Our model

Traditional carpet maker supported by the grantee Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon. Photo: UN Women / Joe Saade and Ghinwa Daher
Traditional carpet maker supported by the grantee Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon. Photo: UN Women/Joe Saade and Ghinwa Daher.

Women’s organizations from the Global South are best placed to reach women and girls left furthest behind and work with them to transform their lives. Yet the expertise of these groups is overlooked and underfunded.

The Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) is unique in the United Nations because it does not just transfer funds. It offers careful, systematic support to women’s organizations to build the array of capabilities they need to put ideas and knowledge into practice.

The FGE offers:

  • Pooled funding of resources from diverse donors. All are committed to investing in stronger women’s movements and home-grown solutions to achieve gender equality. They stand behind a grant-making mechanism with a history of delivering results, efficiency, and rigorous reporting. Read more about our donors.
  • Global calls for proposals that apply high-quality standards in a competitive process aimed at maximizing the impacts of investments in gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At least 75 per cent of FGE contributions go to grants. Read more about our grant-making process.
  • An effective strategy to reach women furthest behind by engaging with national women-led organizations. These groups understand the most pressing needs and the most promising strategies. Read more about how the Fund operationalizes the “Leaving No One Behind” principle.
  • Accompaniment and growth for grantees through technical support and training for stronger capabilities on project design and implementation, results-based management and reporting, communications, social innovation, and leadership. This empowering approach leads to stronger women’s organizations that are better positioned to make a difference. Read more about our results.
  • Global knowledge of what works through routinely aggregated evidence and data from grantee project results and practices. Read more about our contribution to knowledge and learning.
  • A passionate team of feminist development practitioners with experience in funding for women’s civil society organizations, and women’s rights and gender equality programming at country and global levels. The FGE team develops close relationships with grantees based on shared values, trust, and commitment to advance the gender equality agenda. Core team values are horizontality, solidarity, communication, creativity, transparency, and flexibility. Read more about our team assessment in the “Independent global programme evaluation of the Fund for Gender Equality, 2009–2017”.

Don’t just believe us!

Below is what people say about working with us.

From our grantees

  • “Thanks to the FGE, my organization is going to another level. This project has allowed us to lead the positioning of women, peace and security issues at the top of the political agenda in Albania.” —Association for Women with Social Problems, Albania
  • “The opportunity to work with FGE is a privilege. The quality, the flexibility, the warmth. FGE support has allowed us to finally achieve goals that we have been working towards for years.” —Centro de Documentación y Estudios, Paraguay
  • “FGE is a different donor. They really listen and engage. They are flexible. We feel like it’s one of the donors that actually understands us.” —Pastoral Women’s Council, United Republic of Tanzania
  • “[FGE] is one of the very few donors that gives much importance on the process of transferring a concept project idea into a full-fledged project document. This process ensures that the design is really home-grown, fully owned by implementing partners, and reflecting their local contexts and specificities.” —Palestinian Centre for Peace and Democracy, State of Palestine
  • “We have been monitoring projects for a long time. In fact, we have been awarded as one of the global best practices in implementing migration and development initiatives. Despite those awards, this is the first time we´re really understanding the science behind project management.” —Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Philippines

From our donors

  • “The Fund for Gender Equality is a trustworthy mechanism that not only offers the financial means but also accompanies them in the process, strengthening their capacities and providing technical guidance to ensure effective results on the ground. Germany is proud to support this mechanism. This is one of our best investments.” —Government of Germany
  • “The need for support is pressing and resources are scarce. Now more than ever, we as donors need to make smart investment decisions and sustained commitments. UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality is certainly an excellent example of addressing the complexity of gender inequalities with smart partnerships”. —Government of Switzerland

From independent studies and evaluations

  • “FGE remains uniquely placed within the international system to work with organizations and issues in the margins to reach some of the furthest women behind first.” —2017 FGE Independent Evaluation
  • "Experience from FGE projects shows that implementing organizations (civil society) are now well-positioned to inform and further contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals." —2015 Independent meta-analysis of FGE grantee evaluations
  • “Through the grant awarding process and later implementation of the successful projects, an eye is kept on the selection of the highest quality proposals that will actually have an effective impact on society …. Thanks to this approach, UN-Women’s impact on the field can be measured and appraised.” —European Commission, DEVCO Pillar Assessment Report of UN Women
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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 2017–2018

    Fund for Gender Equality annual report 2017–2018
    Supported by photos, data, info-graphics and individual stories of impact, the FGE 2017-2018 Annual Report highlights key aggregated results achieved by its 26 active projects; presents the main findings and recommendations of the first FGE independent evaluation and introduces its fourth grant-making cycle 2018-2019, a scaling and innovation initiative. More

  • ‘Leaving no one behind’ in action

    ‘Leaving no one behind’ in action
    This brief contains observations from the Fund for Gender Equality’s seven-year experience working with civil society. Gender equality is at the forefront of the 2030 Development Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals include a stand-alone goal to advance equality, and gender-related targets mainstreamed across the Global Goals. Something has opened a door for drastic progress in the lives of women and girls worldwide, it is the principle of leaving no one behind. More

Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality