An 'unmistakable sign' that accurate gender data is top priority

The Gates Foundation’s $80 million commitment to closing the gender data gap is an “unmistakable sign” that accurate and reliable data on women and girls is a priority to the global development community, U.N. Women’s Papa Seck tells Devex.

Women and girls are a key part of the SDGs, but current methods of data collection don’t lend themselves to the adequate measurement of targets and indicators toward achieving goals related to this crucial demographic.

At Women Deliver in Copenhagen in May, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced an $80 million commitment to help close the gender data gap.

“By adopting the SDGs, the world agreed to achieve gender equality by 2030,” Melinda Gates said at the conference. “But we cannot close the gender gap without first closing the data gap.”

Just after the announcement, Devex spoke to Papa Seck, statistics specialist at U.N. Women, about what the Gates Foundation commitment means for U.N. Women’s flagship gender statistics program “Making Women and Girls Count.”

With potential to change the trajectory of crises, such as famines or the spread of diseases, the innovative use of data will drive a new era for global development. Throughout this monthlong Data Driven discussion, Devex and partners will explore how the data revolution is changing our approach to achieving development outcomes and reshaping the future of our industry. Help us drive the conversation forward by tagging #DataDriven and @devex.

About the author

  • Julie Espinosa

    Julie Espinosa is the Associate Director of Creative at Devex. She leads a team of visual storytellers who work with reporters all over the globe to cover the topics of humanitarian aid, sustainable development and global health. Prior to joining Devex, Julie worked in documentary film production in Austin, Texas. She holds a master’s degree in communications and cultural studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in visual arts from Harvard University.