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Mainstreaming gender

Gender action in practice

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GCF’s gender-responsive approach is captured in the GCF Gender Policy and Action Plan, which was adopted by the Fund’s governing body in 2015. Through the Gender Policy and Action Plan, GCF commits to:
  1. Gender equality and equity;
  2. Inclusiveness in all activities;
  3. Accountability for gender and climate change results and impacts;
  4. Country ownership—through alignment with national policies and priorities, and broad stakeholder engagement, including women’s organizations;
  5. Gender-sensitive competencies throughout GCF’s institutional framework—skills, knowledge and behaviours acquired from training and experience that enable GCF Secretariat staff members to apply a gender-lens throughout their work; and
  6. Equitable resource allocation—so that women and men benefit equitably from GCF’s adaptation and mitigation activities.

How does the GCF Gender Policy work in practice?

GCF provides guidance to Accredited Entities submitting funding proposals on the type of gender documentation required during the project planning, preparation and development stage.

This entails an initial gender and social assessment that must be included with the funding proposal. The assessment includes a snapshot of the gender equality situation in the region, country or project area; the gender issues that may be relevant to the proposed project; and the opportunities to bring about positive change for both women and men.

Accredited Entities are also requested to submit a gender and social inclusion action plan at the project preparation stage—the plan should indicate the gender-responsive activities the project will undertake; provide relevant gender-performance indicators; sex-disaggregated targets; timelines; responsibility lines; and a budget against each proposed activity.

Submitting a gender and social inclusion action plan is a unique feature of GCF’s funding proposal process, and GCF is the only climate finance mechanism to call for such a plan. Going forward, GCF aims to make the initial gender and social assessment and the gender and social inclusion action plan obligatory documentation in the funding proposal submission process.

GCF and gender: Milestones

To date, 84 per cent of all GCF’s approved funding proposals contained an initial gender assessment and 67 per cent contained a project-level gender and social inclusion action plan. UN Women and GCF have prepared a Mainstreaming Gender in Green Climate Fund Projects training manual (forthcoming) with tools and methods to promote gender equality in the development of GCF projects and programmes.

In collaboration with GCF, UN Women developed a handbook on Leveraging Co-Benefits Between Gender Equality and Climate Action, which focuses on helping practitioners and stakeholders integrate gender equality considerations in climate projects and leverage co-benefits between gender equality and climate action.

GCF has shared its experience and technical inputs with the UNFCCC Secretariat in an effort to develop a gender action plan to assist Parties to the Convention implement gender-related decisions and mandates under the UNFCCC process.

Case study

Shining a (solar) light on women’s empowerment in East Africa – A GCF-financed project, “KawiSafi Ventures Fund in East Africa”, to be implemented initially in Rwanda and Kenya by Acumen Fund Inc., proposes solar technologies to rural and off-grid communities.

The project includes ear-marked funding for dedicated gender-responsive initiatives such as training to women to become solar technicians and sales agents of companies in the off-grid energy sector; working with women-focused micro-finance institutions and savings groups to create demand for and access to clean energy products; and providing market education and consumer awareness to women on the health and safety benefits of solar products in the home.

As part of its gender and social inclusion action plan, Acumen Fund Inc. will report on sex-disaggregated data and performance indicators to capture the gender impact of investments, including the number of women employed and number of individuals and households with improved energy products, among others.