The African Development Bank is vigorously pushing through changes in its data collection to ensure it is gender disaggregated for better monitoring of how policies affect women as a distinct group.
Improving the Production and Use of Gender Statistics in Africa for Effective Implementation and Monitoring of Policy Commitments was the theme of a recent workshop jointly organized by the African Development Bank, UN Women and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
"The African Development Bank is dramatically accelerating its efforts on sex disaggregated data collection and analysis, to support regional member countries implement evidence-based interventions and priorities," said Vanessa Moungar, the Bank's Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, in her opening remarks at the workshop held at the Bank's Abidjan headquarters on 24-28 October, 2018.
The Regional Training Workshop brought together about 70 gender specialists and statistician-economists from the Bank's 54 regional member countries and local, regional as well as international organizations.
Data collected and tabulated separately for women and men allows for more informed measurements of differences between the two gender groups on various social and economic dimensions.
Sharing insights and experiences about gender statistics in Africa, participants also reviewed and endorsed the preliminary results of the first edition of the African Development Bank-UNECA Gender Index. The index reports best practices in gender statistics and the regional minimum set of gender indicators initiated by UN Women.
"For Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to harness the potential of our citizens, especially the women who make up 51 percent of the population," said Charles Leyeka Lufumpa, Director of the Bank's Statistics Department in his own opening remarks.
The gathering showcased the importance of gender statistics to monitor Africa's gender equality and women's rights commitments. Delegates reviewed various initiatives that can contribute to the full realization of the rights of women and girls in Africa. They also discussed ways to improve cross-regional collaboration and coordination to enhance capacity of African states in the area of gender statistics.
"This workshop will go a long way as it aligns with the Bank's effort to ensure gender is put into consideration in operations," said Basil Jones, the Gender Programme and Policy Coordinator in the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department.
"If you are not counted, you do not count. We have to provide evidence so that people's lives can be affected positively," said Fatmata Sesay, the UN Women Regional Policy Advisor-Climate Smart Agriculture, East and Southern Africa Region. "Not doing anything with the information and improved knowledge gathered from this workshop is a total waste of time."
In her closing remarks, Ngone Diop, UNECA's Chief of Section, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment at the African Centre for Gender Social Development Division, said, "There are going to be so many obstacles and challenges in the path to meeting these objectives and commitments but UNECA will continue to support as a partner and reiterate their commitment in closing the gender statistics gap."