Development finance statistics

Analysis of aid in support of gender equality 1999-2003


Key findings

  • Two thirds of aid focused on support for gender equality and empowerment of women was in the social sectors, especially basic education and basic health (including population and reproductive health).
  • About one half of aid to basic education and basic health targeted gender-specific concerns.   A tenth of aid in these sectors was for the main purpose of promoting gender equality.  Improvements in basic education and basic health are critical to achieving the MDGs.
  • While several DAC members are implementing a mainstreaming strategy, several others promote gender equality through a relatively small number of activities targeted to women and girls.
  • While aid for transport, communications and energy infrastructure accounted for a third of bilateral aid, little was reported as focused on gender equality.  Nevertheless, well-designed infrastructure projects can bring significant positive benefits for women and girls by improving access to markets, schools and health services or by increasing women’s safety.
  • Aid to agriculture is currently down to a tenth of all aid.  Gender equality focused aid to this sector may indicate donors’ recognition of the high level of women’s participation in food production and agriculture in many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.


One-page summary is available here.

Gender Equality Aid at a glance

Donor charts summarise statistics on the gender equality focus of aid extended by DAC members.


The report presented in this publication examines data on DAC members’ aid targeting the objective of gender equality in recent years.  It is based on donors’ reporting on bilateral official development assistance (ODA) commitments to the Creditor Reporting System (CRS) Aid Activity Database and, in particular, the use of the gender equality policy marker to identify the relevant activities.

The publication, which includes all data series used for this study, is available for purchase on OECD's online bookshop.
ISBN : 9264008160