A new set of global goals offers an opportunity to increase resources and innovate to fill data gaps, but for countries to begin tracking progress now, they will rely on a set of existing and consistent indicators.

In support of the work of the IAEG-SDGs, the UN Foundation’s Data2X initiative and Open Data Watch have identified 16 global indicators that are ‘ready to measure’ outcomes for women and girls now, including but not limited to Goal 5 on Gender Equality.

Ready to Measure: Sixteen Indicators for Monitoring SDG Gender Targets outlines 16 indicators that have internationally agreed definitions; are produced through available data collection instruments; already have comparatively wide coverage; do not have built-in gender biases; and are informed by recommendations from UN Women, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics, the Open Working Group, MDG indicators, and the current UN Statistical Commission list.

Both aspirational and existing indicators are complementary for measuring progress, but these 16 indicators offer the opportunity to ‘jump start’ data collection, starting now in a majority of countries, and there is a small cost of doing so.

We hope this paper is energizing and motivating for colleagues within the statistical community (and outside of it) to show that measurement on gender-related targets is possible throughout the entire SDG period, even though data is not yet available for all indicators.