ODA Spending

How much ODA does Japan allocate to gender equality?

Japan ranked 3rd out of DAC donors in terms of its overall spending toward projects related to gender equality in absolute terms, and 14th in relative terms. 

In 2022, Japan’s ODA related to gender equality stood at 43%, above the DAC average of 36%.  

How is Japanese gender equality ODA changing?

Japan’s gender equality-focused ODA increased by 38% in 2022.

US$120 million of Japan’s ODA was directed to projects which principally addressed gender. This represented just 1% of all bilateral allocable ODA, below the DAC average of 6%. This makes Japan one of the lowest-ranking DAC members in terms of relative focus on principal gender funding.

Meanwhile, US$8.8 billion of Japan’s ODA in 2022 was categorized as addressing gender in a significant way. This funding is composed largely of infrastructure projects.

How does Japan allocate gender equality ODA? 

Bilateral Spending 

Japan’s ODA for gender equality is largely concentrated in four key sectors, which comprise 88% of all gender-focused ODA. Like Japan’s overall sector allocations, the largest focus is on infrastructure, which comprises 61% of Japan’s total bilateral allocable ODA in the sector. This is followed by health and populations at 16%, industry, construction, and mining at 6%, and water and sanitation at 5%.

Multilateral spending and commitments

Japan provides a limited amount of gender-specific ODA through multilaterals. These contributions do not include earmarked funding through multilaterals. Japan has supported UN Women since its founding with total contributions of US$159 million from 2011 to 2020 and was the sixth-largest government donor in 2020, providing US$23 million. Japan also contributes gender-specific ODA to UNFPA.

Funding and Policy outlook

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

Japan’s development policy for gender equality is cross-cutting: Japan prioritizes women’s participation in development cooperation in its development policy framework, the Development Cooperation Charter. The revised Charter pushes for gender equality and female empowerment through gender mainstreaming at every stage of development cooperation. During its G7 presidency in 2016, Japan announced the Development Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which focuses on women’s empowerment through three main priorities:

  • Promoting women’s rights;
  • Building the capacity of women and girls to reach their full potential; and
  • Supporting female leadership.

The WAW! helps to advance collective action for women’s empowerment: Since 2014, Japan has hosted the annual WAW!, which brings together activists from around the world and Japan. The results of WAW! are used to inform collective actions towards women’s empowerment, but also as a reference for the Japanese government in policymaking. The 2019 WAW! was held concurrently with the W20 as part of Japan’s presidency of the G20, and generated recommendations in six areas:

  • Human resource development in technology;
  • Regional economic development;
  • Diversity in media;
  • Women, peace, and security;
  • Diversity in the workplace; and
  • Support for families and mothers.

The 2022 WAW! was held in Tokyo on December 3, 2022. The assembly focused on the theme, Mainstreaming Gender into a New Form of Capitalism, which brought together leaders from around the world to discuss issues such as the wage gap, climate change, business, health, and economy among others.

Japan also prioritizes efforts towards “women, peace, and security” in its development cooperation activities and policies. This is guided by the Third National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security 2023-2028, announced by the Japanese government in 2023. Building on experiences and insights gained from the implementation of the First and Second Action Plans, the Third Plan focuses on both international collaboration and domestic efforts. The plan also outlines four areas where Japan will increase its support for gender equality and women’s representation:

  • Peacebuilding in conflict-affected and fragile states;
  • Sexual and gender-based violence in conflict;
  • Disaster response and climate change; and
  • Domestic efforts focused on policy decision-making and capacity building.

In January 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan established the Taskforce on WPS under the leadership of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The taskforce will aim to enhance coordination across the ministry and integrate Japan’s unique initiatives in areas like disaster risk reduction with the broader goal of advancing WPS. The minister highlighted the critical role of women in achieving sustained peace through their participation in conflict prevention, reconstruction, and peace building, as well as in leadership positions.

Key Bodies

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