To Close the Gender Gap, We Have to Close the Data Gap
Melinda Gates
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The time to close the gender data gap is now. We are proud to partner with the Gates Foundation and others to make this happen. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality. But to bring all women and girls to the finishing line in 2030 at the same time as everyone else, we must be able to target their needs, and track our progress. Today, only three of the indicators to monitor SDG 5 on gender equality have internationally accepted standards of measurement and regular data collection. We don’t have reliable data on critical areas, such as gender and poverty and gender pay gap. Without this data, policy solutions for women do not respond to their needs and realities. We welcome the significant investment from the Gates Foundation and invite all other partners to step up their commitment to close the gender data gap. Through UN Women’s new flagship programme, “Making Every Woman and Girl Count”, we will support countries to improve the production, accessibility and use of gender statistics. The programme will help us locate and prioritize those who are farthest behind, and make sure that the SDGs bring substantive, real gender equality everywhere.

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