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There is an increasing focus on gender equality in development and humanitarian aid, including in donors’ self-reported contributions to gender equality. More policies and laws are calling for an increased focus on gender equality, and some nations are calling for feminist aid or feminist foreign policy, all positive steps to address one of the world’s largest challenges: gender inequality.

Donors’ self-reported gender equality funding figures have increased, but it is unclear if the funding is actually for gender equality work. Evaluations of donor equality policies suggest that they are inconsistently implemented. And until recently, assessing the quality of gender equality projects was problematic because it was difficult to link the reported funding figures to more detailed project information.

This report draws on Oxfam’s research using publicly available information to examine 72 projects from seven donors across various sectors that provided over $6bn worth of gender equality funding. Its findings suggest there is a major gap between self-reported funding and high-quality gender equality projects. This is especially concerning given the massive challenges to achieve gender equality and the incredible gains that could come from it.

Donors and other partners need to act to fix these deficiencies in their gender equality projects by gender marking projects in the pre-design phase, and not allowing projects to be counted as gender equality projects if they do not include critical components.

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