Country Profiles

Denmark

Context

Following the Danish general elections in November 2022, the Social Democratic party formed a coalition with the main opposition party, the Liberal Party, and the Moderates, a new established party. 

Denmark

Denmark now has two new ministers relevant to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR): the Minister for digitalization and gender equality and the Minister for development cooperation and global climate policy. Thus, climate is an important element of the new government’s development policy and is mainstreamed in several other development efforts such as gender and SRHR, migration, human rights and civil society.

Even though the cross-political support for SRHR is still strong, DFPA has been observing an increasing anti-gender opposition and mobilization in Denmark. The elections led to the rise of a new far-right movement, which initiated a national `anti-woke´ campaign entitled “It’s ok to be normal”. Far-right parties oppose the use of gender-neutral pronouns and want to ensure that elementary school children are not taught about different gender identities. DFPA also foresees that the rising opposition will try to impact the upcoming European Elections with an increased push back on gender equality, including SRHR, women’s rights and LGBTIQ+ rights. Countdown’s partner has therefore been working together with civil servants on countering the opposition movements that seek to undermine the achievements of gender equality of the last decades.

The new government’s development priorities for 2022 and 2023 strongly focus on climate and green diplomacy, irregular migration and Ukrainian refugees; but significant commitments to sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) and SRHR and are also kept. In the ‘Foreign and Security Policy Strategy’ (2022), Denmark explicitly states that it wants to take up leadership in the fight for women’s and girls’ SRHR and that Denmark will protect vulnerable population groups, including LGBTIQ+ persons and religious minorities. When Denmark announced its candidature for the Security Council 2025-2026 during the UN General Assembly in 2022, the country announced that SRHR and Women, Peace and Security are part of their priorities.

Denmark continues to be among the top donors to UNFPA and UN Women. Denmark also aims to build on evaluations and integrate learning in terms of promoting gender in its work. In the latest White Book on the UN published in 2022, SRHR is mentioned as one of Denmark’s key priorities several times throughout the paper.

Policies & funding

Matching policies to financing trends

In 2022, Denmark allocated the smallest percentage of official development assistance (ODA) in 41 years (0,67 % of GNI) due to a GNI higher than expected during COVID-19 lockdowns. However, in absolute terms, 2022 still represented a record amount of 2.7 billion Euros (DKK 19.6 billion) as ODA. In order to return to 0.7% commitment, the government now plans to reach 0.78% of GNI in the Finance Bill for 2024. As the war in Ukraine is still a major priority, Denmark is expected to be the largest recipient of its own development funds in 2023, given the reception of Ukrainian refugees in the country, which counted for 16 % of the total development assistance.

Despite this landscape, Denmark sustained the commitments to SRHR and SHR/FP in 2022. The country spent 108 million Euros on SRH/FP that year, which is the same level observed in 2021. However, because of the high ODA in 2022, this only represents 4.2% of total ODA, compared to 4.6% in 2021. Danish support was mostly observed through the multilateral system. But, in comparison with the previous year, the country spent 2 million Euros (15 million DKK) less on core and earmarked multilateral funding for SRH/FP.

Denmark also kept the same level of investments on SRHR in 2022, amounting to 137 million Euros (1 billion DKK) and equivalent to 5.2% of total ODA. The small reductions observed in the use of the multilateral system for SRHR were offset by an increase of investments through international organisations and initiatives. As in, Denmark still surpassed the yearly 101 million Euros pledge (755 million DKK) to SRHR made at the Generation Equal¬ity Forum.

In 2022, Denmark continued supporting UNFPA through all chan¬nels. While core contributions were kept at the same level as in the previous year, amounting to 30 million Euros (225 million DKK), support to UNFPA Supplies Partnership decreased by 6%. Denmark and UNFPA signed the ‘Strategy for Denmark’s Engagement with United Nations Pop¬ulation Fund (UNFPA) 2022-2025’, under which the country commits to core contributions, an earmarked contribution to UNFPA Sup¬plies Partnership and a contribution to UNFPA’s humanitarian work.

The potential reinvestment into the Global Financial Facility (GFF) from Denmark is still pending. Currently there is no funding allocated for the GFF in the Danish Finance Bill for 2023, but talks with the GFF were ongoing at the time of writing.

Forecast

Going forward, ‘green diplomacy and climate adaptation’ as well as ‘irregular migration’ and ‘Ukraine and other neighbouring countries’ will continue to be central components of Danish ODA. In 2024, Denmark will develop a new Strategy for Development Cooperation and a new Strategy for Partnerships with African countries. These new strategies will most likely include an increased focus on ‘equal partnerships with the Global South’ and an increased support to the SRHR and climate nexus.
According to the Finance Act for 2024, there will be a small increase of 1.3 million Euros (10 million DKK) to SRHR compared to 2023 and another 5.4 million Euros (40 million DKK) allocated to climate and SRHR nexus. On the other hand, contributions to Women Deliver are expected to be cancelled in 2024.

chamiya mohamad

Key documents

Explore more