Facts and Figures: Governance and National Planning

Funding shortfalls

  • In 2006, the estimated gap in financing for gender equality issues related to achieving the Millennium Development Goals was as much as USD 30 billion. The amount was projected to rise to as high as USD 83 billion by 2015 [1].
  • Members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) committed an average of USD 23 billion per year to gender equality in 2007–2009. Of this, 24 per cent went to health. Education and governance received nearly 20 per cent each. Gender-focused aid to agriculture, a major source of livelihoods for women in many regions, amounted to only 10 per cent [2].

Closing gaps

  • In 2009–2010, all 24 OECD-DAC countries reported on a policy marker tracking allocations of official development assistance (ODA) to gender equality. The information they provided covered 76 per cent of all aid allocated by programme sector [3]. In 2005, only 9 DAC countries fully reported on the marker, and only 20 per cent of sector-allocated aid was screened [4].
  • Screened 2009–2010 DAC ODA that focused on gender totalled USD 24.9 billion or 35 per cent of the total, an increase of 7 per cent over 2008–2009. Only 4 per cent of the total went to programmes making gender equality a principal objective, however, compared to 31 per cent for programmes where gender equality was a significant objective [5].
  • In 2010, compared to 2009, 11 countries increased their share of ODA targeted at gender equality: Australia, Canada, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland [6].
  • In 2011, UN Women supported initiatives on gender-responsive budgeting in 65 countries. In 27, national planning documents incorporated priorities and budgets on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 18, dialogue mechanisms involving government and civil society back implementation of gender-responsive planning, budgeting and monitoring. Nine countries produced gender budget analyses or tracked public expenditures for gender equality.
  • In Ecuador, a budget classifier developed by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the National Women’s Department and UN Women tracks all public allocations against the national equal opportunity plan. Allocations to gender-responsive public policies now top USD 1.3 billion, or 4.5 per cent of the national budget. Funds have gone towards stopping violence against women, promoting equal access to jobs and financial resources, and upholding sexual and reproductive rights [7].
  • In the UN system, five entities—the UN Development Programme, the UN Children’s Fund, the UN Population Fund, the International Labour Organization and the UN Peacebuilding Fund—use a gender equality marker to collect data on budget allocations.

[1] Caren Grown, Chandrika Bahadur, Jessie Handbury and Diane Elson, 2006, “The Financial Requirements of Achieving Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment,” The World Bank.

[2] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “Aid in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment by DAC member and sector.”

[3] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2012, “Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.”

[4] UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2012, “Follow the Money: Tracking Financing for Gender Equality,” a background paper for discussion in Panel 2.

[5] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2012, “Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.”

[6] Ibid.

[7] UN Women Executive Board Report 2012.