Gender equality and development

Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment


In 2016-2017, members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) targeted an average of USD 44.8 billion per year, corresponding to 38% of their bilateral allocable aid, towards gender equality and women’s equality as either a significant (secondary) or principal (primary) objective. This is higher than ever before.

At the same time, support to programmes specifically dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment as their principal objective remains consistently low. In 2016-2017, funding for dedicated programmes with principal (main) objective remains low at 4% and 62% of aid remains gender blind. In the economic and productive sectors, dedicated gender equality programming represented only 1% of total aid – a decrease from previous years.

Data and gender equality marker

Gender-related aid at a glance 

Donor chart thumbnail 2018

By donor and recipient, years 2010 to 2017.
  • Trends in aid to Gender equality
  • Aid by sector
  • Top 10 donors/ recipients
  • Aid by instrument

Latest reports

Gender equality marker

Data on DAC members’ aid targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment are compiled with the help of the gender equality marker in the Creditor Reporting System (CRS). Every aid activity reported to the CRS should be screened and marked as either (i) targeting gender equality as a “principal objective” or a “significant objective”, or (ii) not targeting the objective.

An activity should be classified as gender equality focussed (score Principal or Significant) if it is intended to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment or reduce discrimination and inequalities based on sex. 

Criteria for eligibility: gender equality is explicitly promoted in activity documentation trough specific measures which:

  • Reduce social, economic or political power inequalities between women and men, girls and boys, ensure that women benefit equally with men from the activity, or compensate for past discrimination; or
  • Develop or strengthen gender equality or anti-discrimination policies, legislation or institutions.

Online database


General database access: International Development Statistics Online
guidance on using, and access to, our database and Query Wizard.

Read the reports

Important note on coverage:

The first element to take into account when analysing the data for one country or when comparing data between countries is the COVERAGE RATIO, i.e. the proportion of aid which is screened. A high percentage of gender equality focussed aid alone does not mean that aid is well aligned with the gender equality policy objective; such a conclusion would only be valid for a donor with 100% coverage. When comparing data between donors, both coverage ratio and % of aid focussed on gender equality and women's empowerment have to be considered.

For more information on OECD work on Gender Equality see