Gender Integration in NDCs: A Commonwealth Best Practice Guide


Commonwealth Secretariat


gender, gender equality, climate, climate change, unfccc, NDC, NDCs, nationally defined contributions


This best practice guide supports Commonwealth member countries to integrate gender into Nationally Determined Contribtions (NDCs) – the documents at the apex of national frameworks for climate mitigation and adaptation actions, through which gender equality outcomes can be progressed.

The 2013 Commonwealth Charter recognises ‘gender equality and women’s empowerment as critical preconditions for effective and sustainable development’. Integrating gender into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is an iterative process of increasing ambition to meet Commonwealth, national and international gender equality goals.

It is intended for stakeholders of the NDC update process: national climate change focal points, national gender-responsible entities, sectoral leads, Commonwealth National and Regional Climate Finance Advisers of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH), as well as those who carry out research and assessments on which future NDCs are based.

The guide encourages users to reflect on the NDC update processes to date, and provides a sample of best practices from across the Commonwealth. Tips and useful references are also included, all aimed at increasing gender equality through climate action. Best practices have been divided into five sections, covering:

  • policy alignment and clarity of intent
  • financing gender expertise and gender budgeting
  • skills for a gender-just transition
  • evidencing a gender-just transition
  • institutional collaboration and feedback mechanisms.

Each section includes basic questions for consideration by stakeholders, along with a Commonwealth progress check, informed by data from the Commonwealth NDC Tracker which will launch in 2023, and a theoretical timeline of iterative actions to help mainstream gender into NDCs by the 2025 cycle.

This guide should be read in tandem with the accompanying Commonwealth report, Gender Integration for Climate Action: A Review of Commonwealth Member Country Nationally Determined Contributions (Second Edition)

cover image of the report, Gender Integration in NDCs: A Commonwealth Best Practice Guide



11 November 2022