GCF insight #22: The importance of gender in Green Climate Fund project development

10 March 2023, Category: All insights, GCF insight, Tags: , , , , , ,

gcf insight 22

Download your copy of GCF insight #22 today.

In our twenty-second edition of our GCF insight series, we explore how gender considerations can be incorporated into Green Climate Fund (GCF) project development. 

Drawing on insight gleaned from a survey of respondents in the project development community, such as GCF specialists and IGO professionals, we’ve collated key findings regarding how gender is seen by this community, and how gender inclusions are used in project development. 

This study was conducted in February 2023 and consisted of survey questions and semi-structured interviews. The survey received 78 responses and we conducted five interviews – three with external stakeholders and two with E Co. consultants and gender experts, Debasmita Boral Rolland and Roberta Piacci.

This research is being conducted by E Co., a specialist consulting firm, as part of our learning resources from our training division, E Co. institute. E Co. is conducting this research independently, and is not affiliated with the Green Climate Fund, the GCF Secretariat or other donors. E Co. is not approaching survey participants for sales purposes, nor will participants’ names be added to other email lists. Find out more about the reports on our GCF insight section.

A short background on gender today

The past several years have seen increased numbers of uneven climate shocks experienced by already climate-vulnerable communities, such as those in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and economically developing nations. Within those communities, women and girls are the demographics disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, with current trends and statistics painting a bleak picture:

  • From the years 2008 to 2021, 30.5 million people have been displaced by weather-related disasters. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that of these displaced peoples, 80% are women.
  • It is generally accepted that the most acute risks will be faced by indigenous and Afro-descendant women, elderly women, those in the LGBTQIA+ community, and those living in rural areas, especially ones prone to weather-related risks.
  • Research from the National Institutes of Health states that ‘the death rates of women and children are 14 times higher than men’ during a natural disaster, and that ‘women are more prone to intimate partner violence and sexual abuse/harassment’ in the same circumstances.
  • According to Action Aid, women perform 75% of unpaid work globally, with 16.4 billion hours spent on unpaid care work daily. Unpaid care and domestic work is valued between 10 and 39% of global Gross Domestic Product.

Key findings 

GCF insight #22 uncovers many useful insights on how gender is perceived within GCF project development. Here are some of our key findings:

  • Accessing accurate and reliable data and the lack of funds to collect primary data are key barriers to understanding the current context of a target area and undertaking gender assessments.
  • Respondents highlighted a lack of perceived importance of gender as a major challenge in designing impactful projects with positive gender benefits.
  • Limited gender expertise combined with a difficulty in encouraging participating hinders gender action plan development. 

The GCF insight series

Our GCF insight series seeks to understand what’s working – and what’s not – in GCF project development. These surveys and reports spotlight the most topical GCF issues. If you’re interested in seeing more of these reports, you can access all 22 of them on our dedicated GCF insight resource page.


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Please feel free to share your comments below or send an email to: gcfinsight@ecoltdgroup.com.

*We are grateful to the respondents of this study for their contributions and insights. This study is an initiative of E Co., emerging from work we are doing to develop low-carbon, climate resilient projects. E Co.’s team of consultants designed and administered the survey and prepared this report. E Co. has conducted this research independently and is not affiliated with the GCF, the GCF Secretariat or donors.

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