Development finance topics

Development finance for gender equality and women’s empowerment


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The 2030 Agenda aims for a world with full gender equality. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in developing countries requires sufficient investments. Collectively, development partners need to maximise both the quality and quantity of financing to SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.


Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is and will remain an important source of financing, especially in the Least Developed Countries. Additional finance however has to complement ODA, and the full “toolbox” of development finance needs to support gender equality to implement the 2030 Agenda and deliver for women and girls.

Official development assistance for gender equality

OECD analyses the ODA invested by bilateral donors, which focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The DAC members provide yearly reporting on gender focussed ODA, using the DAC gender equality policy marker.

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Key facts: 

  • In 2021-2022, 43% of bilateral allocable ODA had gender equality as a policy objective (USD 64.1 billion), down from 45% in 2019-2020. The bulk was committed for programmes that integrate gender equality as one significant policy objective amongst others: USD 58.3 billion (39%).
  • Only 4% of bilateral allocable ODA was dedicated to programmes with gender equality as the principal objective, a similar share from the previous period.
  • The Netherlands ranked first among DAC members in terms of shares of ODA for gender equality with 84%, followed by Ireland, Canada, Iceland, Sweden and Switzerland, all above 70%.
  • Humanitarian aid and aid for the energy sector continue to have the lowest shares of aid with gender equality objectives (18% and 30% respectively).
  • ODA to support women’s rights organisations and movements, and government institutions dropped to USD 631 million on average per year in 2021-2022, from USD 891 million in 2019-2020. Excluding the volumes committed to government institutions such as women’s ministries, the amount was USD 453 million in 2021-2022.
  • ODA to end violence against women and girls reached USD 563 million on average per year in 2021-2022, representing less than 1% of total bilateral allocable ODA.
  • Explore the data


Financing for gender equality beyond ODA

OECD is also looking at the quality and quantity of financial flows beyond ODA. That includes gender lens investing and DAC members' other official flows, as well as funding by non-DAC providers such as private philanthropy and private flows mobilised by public development finance. The work on wider financing involves learning and exchange at several levels with Gendernet members, civil society, foundations, and the private sector.

Key facts

Based on a 2020 OECD survey of blended finance funds and facilities:


  • Out of the assets under management by surveyed blended finance funds and facilities, 65% responded that they integrate gender equality aspects (USD 49 billion).
  • Only 1% of assets under management was dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment as the main objective.
  • Blended finance funds and facilities span across several sectors, including energy, transport, banking and environment.

Read more: Blended finance for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (2022)


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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