Overview of gender statistics:why, what, for whom and how Workshop on Integrating a Gender Perspective into National Statistics, Kampala, Uganda 4 - 7 December 2012 Ionica Berevoescu Consultant United Nations Statistics Division
Beijing Platform for Action (1995) • Identified gender mainstreaming as a global strategy for achieving gender equality • Called for specific actions related to gender statistics: • regular review of the official statistical system and its coverage of gender issues, and preparation of plans for needed improvements (para 207(b)) • improvement of data collection in certain areas (para 206); • production of gender statistics and use in policy and programme planning and implementation (para 206 (b) & para 207 (d))
Since Beijing, a few resources for training in gender statistics developed… • Comprehensive manuals on gender statistics – so far, only 3 • Engendering Statistics. A Tool for Change (Statistics Sweden, 1996). • Handbook for Producing National Statistical Reports on Women and Men (United Nations, 1997) • Developing Gender Statistics: A Practical Tool (UNECE and World Bank Institute, 2010) • Manuals on producing gender indicators – more numerous • Recent guidelines and manuals on data collection in censuses and surveys integrate a gender perspective • Guidelines on data collection in emerging issues: time use surveys, violence against women surveys • Manuals on use of gender statistics in background reports for policy making – very few
Yet, mixed progress in gender statistics • Overall, increased availability of statistics and gender statistics (mainly due to improved dissemination of sex-disaggregated statistics; more household surveys in less developed regions; and more use of administrative sources in more developed regions) • Nevertheless, quality gender statistics are still lacking in many countries. • Data scarcity in areas such as poverty; time use; violence against women; environment. • Data not collected in some countries • Data already collected not adequately disseminated: • Data disseminated not disaggregated enough to allow the identification of population groups where gender differences are more pronounced • In many countries, dissemination of gender statistics is not integrated in regular outputs prepared by NSOs, such as analytical reports or databases. • Some countries still use old concepts and measurement that do not take into account gender differences and gender biases.
Definition Gender statistics are defined as statistics that adequately reflect differences and inequalities in the situation of women and men in all areas of life (United Nations, 2006). Gender statistics are defined by the sum of the following characteristics: • Data are collected and presented disaggregated by sex; • Data are reflecting gender issues; • Data are based on concepts and definitions that adequately reflect the diversity of women and men and capture all aspects of their lives; • Data collection methods take into account stereotypes and social and cultural factors that may induce gender biases.
Confusion between “sex” and “gender” still persists among producers and users of statistics. • “Sex” refers to biological differences • “Gender” refers to socially constructed differences in attributes and opportunities associated with being female or male and the social interactions and relationships (including power relationships) between women and men • Data are disaggregated by sex, not by gender
Gender statistics have to respond to the needs of policy makers, advocates, researchers, the media and the public. Gender statistics are used to: • Promote understanding of the actual situation of women and men in society; • Advance gender analysis and research; • Monitor progress toward gender equality and full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental rights by women and girls; • Develop and monitor policies and programmes oriented toward increased investments in human capital and labour force; • Support gender mainstreaming in development and poverty reduction policies; • Develop and monitor policies on reduction of violence against women.
Exercise: are gender statistics in your country reaching all potential users? • List the dissemination products of gender statistics in your country. • What potential users (policy makers, gender advocates, general public, research and academia) are reached the least by gender statistics?
Model 2 “Mainstream” Gender is taken into account in all stages of data production (planning, data collection, data analysis, data dissemination) and in all statistical fields. Two contrasting models of production of gender statistics Model 1 “Add-on” • Compilation and dissemination of existing sex-disaggregated data
Model 1: Production of gender statistics as an “add-on” • Limited coverage of gender issues • Concepts and methods of data collection may not be gender sensitive • Products of dissemination perceived as “for women’s advocates only” • Gender statistics marginalized among other fields of statistics • Fail to reach a wide range of users, particularly policy makers, researchers and analysts in domains other than gender equality • Their production may be more dependent on irregular economic and human resources
Model 2: Gender mainstreamed in national statistics (It means that gender is brought into the “mainstream” of all statistical activities rather than dealt with as an “add-on”) • Coverage of gender issues are decided from the stage of planning of data collection • Concepts and methods of data collection are chosen to be gender-sensitive • Dissemination of gender statistics are incorporated in regular publications or databases, therefore they reach a wider audience • A more sustainable production of gender statistics • Improved quality of data produced by national statistical systems
Definition • Mainstreaming/integrating a gender perspective into statistics means that gender issues and gender-based biases are taken into account systematically, in the production of all official statistics and at all stages of data production.
Elements of a strategy of gender mainstreaming in national statistics • Develop a plan for developing gender statistics, based on four steps: • Identify gender issues (user-producer cooperation is key) • Identify data needed to address those gender issues • Assess the availability and quality of existing gender statistics • Use the information on the gap between data needed and existing data as a basis for developing a plan for gender statistics. Note: It is a requirement of the Beijing Platform for Action that the coverage of gender in national statistics and their adequacy should be regularly reviewed (para 207 (b)).
Elements of a strategy of gender mainstreaming in national statistics 1 (cont). The plan for developing gender statistics may include: • Collection of new type of data, either using a completely new instrument or adding a few questions to an existing instrument • Better dissemination of data already collected • Use of new gender-sensitive concepts, definitions or classifications
Elements of a strategy of gender mainstreaming in national statistics 2. Integrate gender-sensitive concepts and methods in data collections in all statistical fields: • Review and revise the conceptual basis of existing data collections (concepts and definitions and their translation into questionnaires; units of enumeration and units of data collection) • Use new concepts and new methods of data collection, such as those involved by time use surveys and violence against women surveys • Review and revise the coding and classification systems and terminology • Gender training for all personnel involved in data collection • Gender-sensitive selection of field interviewers • Media campaigns that include gender specific messages
Elements of a strategy of gender mainstreaming in national statistics 3. Improve dissemination of gender statistics : • Fully exploit existing data for obtaining gender statistics, including more disaggregated gender statistics • Make sure that statistics made available on a regular basis to policy makers include a gender dimension • Include data-based gender analysis in analytical reports and highlight gender-based causes and consequences
Implications at organizational level Mainstreaming a gender perspective into national statistical system requires: • Leadership and political will at all levels • Specification of formal requirements of gender statistics in the national statistical legislation • Cooperation between users and producers of statistics • Collaboration of NSOs with other institutions for developing and improving concepts and methods • Training of statisticians • Re-focus of activities and position of gender units and gender focal points within the national statistical systems
Re-cap Gender statistics are more than data disaggregated by sex “Sex” and “gender” not interchangeable Gender statistics have to respond to the needs of policy makers, advocates, researchers, the media and the public Gender should be integrated at all stages of data production and in all statistical fields (=gender mainstreaming) Four-step plan for developing gender statistics • Identify gender issues (user-producer cooperation is key) • Identify data needed to address those gender issues • Assess the availability and quality of existing gender statistics • Use the information on the gap between data needed and existing data as a basis for developing a plan for gender statistics.