT for gender equality,
  • Evidence-based interventions,
  • Sustainability,
  • Engaging men and boys,

The Fund’s grant-making approach is a demand-driven process that mobilizes resources for women, putting money directly into the hands of gender equality advocates who can then negotiate a meaningful gender equality agenda at local, national and regional levels. It is an established mechanism that aims to place women at the centre of the awards and of the policies that affect their lives.

Please see the frequently asked questions for further information about the Fund’s application process and eligibility criteria from the previous call, for information purposes.

Since its inception, the Fund has held three grant-making cycles: the first one in 2009–2010, the second in 2011–2012 and the third and latest in 2015

Grant-Making Principles

The Fund for Gender Equality’s grant-making principles consists of three interrelated pillars:

  1. Transparency and independence: The Fund is committed to an evidence-based, contextualized and independent grant review and selection process. Applications are assessed by an independent Technical Committee and reviewed by its Strategic Advisory Committee comprised by a pool of independent gender specialists from around the world.
  2. Effective programme support: The Fund is committed to establishing a holistic partnership with grantee organizations by delivering a “package of services” over the course of programme implementation. All grantee programmes are overseen by a UN Women Focal Point and a regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist, who provide technical assistance to troubleshoot challenges and maximize programme impact, and work as advocates to raise the visibility of grantees’ work.
  3. Results-oriented reporting and evaluation: Fund for Gender Equality grantees are trained on the use of results-based approaches in support of effective programme management. These systems allow FGE staff to analyse the Fund’s global portfolio in order to identify trends and collect an evidence base on “what works,” what doesn’t work, as well as key lessons learned and good practices in the implementation of gender equality programming.

Grant-Making Statistics

Number of grants by region and grant cycle

Number of grants by region and grant cycle
Region 2011–2012 2009–2010 Total
Africa 16 9 25
Arab States 14 5 19
Asia and the Pacific 13 10 23
Americas and the Caribbean 11 10 21
Europe and Central Asia 2 6 8
Grand Total 56 40 96

Grant amounts by grant cycle and region

Grant amounts in USD by region and grant cycle
Region 2011–2012 2009–2010 Total
Africa 5,182,000 8,873,239 14,055,239
Arab States 4,450,000 4,101,630 8,551,630
Asia and the Pacific 3,825,000 8,279,132 12,104,132
Americas and the Caribbean 4,220,000 12,699,775 16,919,775
Europe and Central Asia 530,000 4,266,645 4,796,645
Grand Total 18,207,000 38,220,421 56,427,421

Number of grants by thematic area and region

Number of grants by region and thematic area
Region Economic Political Total
Africa 18 7 25
Arab States 9 10 19
Asia and the Pacific 10 13 23
Americas and the Caribbean 6 15 21
Europe and Central Asia 1 7 8
Grand Total 44 52 96


The Fund infuses money and technical support into programmes supporting women’s economic and political empowerment. In the first two grant-making cycles, the Fund has:

  • Awarded USD 56.5 million to 96 programmes,  led by 121 civil society organizations (the majority of which were women-led) and government agencies in 72 countries;
  • Leveraged USD 3 million of additional support for grantees from their home governments;
  • Funded highly successful programmes that are being replicated and expanded by government bodies;
  • Increased the capacity of grantee partners through the delivery of a “package of services,” including ongoing technical assistance and a week-long training session on results-based management (RBM) and knowledge management; and
  • Assisted grantees to leverage their position as UN Women Fund for Gender Equality grant recipients to help them secure funding from additional sources.