GIF recognises that prevailing issues in the developing world, such as food insecurity and malnutrition, global health crises, and climate change and forced migration, disproportionately affect women and girls.

GIF’s Innovating for Gender Equality Fund invests in innovations that increase the agency of women and girls. Innovations in the Fund work towards greater participation by women in decision making, prevention of violence against women and girls, and greater control over assets. The Fund fills a gap in the global landscape at the intersections of gender equality, innovation and impact-first financing, and is made possible through the support of Global Affairs Canada.


GIF's Gender Toolkit

GIF uses gender analysis tools to ensure we consider each of our investments through a 'gender lens'. Our toolkit allows us to analyse gender issues for innovations focussed specifically on gender impact, but also to consider gender issues for innovations primarily focussed on non-gender impact outcomes. Our toolkit comprises:


Gender Equality Framework

Shows how GIF looks at innovations that increase the agency of women and girls.


Gender Marker

Helps us to quickly assess an innovation's gender dimensions.


GIF’s Gender Questions

Provides a cohesive conceptual framework for the analysis of gender in innovation.


Practical Impact Gender Outcomes Summary

Summarises how we ensure gender outcomes are captured in our impact framework.


Additional Gender Resources from our blog

Investing in ideas that grow

Our Innovating for Gender Equality sub-fund has been particularly successful in scaling innovation, crowding in $135 million of additional capital, against a commitment of $16 million in grants and risk capital investments. The has partnered with 14 ambitious, committed and diverse #innovators and over 44 million women and girls are expected to benefit from the fund by 2033.

Our Approach

The innovations in GIF's Innovating for Gender Equality Fund seek to shift the harmful social structures and norms that perpetuate gender inequality in the developing world. At the core of our approach is a focus on increasing the agency of women and girls.

Impactful innovations working to break down structural barriers to gender equality can be found throughout the developing world. Through collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, a strengthened pipeline of gender innovations, and adopting our gender toolkit, GIF seeks to invest in those innovations with the greatest potential for outsized impact in advancing gender equality.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, progress was reversed in many areas. Women shouldered the unpaid care burden, experienced deepening poverty, had reduced access to sexual and reproductive health services, and were subjected to an increase in the multiple dimensions of gender-based violence (GBV). It is now crucial that we accelerate our efforts in order to cement gender equality for the future.

Applying a gender lens to all investments

GIF diligently analyses all potential investments, rather than just those with a direct focus on gender equality outcomes, through a gender lens. We start conversations with all funding applicants using GIF’s Gender Questions, which help us to understand the possible gendered impacts of a potential investment. Next, using GIF’s Gender Marker, we gain an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the gender approach of an innovation.

Investments in the Innovating for Gender Equality Fund, and other investments with a strong focus on gender issues, go through a second-stage analysis using our 'Gender Dive' tool. This analysis helps us to deepen our understanding of possible gender impacts at individual, household or community, business, and structural levels. Using this information, we are able to develop a gender strategy for the innovation.

We ensure new investments collect sex-disaggregated data and include other gender deliverables, which enable us to deepen our understanding of gender impacts. We also continuously monitor our portfolio to ensure we are conscious of important markers, such as the number of female leaders and staff, gender of beneficiaries, and compliance with ESG Action Plans that relate to the quality of roles and diversity.

Advancing Gender Data and Measuring Gender Outcomes

We seek to maximise our social impact by forecasting the long-run potential impacts of investments, as well as tracking and managing impacts as they are realised. We have adapted our Practical Impact Methodology specifically for gender outcomes, as we work to quantify results in terms of empowerment, agency, and changing norms. We aim to encourage learning on the effective use of the scarce resources devoted to gender equality. Quantifying gender equality outcomes helps to guide future investments, promotes learning, and directs more attention and resources towards female empowerment.

GIF's detailed methodology and approach was shared with gender experts and development economists as part of a robust consultation process. GIF's approach received overarching support, and we are now committed to sharing our gender-conscious Practical Impact methodology with other investors and innovators to support their efforts in tackling gender issues in development.