Source: Small Island Developing States
26 September 2019: UN Women has published a report on progress towards gender equality across all the SDGs. The authors argue for a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral approach to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind, emphasizing that the factors that contribute to women’s and girls’ disadvantages “do not operate in isolation.”
UN Women released the report titled, ‘Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2019,’ to inform the SDG Summit that convened at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 24-25 September 2019.
The report explains that differences related to ethnicity, location and wealth “combine to create deep pockets of deprivation” across a range of SDGs, including access to education and health care, clean water and decent work. For instance, among the Fulani women of Nigeria, 99.4% of women and girls living in the poorest households do not complete more than six years of education, compared to 5.5% of Igbo women and girls living in the richest urban households.
This example and others throughout the report underscore the importance of data disaggregation by multiple dimensions, including sex, age, race, ethnicity, income, geographic location, disability and migration status, to identify those furthest behind. The report calls for expanding data on people who “have traditionally been invisible in official statistics,” and makes recommendations related to investing in data, gathering data and using data.
The report presents gender snapshots for each of the 17 SDGs, including noting the total number of indicators for each Goal as well as the gender-specific indicators for that Goal. For each Goal, the report illustrates the compound effect of location, wealth and ethnicity to identify those left furthest behind. On SDG 2 (zero hunger), for example, the report states that unequal power relations in households make women more vulnerable to food insecurity, and, globally, women had a 10% higher risk of experiencing food insecurity than men in 2018. Gender-related food insecurity gaps are largest among those who are poor, less educated and living in urban areas. Among the poorest Sindhi women in Pakistan living in rural areas, 40.6% are undernourished, in comparison with 2.4% of the richest urban Punjabi women.
On the environment-focused SDGs, the report states there is only one gender-specific indicator that addresses the gender-environment nexus. This indicator focuses on the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) receiving support for climate change-related planning and management. For SDG 14 (life below water), the report observes that women are not typically included in decisions on managing coastal and marine resources, and further, none of the targets for SDG 14 address gender equality or how marine resources relate to the livelihoods of women and men, including the role of marine resources in poverty reduction, employment and food security. Similarly, while more women than men are employed in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, only 13.8% of landholders are women. This gap widens in Central and Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa where agriculture is a key sector: in Central and Southern Asia, 62.1% of women work in agricultural and related activities but only 11.6% are landholders; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 60.6% of women work in agricultural and related activities but only 14.2% are landholders.
To address data challenges, UN Women has also launched a ‘Women Count Data Hub’, which provides public access to gender data to monitor SDG progress. The data hub brings together available data on women and the SDGs with analysis and stories about the experience of women and girls, including country factsheets and gender data stories.
On 24 September, UN Women hosted an interactive data lab to present the data hub on the sidelines of the UNGA. It plans to continue to add new data and features ahead of the Third UN World Data Forum, which will convene in Bern, Switzerland, in October 2020. [Publication: Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2019] [Publication Webpage] [UN Women Press Release on Data Hub] [Women Count Website]