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Bridging The Data Collection Gap To Help Women


A group of Afghan women listen attentively how to count votes and seal them away to keep the country's first ever presidential election as fair as possible.

“We already know that investing in women delivers returns for entire societies. But we are missing critical information to guide our investments better."

Women make enormous contributions to their families and their communities, and there is compelling evidence that women jumpstart and then drive economic growth around the world. “We already know that investing in women delivers returns for entire societies. But we are missing critical information to guide our investments better,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“For too many countries, we lack reliable and regular data on even the basic facts about the lives of women and girls – facts like when they have their first child, how many hours of paid and unpaid work they do, whether they own the land they farm. And since women make up half the population, that’s like having a black hole at the center of our data-driven universe.”

Speaking at a recent conference on closing the data gender gap, Secretary Clinton noted that data not only measures progress, it inspires it. "Just as investing in women and gender equality has a multiplying effect that brings about positive results for entire societies, investing in collecting and analyzing data on women and gender equality can exponentially increase those benefits."

We must push to dedicate the resources to collect new data, analyze, and publish the data we already have, said Secretary Clinton. We must harmonize and coordinate data collection methods, questions, and indicators.

“We must find opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships to harness new technologies and reduce the overall cost of collecting and analyzing data,” said Secretary Clinton. “We need to build the capacity of national statistics bureaus and share with future data scientists and policymakers the value and methods of gender-sensitive data.”

Secretary Clinton also announced the Data2X initiative, which will publish a roadmap for closing key gender data gaps and develop principles and standards for curricula on gender-sensitive data collection and use.

“Improving the rights and the status of women is not simply a matter of human dignity, although it certainly is. It is also essential to our shared prosperity and security,” said Secretary Clinton. “We will not be able to move forward on any of our larger strategic goals or improve our security here at home unless we take on the fundamental instability and strife that inequality creates in our world. . . . Getting the gender-sensitive data we need is a critical starting point.”

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