The evidence is clear: investments in women’s health, education and economic and political participation are critical to reducing poverty and creating a better world for us all. Yet, a lack of quality sex-disaggregated data has hindered development efforts.
That’s why, in 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the creation of Data2X, a partnership between her office, the United Nations Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the U.S. Government. Data2X aims to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment and further global economic and social gains through improved data collection and analysis that can guide policy, better leverage investments and inform global development agendas.
Mapping Gender Data Gaps
As a first step, Data2X identified gaps in global sex-disaggregated data across five domains: health, education, economic opportunities, political participation, and human security. The 26 gender data gaps were diagnosed according to need, coverage, and policy relevance, and Data2X suggested ways forward to fill these gaps.
Gaps examined include issues that affect women uniquely, such as reproductive health, and those that fall within other domains, since progress in all areas must be tracked to understand how men and women fare differently.
Data2X synthesized this information in a global gender data gaps mapping report.
Partnerships for Improving Gender Data
Based on the mapping exercise, Data2X is building partnerships with key institutions and agencies best poised to fill actionable data gaps: those that can be filled in the near term, at the national or international levels. Partnerships may take on multiple forms, including new data initiatives, or ongoing initiatives to which Data2X may add or strengthen a gender component.
Next Steps: Gender Data Blueprint
Data2X is producing a Gender Data Blueprint, which will identify actionable gender data gaps, articulate actions required to fill those data gaps, make the case for data partnerships, highlight key agencies involved, and call for commitments to support the partnerships. The Blueprint is intended to be a guide to spur action, and will launch in 2014.
We hope the background and coordination work undertaken by Data2X will:
• improve coordination on gender issues among ongoing and planned data initiatives;
• encourage sex- and age- disaggregation in all data efforts;
• connect users with funders and producers;
• raise the profile of gender data to encourage widespread use; and,
• generate ideas on how big data sets and new analytical approaches can help close gender data gaps.
Ongoing: Post-2015 Engagement
The global discussions about the post-2015 framework are in progress, and gender equality is recognized as a fundamental principle for achieving sustainable development. Data2X is utilizing the mapping information, the collective expertise of gender and data advisors, and the resulting Blueprint and its dissemination to influence and inform the process, providing key recommendations that could ensure the optimal use of gender data in the development of the post-2015 framework.