Data2X Mapping Gender Data Gaps

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Data2X, named for the power women have to multiply progress in their societies, aims to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through improved data collection and analysis that can provide a solid evidence-base to guide development policy. To provide basic information for a Data2X roadmap, this report maps gender data gaps in developing countries across five domains of women’s empowerment: (1) health, (2) education, (3) economic opportunities, (4) political participation, and (5) human security. Need, population coverage and policy relevance were the three criteria used to select which data gaps to map. The report suggests ‘ways forward’ to close these gaps using existing and new data sources, including censuses and micro-level surveys, service and administrative records, and the potential use of ‘big data’ as a new source of gender data. These ways forward build on recent and ongoing data initiatives and are intended to inform the Data Revolution (High Level Panel Report, 2013) and the stand-alone gender equality goal (UN Women, 2013) called for in the post-2015 period. Existing international databases often have data that could be disaggregated by sex and analyzed to address gender data gaps. These data sources should be mined before initiating new data collection efforts. Going forward, data mining and collection should be undertaken efficiently and in response to meaningful demand for and capability to use the data for policy purposes, and as a tool to drive social change. Globally, close to 80 percent of countries regularly produce sex-disaggregated statistics on mortality, labor force participation, and education and training. Less than a third of countries disaggregate statistics by gender on informal employment, entrepreneurship (ownership and management of a firm or business), violence against women, and unpaid work. Reflecting these gaps, the UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS) has compiled a minimum set of 52 gender indicators and divided them into three tiers according to their conceptual clarity, international standards and regular production (UNSD, 2012). Educational indicators, followed by health, lead the way in terms of clarity, comparability and country coverage. Availability and coverage in the other domains highlighted in this report are poor, and this is especially the case for economic indicators. Throughout, this report makes reference to this minimum set of gender indicators as well as a proposed set to track a stand-alone gender equality goal in the post-2015 period (UN Women, 2013). Laws and policies, particularly those related to marriage, property, and labor rights, influence health, education, and economic outcomes for women. However, comprehensive information on policies related to women is difficult to obtain. Databases that help document laws and policies affecting women’s outcomes are reviewed in this report. Additional efforts to expand coverage and improve the robustness of these databases are warranted to round out the availability of policy relevant data on women.

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