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Focus On: Gender Data

From the UN Women June 2020 Newsletter

Less than 1% of the published research on Ebola and Zika explored the gendered impacts of the outbreaks. There's been a concerted push to not repeat the same mistakes with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to collect more quality data disaggregated by sex, gender, and age. 

But ongoing data collection work on COVID-19 has some experts like Tessie San Martin, CEO of Plan International USA, wondering about new, widening information gaps — and how to create a more accurate picture of the virus' impact on all people.

"We usually talk about making sure that we're collecting data that has been disaggregated by age and gender, and that's all well and good. My question is whether that was enough," San Martin tells us.

Bias in research can manifest when men are exclusively tasked with conducting consultations with women, for example, and do not ask questions that speak to women's particular experiences. It can result in women and girls being excluded from in-person consultations where data and anecdotal experiences are collected.

Ensuring women's participation and voices in consultations, and acknowledging different cultural contexts — which might not automatically consult women and girls, or allow them to drive data collection processes —can lead to more inclusive approaches, data experts tell us.

Gender must be integrated in COVID-19 response plans, not only to achieve better outcomes for women and girls but to build stronger and more resilient economies and societies for everyone.

Hosted on the UN Women Data Hub, this dashboard is a compilation of indicators that will inform gender-responsive policy action on COVID-19. It is an interagency collaboration that has benefitted from the inputs of ILO, ITU, UNCTAD, UNDP, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, UN Women, WFP, WHO, and many others.

Even before this global health crisis, more than 70 million displaced people — at least half of whom are women and girls — were already struggling to access basic services.Four experts discusshow data can help ensure responses to the pandemic take into account the specific needs of displaced women and girls.

We are hosting a series of 10 workshops in partnership with Facebook to create a better understanding of gender-related issues highlighted by the current pandemic.

For recordings and information on upcoming workshops, check out theGender Data series site.

+Next online event:Using data to ensure women's access to sexual and reproductive health, July 7, 11 a.m. ET (5 p.m. CET).

The majority of national-level committees established to respond to COVID-19 do not have equal female-male representation, according to new data from CARE.

Of the countries surveyed who had established such committees, 74% had fewer than one-third female membership, and only one committee was fully equal.

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