Foreign Aid for Gender Equality: The Challenge for Donors

Ba Ha marketplace, Vietnam. Photo: UNU-Wider

The United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) held its first Research and Communication in Foreign Aid project workshop on gender equality (12-13 July 2012, Helsinki). Gender equality is one of the project’s five themes. The workshop identified key focus areas for what works, what could work, what is transferable, and what is scalable in foreign aid for the promotion of gender equality.

A two part article on UNU-WIDER’s website provides an overview of the outcomes (Part I and Part II) and useful conclusions which could also be interpreted in sectoral contexts (e.g., aquaculture, fisheries, rural development).

In summary, the workshop found that the priorities and challenges for donors are:

  1. Challenges of incorporating gender into organizational structures
  2. Women’s rights and/or women as tools for economic growth
  3. Changing aid modalities
  4.  Funding for gender by traditional donors and the ‘new development finance’
  5. Reporting on gender results

Future agenda themes for research and development

  1. Formalizing female employment
  2. Overcoming barriers to female participation in the labour force
  3. Inclusive development for men and women
  4. Female asset ownership
  5. De jure and de facto rights