On 24 September, on the margins of the UN General-Assembly, UN Women hosted an interactive data lab to showcase the new Women Count Data Hub, the first of its kind to provide public access to gender data that can be used to monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Adopted by governments around the world, the 17 SDGs represent a blueprint for sustainable development that leaves no one behind and protects the environment. However, only 31 per cent of the data required to monitor progress for women and girls is available today, which means policy decisions are made without sufficient evidence.
The Women Count Data Hub brings together the latest available data on gender and the SDGs, as well as stories and analysis about the lived experience of women and girls. For instance, one of the stories online show how in Kenya, new gender data has spurred policy actions, including three new laws to boost women’s empowerment.
Speaking at the event, UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships, Anita Bhatia, underscored the importance of gender data: “In the drive to get better gender equality outcomes, and to really push for women’s empowerment, we need gender data, we need numbers, and we need stories. This data hub is going to give you both.”
At the event, participants got an exclusive look at the latest gender data, such as the existing gap between men’s and women’s labour force participation and how marital status influences gender gaps.
The unique features on the Data Hub include: data dashboards on all the available gender-related indicators of the SDGs; country factsheets; gender data stories; and updates from UN Women’s global gender data programme ‘Women Count’, which is creating a radical shift in how gender data is produced and used by countries.
“We need to keep the momentum going and document the good stories and be humble about what we do not know. The Women Count data hub aims to help facilitate this”, said Papa Seck, Global Manager of the Women Count programme.
Maureen Gitonga, who leads Women Count in Kenya, talked about how through Women Count, new partnerships between government and civil society actors created an enabling environment for better gender data, and has spurred policy actions.