First Women’s SDG bond

February 2020 | ESG investing

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to accelerate action in essential areas for humanity and the planet, might just be a step closer to achieving Goal 5: Gender Equality.

On February 6th, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in conjunction with the Global Media Campaign Charity to End FGM (GMC) and White & Case LLP, announced a new financial initiative to support gender equality. The sovereign bonds, now called Women’s Bonds, will finance programs towards the 5th SDG and will focus on ending female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Africa1. This new financial initiative is also exploring the possibility to create a Global Women’s SDG Fund for countries that have announced measurable actions to achieve gender equality by 2030.

This is an innovative collaboration with UN Women bringing their expertise on successful programs and initiatives to mitigate gender inequality, GMC focusing on local projects in Africa to end FGM and child marriage, and White & Case overseeing the financing initiative.

According to the UN, $5 trillion of additional investments is still needed in developing countries each year to achieve Goal 5 and White & Case added that the $100 trillion bond market is the only capital solution.2

Although no official dates were mentioned, with only 10 years left on the 2030 agenda to empower women and girls, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, director of UN Women said “now is the time for big, bold investments in gender equality, so that progress for women and girls is accelerated. This requires new approaches for women to access money and for budgets to be prioritized.”3




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