Brief on ‘How do Individual donors address gender Issues in their policy, programming, and financing?’

Donors, both individually and collectively, have made numerous commitments to advance gender equality through their official development assistance (ODA). For instance, the European Commission (EC) has acknowledged that gender equality is a fundamental human right and instrumental to achieving the MDGs.

Gender equality is considered to be one of the key principles of EC development cooperation, with the EC committed to both mainstreaming gender and supporting specific actions for women's empowerment. Collectively, OECD member countries have also made similar commitments and have proposed the gender equality policy marker as a way to monitor members' financial support for gender equality interventions.

Furthermore, in the recent Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), donors made a commitment to ensure that their policies address issues of gender equality in a more systematic and coherent way. Moreover, they agreed to ensure that development policies and programmes are designed and implemented in ways consistent with their agreed international commitments on gender equality, human rights, disability, and environmental sustainability.

The research conducted under the EC/UNIFEM programme ‘Integrating Gender Responsive Budgeting into the Aid Effectiveness Agenda' assessed to what extent some of these gender equality commitments had been put into practice.

This brief presents examples of how donors addressed gender equality concerns in their aid management practices and instruments in the select countries. In addition to the EC, the research covered another major donor in each of the ten countries. The second donor was chosen based on the size of its support to the country, and its use of new aid modalities, such as general budget support (GBS) and sector budget support (SBS).

The donors reviewed were DFID (Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, and Rwanda), the Netherlands Tanzania), Sweden-Sida (Mozambique),Spain-AECID (Morocco and Peru) and France (Cameroon).

This brief is one of the five knowledge briefs produced by UNIFEM in 2010 under the EC/UNIFEM programme ‘Integrating Gender Responsive Budgeting into the Aid Effectiveness Agenda'.

The briefs are available in English, FrenchSpanish and Portuguese.