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Unveiling the Gender Bonds Toolkit: A Roadmap to Closing the Gender Financing Gap

On February 19-20, 2024, a landmark event took place at the Nairobi Serena Hotel in Kenya – the dissemination of the highly anticipated Gender Bonds Toolkit. Organized by FSD Africa, FSD Network Gender Collaborative Programme, British International Investment, and UN Women, this two-day gathering brought together key players in sustainable finance to explore the potential of gender bonds in addressing the persistent gender financing gap.

The event kicked off with welcome remarks from the project partners, setting the stage for a comprehensive discourse on gender empowerment and the urgent need for innovative financing mechanisms. Daniel Wilcox, the Economic Counsellor at the British High Commission in Kenya, delivered a keynote address, underscoring the importance of mainstreaming gender considerations in capital markets.

A highlight of the first day was the “Fireside Chat: Exploring the Opportunity for Gender Bonds,” where representatives from institutions like the Development Bank of Rwanda, KCB Kenya, and the Capital Market and Securities Authority of Tanzania shared their insights and experiences in the realm of gender-focused investments.


After the unveiling of the Gender Bonds Toolkit, attention turned to unpacking its key components. Experts from Parallelle Finance, a consulting firm specializing in sustainable finance, provided an in-depth analysis of what gender bonds entail, the global and regional landscape, and the types of projects they can finance.

Subsequent sessions delved into the practical aspects of issuing gender bonds, including articulating a gender strategy, strengthening data collection, defining eligible projects, and exploring the synergies between gender and climate finance. The transaction process, bond frameworks, investor engagement, and the role of market intermediaries were also explored in detail.

On the second day, the focus shifted to the critical components of a successful gender bond issuance. Experts from Sustainalytics, a leading provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research and ratings, shared their insights on obtaining second-party opinions, a crucial step in ensuring credibility and transparency.

Regulatory considerations and the value of listing gender bonds on stock exchanges were also discussed, with representatives from the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya and the Moroccan Capital Markets Authority (AMMC) offering their perspectives.

Institutional investors and guarantee companies shed light on the factors they consider when subscribing to gender bonds, underscoring the importance of credit enhancement mechanisms. Additionally, the event explored best practices in impact reporting, a crucial aspect of demonstrating the tangible benefits of gender-focused investments.

The event culminated with deep-dive group discussions, allowing participants to delve into specific topics and share their experiences, challenges, and potential solutions.

As the curtain fell on this landmark event, it was evident that the Gender Bonds Toolkit represents a significant step towards mobilizing capital for gender-focused initiatives and closing the persistent financing gap. By providing a comprehensive roadmap, the toolkit equips stakeholders with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complex world of sustainable finance and harness the power of capital markets to drive lasting change.

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