Governing Climate Funds

What will work for women?

As the international community mobilizes in response to global climatic changes, climate funds must ensure the equitable and effective allocation of funds for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Women and girls, who bear a disproportionate burden of negative climatic change impacts in developing countries, have largely been excluded from climate change finance policies and programs. Women and girls must not only be included in adaptive and mitigative activities, but also recognized as agents of change who are essential to the success of climate change interventions.

This report draws on research findings that climate financing funds have systematically neglected gender issues and failed to incorporate a gender perspective into programs and projects. It was prepared by Gender Action at the request of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and Oxfam to look at practices that could work for women in climate change financing.

The report contains case studies of two non-climate funds, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI Alliance). These offer valuable lessons for gender integration in global finance mechanisms. Case studies of the two climate funds, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Adaptation Fund (AF), provide insight into specific challenges and opportunities related to gender integration in climate change finance.


Climate funds should follow a strong and comprehensive gender policy that has a commitment to:

  • The collection, analysis and application of sex-disaggregated data;
  • Women’s human rights;
  • Balanced participation of men and women in adaptation and mitigation efforts;
  • A comprehensive framework for building gender capacity

Climate funds should integrate gender into their operations by, among other measures:

  • Maintaining smaller funding windows as well as a dedicated reserve fund specifically for women and other marginalized groups;
  • Playing a facilitating role at the country-level, raising awareness of gender inequality with regard to climate change and building capacity to respond to it.