Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 21 December 2014





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Government Gazette

New partnerships to improve data on women and girls

New York: The World Bank Group is scaling up partnerships with UN agencies and the Data2X initiative to fill vast data gaps related to women and girls, as part of a broad effort to empower them and end extreme poverty.

"It is not enough any more to make a case on moral grounds, because we are not making enough progress" toward gender equality, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. "So I want to combine all the data collected by the World Bank and other organisations and make it an enduring part of our diplomacy and work."

"We need to bring the data home and make it real for people. Help make an evidence-based case for helping women and girls," she said at a Data 2X event to unveil a number of new partnerships at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Scant data globally reveal too little about women's health, childbirth conditions, workplace roles, economic empowerment, and labour, which makes benchmarking progress toward achieving gender equality difficult.

Among new and expanded partnerships, the World Bank Group is working with the International Labour Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation to operationalise new international definitions of work and employment that recognise all productive activities, paid and unpaid - which has major implications for how women's work is measured.

The result will guide statisticians and survey designers to accurately measure women's labour. This will complement the Bank's work with the UN Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) Initiative to gather data on women's asset ownership and entrepreneurship.

"We need better data and more of it and am vey optimistic," said World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

She said that new technologies are facilitating better data collection at lower cost. Women make up half the world's workforce and perform most of its unpaid care, but they remain far more vulnerable than men to poverty.

Educating and empowering them and ensuring they have access to economic assets is vital to ending poverty once and for all, Indrawati said.

The World Bank Group has with the World Health Organisation and others, developed plans to scale up collection of vital statistics. Marriage and divorce registrations will expand the ability of women and girls to own and inherit property, while birth and marriage registrations will helpprevent early and forced marriage.

The Bank Group is also housing a new Global Financing Facility for the Every Woman Every Child initiative, supporting countries as they institute universal registration of every pregnancy, birth and death by 2030.

"Data on maternal health needs to be properly recorded, so we can work with non-profit organisations and governments to improve and save lives.

If you can get the data, you can save lives. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it," former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.



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