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SDG 5 – Gender equality

KfW promotes gender equality worldwide

Inequality between men and women is still deeply embedded in societies. While progress has been made, disasters and crises such as climate change, armed conflicts or pandemics continue to set back the goals that have been achieved and pose new challenges to gender equality commitments. Whether it is a question of access to decent work, gender-specific differences in employment and discrimination in pay, access to digital and other future technologies, basic economic protections or access to political and economic decision-making structures – women are generally worse off. Amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or patriarchal regimes, many women and girls experience limited access to healthcare services and education. The same applies to financial services. As a result, women often lack opportunities to earn a living independently and they remain dependent on their family or are exploited. If young women marry early and fall pregnant, they lack the time for education and employment. Violence against women also rises - and not only in armed conflicts. Women's knowledge and experience, e.g. with regard to the impacts of climate change or biodiversity, are often ignored. In addition, discriminatory laws exclude women from societal decisions, political participation and from land and inheritance rights. Women spend three times as much time as men looking after children or other people in need of care and doing (unpaid) housework, which leads to lower incomes and makes them time-poor.

All this, while gender equality between women and men is a human right. It is a prerequisite for sustainable development and contributes to significantly improving quality of life for all people. A fair and inclusive society, a sustainable and successful economy and a forward-looking approach to the environment can only be attained if women and girls are included. The advancement of gender equality and strengthening of women’s rights are therefore a priority for international and German development policy and a core aspect of the 2030 Agenda.

While SDG 5 focuses exclusively on gender equality and empowering women, another 45 sub-goals and 54 indicators include gender equality as a key factor for the overall sustainability agenda.

Through its projects, KfW is working to advance gender equality and empower women around the world, thereby helping to implement the 2030 Agenda.

In 2021, many projects of KfW Development Bank contributed to achieving SDG 5. With more than EUR 179 million, gender equality is strengthened as the main goal. In addition, 174 projects with a total financial volume of more than EUR 2.6 billion promote gender equality as an important secondary goal. KfW therefore supports its partners in strengthening gender equality and advancing the rights of women in partner countries through each of the respective projects and programmes.

Materials on Development Finance "Gender equality in FC" (PDF, 526 KB, non-accessible)

Current Topics "Gender equality" (PDF, 52 KB, non-accessible)

One Pager "Has progress towards more gender equality got stuck halfway?" (PDF, 56 KB, accessible)

One Pager "Climate change is not gender neutral" (PDF, 115 KB, non-accessible)

SDG 5 on the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development website (German only)

"Progress could be lost"

Interview with Christiane Laibach, Member of the Executive Board of KfW, to mark International Women’s Day, about the importance of women in development cooperation and promoting women at KfW.

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Invitation to another world - the Women's Centre in the Rashidieh refugee camp in southern Lebanon

Ahlan wa sahlan - welcome to the Women's Centre in Rashidieh! As a guest, you will be welcomed by one of the volunteers who will be happy to show you around the newly renovated building and the different activities that women and children from the camp for Palestinian refugees can choose from.

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KfW's contribution to SDG 5

  • young women


    Women and girls are taking their future into their own hands

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  • Young women at work


    When education offers wings to fly

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  • A Women at a pharmacy

    family planning Côte d’Ivoire

    More self-determination for women

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  • Symbol image Globe

    Development Research

    For more gender equality – designing gender-sensitive social protection systems

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