In its third Call for Proposals, the Fund for Gender Equality will open a special grantmaking window on Gender and the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development, natural resource management and climate change. This commitment invests in women's potential to contribute to and benefit from the growth of the green economy as a critical link in progress towards sustainable development and post-2015 development framework agenda.
The Fund will invite civil society organizations to submit proposals for programmes that place gender equality and women's empowerment at the core of a transition toward an equitable and inclusive green economy in three sub-areas:
Women's access to and management of natural resources, including addressing tensions arising from privatization and globalization processes; harmonizing strict conservation approaches with livelihood needs of women and communities to control, use and manage natural resources; and engendering relevant frameworks, policies, and laws.
Women's engagement in the green economy market as entrepreneurs and workers, with emphasis on policies and strategies that enable community-level employment opportunities, and informal sector engagement in small and micro-enterprises.
Women's mitigation and adaptation strategies in communities where climate change already has or will have particularly detrimental effects on women, including in Small Island Developing States, agricultural producers in fragile ecosystems, and traditional and indigenous communities.
FGE brings expertise in global, gender-sensitive, transparent and accessible grantmaking; rapid and broad reach to donor partners committed to the green economy agenda; and established results-based management structures to monitor, capture and communicate programme results. UN Women also brings deep engagement and broad networks on gender and the green economy; and over 30 years of global in-country expertise that will lower transaction costs through knowledge of the terrain and a streamlined process for accessing organizations with experience, capacity and networks to 'hit the ground running' and deliver results.
In a pre-launch phase (August 2014), FGE will finalize the 'Gender and the Green Economy' Call for Proposals Concept Note and Grant Application in English, Spanish and French, as well as supporting documents and online application system development. In September 2013, the concept note and the Call announcement (including press release) will be disseminated and the web-based application page will become live. Outreach to key networks and partners will take place to raise the visibility, accessibility and ensure the dissemination of the Call for Proposals.
The On-line Application Period will run in October 2014) during which time grant applicants will submit applications via online application database; followed by the Application Review Period (November 2014 - February 2015). FGE will first conduct eligibility review on all proposals, which will then be reviewed by Technical Committee Members - regionally-based experts in gender equality - who conduct several rounds of evidence-based programmatic review, assessment and ranking of proposals.
From March - April 2015, applicants will undergo quality assurance, including an absorptive capacity assessment (financial review) of organizations in order to determine final grant amount that organizations can absorb in light of their past financial history and a review of audited financial statements. The process also includes standard UN Women due diligence processes (organizational review) of applicants.
In May 2015, finalist proposals will be ratified by FGE's Steering Committee, and following finalization of all grantee contracting and documentation, grantees will be publicly announced in June 2015 on UNW/FGE and funding partners' website and via other mediums (i.e. press release, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) is a grantmaking unit mandated to accelerate women's political and economic empowerment. FGE serves as an effective and efficient mechanism to deliver funds directly to civil society and government partners, providing multi-year grants ranging from USD 200,000-USD 3 million directly to women's organizations and governmental agencies in developing countries. Over the course of two Calls for Proposals and four years of engaging with grantees and partners globally, FGE has noted an important trend consistent with global momentum around the post Millennium Development Goals (MDG)/post-2015 development agenda; increasingly, women are seeking to engage in the green economy in the context of sustainable development, natural resource management and climate change. Through this commitment, FGE intends to support this emerging trend in demand and women's priorities.
UN Women uses a working definition of the green economy as one 'that results in improved human well-being and reduced inequalities, while not exposing future generations to significant environmental risks and ecological scarcities.'
The green economy brings together three pillars of sustainable development through a focus on the intersection of economic, environmental and social factors - a critical juncture which requires increased funding and commitments, particularly for women. Given the existing structural inequalities women face globally, it has been noted that the growth of the green economy may actually increase discriminations and lead to further marginalization, since women are unable to fully engage in sustainable development issues as participants, agents and beneficiaries of change. Nevertheless, women's historical contribution to sustainability, thanks to their relationship to natural resources and their roles as consumers, producers, caretakers, natural resources managers, conservationists, educators, farmers, and leaders, is crucial to promoting and achieving these sustainable development objectives that are fully in line with the post-MDG development agenda.
The Fund for Gender Equality seeks to ensure that women, especially poor women, are not left behind in the global transitions to a green economy, by supporting them to integrate their priorities and needs into the emerging post-2015 framework for development.
Through a rigorous, competitive process, the Fund for Gender Equality has selected 50 top-quality program proposals from women-led civil society organizations that address issues related to sustainable development in the post-2015 agenda. While the Fund has been able to award $7.3 million in grants to 24 programs, it is actively seeking additional $9 million to support the remaining 26 next in line programs.