FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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WASHINGTON, DC—A new report released today demonstrates the gap between global ambition on gender equality and the gender data needed to ensure its achievement. “The PARIS21 Partner Report on Support to Statistics 2022 – A Wake-Up Call to Finance Better Data” produced by PARIS21 shows that between 2011 and 2020, global financial support for gender equality rose. At the same time, support for gender data—and gender data financing—dropped by 55% in 2020 compared to the previous three years, three times the drop in funding to overall data and statistics. The report attributes the decline primarily to the concentration of funding for gender data in a very small pool of donors, the disruption of data collection due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and historical lack of mainstreaming support for gender data, which have constrained donor and national government budgets.
Despite notable progress in key development areas, gender data gaps remain persistent. This is in large part due to chronic underinvestment in core gender data systems. Currently, less than half of countries have data available to monitor Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality). The report findings suggest that if the financing gap is unaddressed, critical gender data gaps will only widen.
“With the halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals just one year away, this report sounds the alarm on the urgent investments needed to fund the core gender data systems that are the bedrock of measuring our progress on gender equality,” says Krista Jones Baptista, executive director of Data2X. “Increased political support for gender equality is cause for celebration, but the only way to create the kinds of smart, inclusive, and efficient policies needed to make gender equality a reality is to prioritize the collection, use, and analysis of gender data. Without it, we cannot identify and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable, nor fully recognize the invaluable contributions of women, girls, and gender-diverse people.”
Says Shaida Badiee, managing director of Open Data Watch: “In an environment of scarcity, these new findings reinforce the need for a targeted approach to filling resource gaps. We must prioritize equipping national statistical offices with the tools to identify and advocate for the areas of greatest need with precision—and in collaboration with all actors along the data value chain.”
Data2X and Open Data Watch are calling on governments, donors, and civil society to prioritize improved official development assistance funding for gender data, support country-driven resource mobilization, increase global stakeholder coordination and collaboration, and harness new and alternative gender data sources to help fill the financing gap for gender data and ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
About Data2X: Data2X is a civil society organization and gender data alliance working with partners to improve the production and use of gender data through strategic partnerships, research, advocacy, and communications.
About Open Data Watch: Open Data Watch is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that monitors progress and provides assistance to organizations that produce and manage official statistics on how to use open and accessible data to meet Sustainable Development Goals.