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Gender equality index highlights big data gaps ahead of 2030 deadline

by kenya-tribune
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World leaders
who have pledged to end gender inequality by 2030 will miss the
ambitious target if they do not accelerate efforts to plug
“profound” data gaps, experts said ahead of launching a new
gender index on Wednesday.

Global partnership Equal Measures 2030, which is overseeing
the index, said data had the power to hold governments to
account, highlight hidden issues and change laws, policies and
budget decisions.

“Data saves lives,” Equal Measures director Alison Holder
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It captures the attention
of policy makers and focuses their efforts on the right issues.”

But she said a survey of more than 600 experts from 50
countries showed most believed that governments did not
prioritise data collection on issues affecting girls and women.

World leaders agreed in 2015 on 17 Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) aimed at helping everyone live healthier, more
prosperous lives on a cleaner planet.

The SDG Gender Index, which aims to measure whether the
world is on track to meet its promises to achieve gender
equality, includes data on poverty, health, education,
employment, violence, taxation and climate change.

Holder said results for the first countries covered by the
index – Colombia, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Kenya and
Senegal – showed a mixed picture.

“Every country has major gender equality challenges they are
grappling with. This is why we need a new index to measure and
track performance,” she added.

Senegal scored well on political representation with 42
percent of parliamentary seats held by women compared to 12
percent in India.

But about half of women in Senegal believed a husband was
justified in beating his wife in certain circumstances, compared
to 3 percent in Colombia.

Although El Salvador did well on health, its femicide rate
was nearly 60 times that of Indonesia.

The six countries, representing more than a fifth of girls
and women worldwide, will be home to nearly 1 billion girls and
women by 2030. The full index will be available in 2019.

The launch comes amid wider warnings that gaps in data
collection will make it hard to measure SDG progress by the 2030
deadline.

The United Nations is organising a major conference in Dubai
next month to brainstorm ideas for improving data gathering in
areas such as health, migration, poverty, hunger and the
environment.

“We could miss meeting SDG targets because of data gaps,”
said Ruth Fuller of the Bond umbrella group of international
development organisations.

“We need better tracking to see what
progress is being made … and right now that’s missing.”

Read: Female MPs don head scarfs to protest two-thirds gender rule

Also read: 2 NGOs move to court on the two-thirds gender rule

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