“If we’re serious about narrowing the gender gap and helping more girls and women, then we must get serious about gathering and analyzing the data that tell the tale.”
Such thinking encompasses the thesis of remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week at “Evidence and Impact: Closing the Gender Data Gap,” an event co-hosted by the State Department and Gallup.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, State Department Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer joined Secretary Clinton in a major display of thought partnership on the next big step in global women’s empowerment.
While research demonstrates that investing in women delivers a wide range of positive outcomes for entire societies, vast gaps in statistics remain about women and girls’ economic, political, and social status. As one example, Clinton noted we can estimate how many people use the internet worldwide but we do not disaggregate this information to compare usage by males and females.
Without such data, Clinton said, “We are missing critical information to guide our investments better… And since women make up half the population, that’s like having a black hole at the center of our data-driven universe.”
To further this vision, panelists announced several specific actions:
First, Secretary Clinton launched Data 2x, an initiative by the Departmet of State that will develop principles and standards for collecting and using gender-sensitive data to help close the gender data gap. Second, President Kim unveiled that the World Bank will make available a gender data portal to serve as a centralized location for a large range of gender data from a variety of sources. President Kim also gave a concrete goal for the next year: “One year from now, let’s commit to seeing progress in data availability in two areas – women’s economic opportunities, and women’s voice and agency – for at least 10 countries where that data are currently missing.” Gallup offered its support to utilize the data they produce for gender-disaggregated reports.
La Pietra Coalition applauds the movement to delve deeper into understanding the gender gap around the world, a necessary condition for evidence-based policy recommendations to foster equality.