Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Amidst an economic crisis disproportionately impacting women in low- and middle income countries, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is well positioned to prioritize the promotion of gender equality through its investment portfolio and in turn contribute to an inclusive recovery. This policy paper reviews the extent to which DFC (and its predecessor, OPIC) have focused on the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and broader gender equality to date, particularly through the 2X Women’s Initiative. Using project data from the DFC project database and mobile application, as well as consultations with the DFC 2X team, we compile all 2X projects and analyze key trends across sector, geography, financial tool and intermediary. The paper also reviews the initiative’s contributions to accelerated momentum in gender lens investing across development finance institutions through the 2X Challenge. After highlighting strengths of DFC’s gender lens investing approach, as well as gaps and areas of opportunity, we make recommendations for how DFC under the Biden-Harris administration can both build on DFC’s early progress to improve gender integration in external lending, technical assistance, advisory services, and its internal policies and practices – as well as increase the ambition of its gender targets and its focus on transparency and results.

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