Read profiles of women leading Millennium Challenge Account programs who are implementing critical policy reforms enabling women to participate in their economies for the first time.

Many countries with high levels of gender inequality also experience high levels of poverty. Gender inequality can be a significant constraint to economic growth and poverty reduction. MCC is committed to ensuring that gender is considered in all stages of its work with partner countries at the policy and project levels. MCC’s Gender Policy mandates the consideration of gender differences and inequalities in the selection of eligible countries, the development and design of compacts, the assessment and implementation of projects, the monitoring of program results, and the evaluation of program impacts.

MCC’s Gender Integration Guidelines provide guidance on milestones and operational procedures during these different phases. In 2011, MCC also adopted a new scorecard system, which includes a gender equality indicator to help determine country eligibility and selection for MCC investments. The gender in the economy indicator assesses a government’s commitment to promoting gender equality by providing men and women with the same legal ability to interact with the private and public sectors.

Gender Integration in Practice

Through partnerships with civil society and the private sector, social and gender analysis is being integrated across compacts in a variety of ways. MCC’s projects aim to provide women and other vulnerable groups with improved access to infrastructure, land, healthcare, education services, and productive roles in the agriculture industry. MCC’s interventions occur at both the policy and activity levels. They are designed to encourage women’s decision-making within the context of compacts and more broadly in societies, where their voices often are underrepresented.

News & Events

Since the launch of the Gender Policy, MCC continues to share our experiences and lessons learned with stakeholders and the public:

United Nations General Assembly

At the 2010 U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York, MCC and the White House co-hosted a conversation about the challenges and opportunities donors face in achieving gender integration.

International Women's Day

To celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day in 2011, MCC invited Fatimata Yanta and Aissatou Diallo, two BRIGHT Schools Project beneficiaries from Burkina Faso, to Washington. They shared their experiences with stakeholders, including First Lady Michelle Obama and students at Washington’s Oyster-Adams Bilingual School.

MCC Social and Gender Assessment College

In October 2011, MCC hosted Environmental and Social Assessment/Social and Gender Assessment College, a workshop where 17 of our country counterparts visited MCC headquarters in Washington to share lessons learned from their experiences with our compacts and best practices to ensure effective integration of gender issues in current and future projects.

Voices from the Field

With country ownership a cornerstone of MCC’s approach, our partner countries have made significant efforts to ensure gender integration in their work:

  • Mongolia, Nicaragua and the Philippines have incorporated news and gender resources (including the corresponding Gender Integration Plans) to their MCA websites.
  • Burkina Faso and Moldova have publicly released their compact’s Social and Gender Integration Plans. These are operational documents designed to systematize and ensure gender integration across compact projects and activities.

Beginning in 2011 and part of MCC’s Gender Integration Milestones and Operational Procedures, each partner country is required to complete the Social and Gender Integration Plans before the compact can enter into force.