An African Gender Statistics Group in the offing

Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, has said an African Gender Statistic Group will soon be launched to help with the mainstreaming of gender into national and international statistics programmes.

Dr Bediako who announced this at the opening session of a four-day workshop organised by the Ghana Statistical Service in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said for almost four decades, the global system had been working to further the development of statistics that effectively support equal opportunities for all, women and men, girls and boys in the respective societies.

The workshop which brought together experts on statistics across Africa as well as officials from the United Nations aims at developing a regional programme on gender statistics and will also review some of the specific outputs in the measurement of some features of gender gaps.

Dr Bediako said in Ghana the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) in collaboration with the Statistical Service were working to bring coherence into the collection of administrative statistics.

“Recognising that more effective interventions can only be achieved with additional facts and figures,” she said MOWAC was placing a lot of emphasis on improving statistics on gender issues.

Dr Bediako said many Ministries, Departments and Agencies were also reviewing administrative instruments including forms and noted that it was a good opportunity to incorporate some of the data needs of the Ministry and more broadly the information requirement of gender advocates.

Ms Fatmata Sesay-Kebbay, Programme Specialist at UN Women, a United Nations Organisation that advocates gender issues, noted that gender issues had not been backed by data and said there was the need to have advocacy backed by evidence.

She said it was important to move beyond collecting sex disaggregated data to gender disaggregated data.

Sex disaggregated data involved collecting data based on whether the respondent is male or female but gender disaggregated data goes beyond just male or female data to consider gender issues.
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Ms Sesay-Kebbay said if gender issues could have evidence based data, then soon there would be consolidated programmes where all African countries worked with a clearly defined target on gender.

Hajia Hawawu Gariba, Deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, reminded participants that without database and statistics of all gender mainstreaming programmes, it would be difficult to promote gender equality and women empowerment in the sub-region. GNA

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