Closing the Gender Data Gap

By Amy DiElsi

September 1, 2016

This week as we head closer towards the UN General Assembly, we reflect on some critical conversations that happened earlier this year at Women Deliver. Check out our first article from the series, “We’ve Nearly Eliminated Polio — Here’s Why It Keeps Coming Back.”

What many people might not realize is that global data can be biased and unfortunately does not always include the stories of women and girls. In order to change policies to help women and girls, we need to know the challenges and realities they face. Without data quality, we can’t have gender equality.

Data2X, a collaborative technical and advocacy platform dedicated to improving the quality, availability, and use of gender data in order to make a practical difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide, looked at data collection, especially as it pertains to health, education, economic participation, political participation, and human security and found 28 global level gender data gaps across these five areas.

Global Moms Community Manager Chrysula Winegar interviewed, Emily Courey Prior, Senior Director for Data2X at the United Nations Foundation, and Ruth Levine, Global Development and Population Director for the Hewlett Foundation to discuss how organizations are partnering with countries and academics to close the gender data gaps, use the data to help change policy, and an exciting new investment to help.

During the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Melinda Gates announced a new $80 million commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve global data collection. Ruth Levine said, “this helps to elevate the visibility of the problem that women are invisible because data aren’t collected on the realities of their lives.”

Watch the full interview from Women Deliver. 

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To learn more about the gender gap and the partnership among United Nations agencies, civil society, governments and academics to close the gap, visit

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