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UN statistics forum addresses efforts to support Global Goal on gender equality

In South Sudan, girls carry water for their families.
UNICEF/Alissa Everett
In South Sudan, girls carry water for their families.

UN statistics forum addresses efforts to support Global Goal on gender equality

Today marks the start of the 6th Global Forum on Gender Statistics, a two day event in Helsinki, Finland, that will highlight ways to improve data on gender in order to support better policies for women and girls and Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meeting Goal 5 of the SDGs, which calls for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, requires disaggregated data to ensure that all women and girls, especially those most vulnerable, are counted.

The event follows the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), whose theme this year is to focus on better and more data to support progress for girls. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on the Day: “What cannot be measured cannot be managed.”

The SDGs have raised awareness about the need for better data. “With a stand-alone goal on gender equality and almost a third of indicators relevant for gender analysis, [the SDGs have] put significant pressure on countries’ statistical capacity to fulfil new SDGs gender data requirements,” said Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the UN Statistics Division in a press release.

“It is expected that this will translate into an increased demand for high-quality gender statistics that are produced regularly and that provide solid and objective evidence on the status of women compared to men,” he added.

More than 200 participants, including national statisticians, government officials, women’s advocates, policy and statistical experts from regional and international organizations, and researchers from academia and think-tanks will be in attendance. The former President of Finland will deliver the keynote address.

The Forum this year will focus on best practices and challenges for the collection, production, dissemination, and use of gender statistics, as well as an opportunity to review data availability and persisting gender data gaps. The following six themes will be addressed:

  1. Women’s economic empowerment (indicators for SDGs 1, 5, 8);
  2. Women and girls in international migration (indicators for SDGs 8, 10);
  3. Violence against women and girls (indicators for SDGs 5, 11, 16);
  4. Measuring and valuing unpaid work (indicators for SDG 5);

  5. Women’s political participation, including at the local level (indicators for SDG 5); and
  6. Women’s health (indicators for SDGs 3, 5).

The Global Gender Statistics Programme organizes the forum with the guidance of the UN Interagency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics. More details about the forum are available here.