ODA Spending

How much ODA does the US allocate to gender equality?

The US ranked 4th out of DAC donors in terms of its overall spending toward projects related to gender equality, and 25th in terms of relative spending.

The US disbursed 15% of bilateral allocable ODA in support of gender equality in 2022, well below the DAC average of 42% and a decrease from 18% in 2021.

How is US gender equality ODA changing?

ODA for gender equality increased in volume but decreased in relative allocation between 2021 and 2022.

The US spends far more on projects with gender equality as a significant objective (US$5.5 billion) rather than on those with gender equality as a principal focus, where gender equality is the main objective of the project or program (US$435 million). The US is the 3rd-largest absolute donor to principal gender equality projects, but this is a small 1% share relative to the size of its bilateral allocable ODA. It spends less than half of the 6% DAC average and ranks 24th among DAC donors in relative terms.

The Biden Administration has prioritized gender as a cross-cutting issue. For the FY2024 budget, the Biden Administration proposed the largest-ever US investment in gender equality programs, with US$3.1 billion for gender programs. The same request was made in the FY2025 budget. Specific funding programs remained essentially level from FY2023 to FY2024. The budget proposals further the administration’s aim to secure gender as a cross-cutting priority on both the domestic and global front.

How does the US allocate gender equality ODA?

Bilateral Spending

'Health and populations' has long dominated sectoral disbursements to gender equality ODA, increasing from 45% of bilateral allocable ODA in 2018 to 55% in 2022.

Multilateral spending and commitments

The US channels a portion of its contributions to gender equality through multilateral organizations.

Funding and Policy Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on gender equality ODA?

The Biden Administration has proposed the largest-ever US investment in gender equality programs and has made gender a cross-cutting priority on both the domestic and global front: Biden has proposed US$3.1 billion for gender programs in FY2024 and FY2025, the largest-ever investment in programs that advance gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. FY2024 final figures included: US$250 million for gender-based violence programs; US$150 million in support for the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act; and US$200 million for the GEEA Fund. In August 2023, USAID released its first-ever LGBTQI+ development policy to better integrate LGBTQI+ individuals into existing USAID policy.

Biden has reversed previous policies on SRHR, but still faces pushback: Since assuming the presidency in January 2020, Biden has overturned the Mexico City Policy, which was reinstated by former US President Donald Trump’s administration to block US funding for both non- US NGOs directly involved in abortion services or abortion rights advocacy or for those who fund or support other groups which provide or discuss abortion. Biden’s State Department also lifted the ‘Kemp Kasten Amendment’ after four years, reinstating funding to UNFPA for SRHR projects, funding for which had been eliminated under the Trump Administration. Family planning funding remained level from FY2023 to FY2024 at US$608 million, and the Biden budget proposes increases in family planning and reproductive health. . The Biden FY2025 budget proposes a small increase in funding for UNFPA.

New gender equality council and strategy have been instituted: Following the creation of a White House Gender Policy Council in spring 2021, Biden released the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality with relevant applications both domestically and globally. The strategy, which takes a ‘whole-of-government approach,’ identified 10 interconnected priorities and set forth a comprehensive agenda and vision to achieve gender equity across sectors, including improved economic security; enhanced prevention and response to gender-based violence; increased access to health care; and advanced participation of women and girls in social, economic, civic, and political life. In January 2023, the Biden Administration also released the first US Strategy for Global Women’s Economic Security along with the launch of a US$300 million Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund.

Key Bodies

Related Publications

A new era of development assistance: Key takeaways from the G7 summit

Donor Updates in Brief: 2023 OECD Preliminary Data

Germany’s 2024 budget: Massive ODA cuts after a fiscal odyssey

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Learn more about SEEK's work on gender equality

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