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At Cape Town Forum, UN Women and partners seek ways to close gender data gaps

At Cape Town Forum, UN Women and partners seek ways to close gender data gaps

India Blooms News Service | | 18 Jan 2017, 07:56 am
New York, Jan 18 (Just Earth News): With only 41 per cent of countries regularly producing data on violence against women and only 13 per cent of countries having a dedicated gender statistics budget, the first-ever United Nations World Data Forum on Tuesday explored ways to close these data gaps.

“Gender statistics are critical for setting priorities, planning interventions and assessing their impacts,” Purna Sen, the Director of Policy Division at UN Women, told a panel discussion. “They can put a spotlight on inequality and women and girls who are left behind.”

The panel, titled 'Gender Data for Decision-making: Strengthening the Links,' was among the nearly 100 sessions and parallel events scheduled throughout the 15-18 January gathering in Cape Town, South African, of more than 1,400 data experts around the world.

Sen said that when the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in September 2015, UN Women, formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, faced “a hard truth:” difficulty monitoring the overwhelming majority of the gender-related targets.

Political will needed to prioritize gender statistics

Noting that the global statistical community has made substantial progress in recent years in the area of gender statistics, including strong normative and technical advances, better coordination, more and better technical resources and innovative programmes, she said that lots of challenges remain.

Gender statistics are often not prioritized because of a number of factors linked to the lack of political will, particularly in politically charged areas such as violence against women that, frankly speaking, can make a government look bad, she added.

Sen also pointed out that gender specialists often do not understand statistics and statisticians do not always understand gender.

Based on the latest data from OECD-DAC, only two per cent of funds for statistical capacity building are dedicated to projects whose principal objectives are to strengthen gender statistics, she said.

“Data are simply not useful if they are not used”

At a high-level event during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly last fall, UN Women launched a flagship initiative on gender statistics, “Making Every Woman and Girl Count,” which aims to effect a radical shift in the availability, accessibility and use of quality data and statistics on key aspects of gender equality and women's empowerment.

The initiative support efforts to conduct an assessment of gender statistics and identify gender data gaps, mainstream gender in national strategies for producing statistics, and developing national plans to localize gender-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets and indicators.

The initiative also aims to ensure that data are accessible to all users, including governments, civil society, academia and the private sector, and can be analyzed to inform research, advocacy, policies and programmes and promote accountability.

“Data are simply not useful if they are not used,” she said, explaining that this is the area where capacities are extremely weak and a lot of work and efforts are needed by all stakeholders.

Emily Courey-Pryor, Executive Director of Data2X, who moderated the discussion, said that “we will only be able to truly promote gender equality, alleviate poverty, and advance development progress if we improve gender data.”

Photo: Nina Rabinovitch Blecker of Data2X/UN Foundation

Source: www.justearthnews.com


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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm