Empowering Philanthropy

Asia Gender Network's Trailblazing Principles for Gender Equality

One of the AGN’s key goals is to drive new and incremental capital towards programs which enable gender equality. In recognition of this, the AGN embarked upon defining a set of standardised principles and guidance for philanthropic givers to incorporate gender equality into their activities.

The principles developed are meant to serve as a guiding structure, helping philanthropic givers make gradual but intentional progress towards giving with a gender lens, regardless of their starting points.

Despite its criticality, gender equity is severely underfunded in Asia

Women and girls in Asia experience development challenges more acutely

Gender equality and women’s leadership are critical to development progress in Asia ​

Yet, the focus on gender in financing for development is highly inadequate​

gender disparity in literacy rates, with more pronounced gender gaps in rural areas
USD 4.5 trillion
can be added to Asia’s collective annual GDP in 2025, by advancing women’s participation in paid work
of OECD Official Development Assistance commitments in 2018-2019 did not account for gender
Up to 55%
gender wage gap in formal jobs, with women in informal work facing even greater wage insecurity
and counting, of social enterprises in Southeast Asia are owned and led by women, highlighting the growing importance of women’s leadership
worth of financing gap exists for women-led small businesses globally; Asia alone accounts for 25% of this gap

Embedding a gender lens in philanthropy can exist along four dimensions

Does your organisation have good gender practices?
Build a gender-diverse staff and leadership team to ensure women’s participation in the decision-making process.

What is the funding for?
Fund projects and initiatives that seek to advance gender equality across causes, such as targeting women through financial inclusion schemes and addressing gendered challenges to increasing school enrollment.

Who do you fund?
Fund those who are most impacted as key decision-makers, such as women-led social justice organisations that have the best insight into what solutions work best for their communities.

How do you fund?
Incorporate considerations on the needs and realities of women and girls throughout the grant-making cycle regardless of sector to build power at all levels.

Across these dimensions, we are defining a set of principles that could guide philanthropic giving in Asia


How do you benefit from becoming a signatory of the Principles?

Guidance Rooted in Asian Insights

AVPN’s tailored principles, shaped by our members for our region’s distinct challenges and opportunities.

Building a Philanthropic Foundation: Your Guide

We guide your gender-lens journey at every step, from start to advanced.

Streamlined Philanthropic

Complementing tools by adding a gender lens to philanthropy, addressing the gender gap.

Unlocking Gender Data: Tackling Market Challenges

Committed to transparency, we’ll provide current data on our progress and reveal market gender gaps.

Customised Signatory Experiences: Embracing Diversity

Valuing each signatory, we’ll tailor the Principles to fit your organisation’s context.

Dynamic Collaborative Principles

As a collaborative hub, AVPN ensures signatories can regularly give feedback to refine our principles.


Be a catalyst for change, empower gender equality

Frequently Asked Questions

Launched by the Asia Gender Network (AGN) at the B20 2022, the Principles are a set of guidelines designed to guide gender intentionality within philanthropic giving. For detailed information on the Asia Gender Network, refer here.

Signatories will be showcased on the AGN website and be part of a network of like-minded philanthropists that can collectively learn and share best practices on advancing gender equality through their giving (regardless of geographic or sector focus). Signatories will have access to periodic webinars and learning resources to inform and strengthen the impact of their activities on gender equality.

To become a signatory to the Principles, each organisation needs to fill out this brief form annually and share information on the following: organisational gender practices, funding going towards initiatives supporting women and girls, funding going to women-led organisations, and gendered considerations as part of the funding or programme delivery process.

Adherence to any one of the Principles’ dimensions should be demonstrated for eligibility as a signatory. For Principle 1 specifically, organisations ideally would need to comply with at least 3 sub-dimensions. However, as the Principles are intended to guide philanthropic givers at various stages of their gender journeys, we welcome organisations currently not meeting any criteria but keen on making gradual and intentional progress towards incorporating gender intentionality within their activities.

The types of documents/information that can be prepared beforehand to facilitate this process include:

  • Your organisation’s latest annual report
  • Contact details of one personnel who will oversee liaison for the Principles

As the form seeks to capture where organisations are currently placed in incorporating gender considerations across its giving, there is no expectation for all the fields to be completed. A detailed step-by-step guide can be found here (link to PDF file hosted on site). Data will be requested on an annual basis for benchmarking and analysis purposes.

The Principles are envisioned as a tool to encourage gender intentionality within philanthropic giving and operate on a trust basis with data being self-reported by signatories rather than having an official audit process. The submitted data will be reviewed by the AVPN team who might be in touch if any follow-ups or clarifications are required. Data will be analysed and reported in aggregate and individual members’ data will not be shared publicly. Self-reported qualitative learnings and case studies will be published on an annual basis.

Organisations looking to support gender equality and deepen gender intentionality can participate in webinars and events, share their experiences of embarking on their own gender lens journey, as well as tap on research and insights generated by AVPN and the AGN.

For any other questions on the Principles, please reach out to Deborah Foo from the AVPN Gender team.

Talk to us