Facts and Figures: Governance and National Planning

Domestic public finance

  • In 2013, UN Women supported 65 countries to strengthen gender equality priorities in their national, sectorial and local development plans and budgets. In 24 countries, national planning documents incorporated priorities and budgets on gender equality and women’s empowerment [1].
  • At the national level, resources allocated to address gender equality are consistently low. In 2013, 13 surveyed countries reported that less than 0.4 per cent of the total budget was allocated to ministries or agencies that address women’s empowerment [2].
  • Seven African Governments’ agriculture budgets and policies (Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia) reported that across the board, women’s priorities were poorly reflected and that gender commitments in this sector were almost entirely unimplemented [3].
  • For every United States dollar spent in 74 high-burden countries, society would gain almost nine dollars in economic and social benefits as a result of lower morbidity and mortality by 2035. As many as 147 million child deaths, 32 million stillbirths, and five million maternal deaths can be avoided within a generation [4].
  • The Government of Nepal increased gender-responsive budget allocations from USD 1.13 billion in 2013/14 fiscal year to USD 1.36 billion in 2014/15, accounting for 21.93 per cent of the total budget. The country developed, implemented and refined a tracking system to provide critical information on gender-responsive investments [5].

International public finance

  • The total volume of Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members’ aid commitments targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment more than tripled from USD 8 billion in 2002 to USD 28 billion in 2013. These commitments focused mainly on education and health in line with the MDGs [6].
  • Despite relatively high levels of funding in the health sector overall, funding for family planning has declined substantially from 71 per cent in 1995 to 31 per cent in 2013 [7].
  • Only 2 per cent of bilateral aid going to women’s economic empowerment in 2013 targeted gender equality as a principal objective. Commitments in this area as a share of total bilateral aid to the economic and productive sectors have remained flat since 2007/2008 [8].
  • Based on 2011-2012 data, only approximately 15 per cent of screened aid contributed to gender equality and women’s rights and did “not come close to their policy commitments” [9].

Funding for women's organizations and private funding

  • The majority of women’s organizations’ budgets are very small. A global survey of 1,119 women’s organizations from 140 countries (2011) shows that the combined income of 740 women’s organizations in 2010 was only USD 106 million, with a median income of USD 20,000. This amount is a fraction of the budget for many individual, large international NGOs [10].
  • The percentage of women’s organizations receiving multi-year funding has decreased from 42 per cent in the 2008 to 21 per cent in 2010. Evidence shows a worrying trend where more organizations are relying on one-time funds without any predictability and assurance of future funding [11].
  • A study mapping 170 corporate sector initiatives shows that a total of USD 14.6 billion in commitments were focused on women and girls priorities. More than one third of these initiatives were worth over USD 5 million [12].
  • According to a 2013 study, 23 per cent (USD 276.5 million out of USD 1.2 billion) of foundations’ human rights funding in 2010 was allocated for women’s and girls’ priorities. Analysis of how these funds were allocated among sectors shows that more than one third of these funds (37 per cent) support sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls [13].
Notes

[1] UN Women, 2014, Report of the Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director on the progress made in implementing the Strategic Plan, 2011–2013 for the year 2013, p. 26.

[2] Government Spending Watch, 2013, GSW Report 2013, p. 31.

[3] Action Aid, 2013, Walking the talk: Why and how African governments should transform their agriculture spending, p. 39.

[4] The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Washington, 2013, Advancing social and economic development by investing in women’s and children’s health: a new global investment framework, p. 5.

[5] UN Women, 2014, Report of the Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director on the progress made in implementing the Strategic Plan, 2011–2013 for the year 2013 p. 26.

[6] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), 2015, From commitment to action: Financing gender equality and women’s rights in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. p. 2.

[7] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), 2015, ibid, p.3.

[8] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), 2015, ibid, p.2.

[9] Research and Communication on Foreign Aid, 2014, Position Paper: Aid and Gender Equality, p. 14.

[10] Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), 2013, Watering the leaves, starving the roots, p. 16-17.

[11] Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), 2013, ibid, p. 123.

[12] Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), 2013, New Actors, New Money, New Conversations, p. 14, 17.

[13] Foundation Center and the International Human Rights Funders Group 2013, Advancing Human Rights: the state of Global Foundation Grant making, p. 17, 114.

[Page updated April 2015.]