Held under the Under the theme “Gender Statistics Imperatives for Africa”, the Conference will interrogate gender statistics through the lens of Agenda 2063, the African Union’s plan to transform Africa into a world power, and the Sustainable Development Goals that support gender equality and women’s empowerment, and global guidance on violence against women data, among others.
Delegates, including policy analysts and experts on gender statistics from line ministries, national statistical offices and civil society, will exchange knowledge on the latest innovations and best practices in gender statistics to inform action plans in member states.
of the AU and the region in general.
Gender statistics are essential for measuring progress towards achieving regional and global gender development goals.
However, the production of gender statistics is relatively new and the information is not fully consolidated and always available, even at the global level.
“Gender equality is increasingly recognized as essential to the process of sustainable development and the formulation of effective national development policies and programmes,” said Themba Munalula, Chief Statistician, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
“Given the critical role of gender equality in socio-economic and cultural development, ensuring that African countries produce high-quality, reliable and timely gender data has far-reaching benefits,” said Roza Mamuye Bora, principal statistician at the Group of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The production of gender statistics in the region has been slow due to a combination of factors including a reluctance to change the way statistics are traditionally compiled and presented, a lack of knowledge about how change can be effected, and an environment restricted political and financial “Gender data and statistics are not only important on their own.
The ultimate goal is really to improve the lives of women and girls as envisioned by the SDGs and other regional and international plans,” said Dr. Maxime Houinato, UN Women Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“While almost every country in the region has endorsed the SDGs and incorporated them into national strategies and plans, lack of funding is often cited as the most critical impediment in the region,” said Houinato.
“This has hampered the progress of national statistical offices in designing the systems and operations needed to generate gender data for evidence-based policymaking and advocacy,” said Fatouma Sissoko, Gender Statistician at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) of the United Nations.
Despite these challenges, regional initiatives such as the African Program for Gender Statistics (APGS) have contributed significantly to improving gender statistics at both the regional and national levels.
A regional umbrella program implemented by regional organizations, regional economic communities, civil society organizations and international agencies, PGBS is currently in its third phase (PGS III).
The Program has made progress in improving the availability of accurate and standardized gender statistics by developing methodologies and approaches for the production of gender statistics in Africa.
However, much remains to be done in terms of improving coordination and strengthening partnerships to strengthen knowledge, skills and communication related to the production, dissemination and use of gender statistics in the region.
This is one of the main focus areas of PGBS III, which will also be launched during the Joint Africa Gender Statistics Conference.