What Is Gender Lens Investing And Why Does It Matter?

Gender equity is an issue to think about year round, but International Women’s Day is an occasion to move the narrative forward

Why It Matters

Gender-lens investing matters for the world of impact, because it recognizes that all investments have gendered impacts on our economic, financial, and social systems. Many impact investors and international NGOs understand the potential of applying a gender lens to move the needle on gender equality outcomes, but are less sure of what it looks like in practice.

The Canadian government’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) was top of mind when I started my role at Engineers Without Borders Canada last year. Knowing I was going to be based in Kampala, Uganda, I was eager to see the application of FIAP in international development, and more specifically, through impact investing in emerging markets.

Not too long ago at EWB Canada, Gender-Lens Investing (GLI) felt like an industry-contrived concept that was hard to actualize, especially for the early-stage social enterprises. As investors, we worried that adopting a GLI strategy wo


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