Wrap-up: September 2014 Discussion

Publish Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I wonder what the experience of SDSN and other groups has been on raising the question of unpaid work in the context of the larger issue of care work in the household both unpaid, underpaid and undervalued by workers in the home, including being able to capture the realities of migrant and immigrant women. This also might create a deeper understanding of the kinds of social services and protections necessary.

FUNDAR had an excellent idea about an opportunity for an alliance between civil society and governments. Even if indicators for gender equality are in place, it will be necessary for us as advocates to create local collaborations for consultation and training in the development and activation of the measurement systems to ensure obligations for women’s rights could actually be met.

The absence of a specific reference to economic, social and cultural rights among the goals is serious. What more can we do to spell out core indicators for these rights? What about indicators around women’s work? How might we specify core indicators for types of work, levels of pay, equality of pay and safe working conditions? This can be relevant in all countries. The Post 2015 Women’s Coalition has yet to take up this issue, but is likely to in future months. AWID recently posted information on the importance of gender disaster data in order to specifically identify the gender impacts of climate change. Can anyone share other indicators they have developed in economic and social rights?

CWGL believes that human rights obligations/accountability mechanisms remain key, for example, progressive realization of rights and non-retrogression, etc. The language of human rights obligations demands data yardsticks to measure and assess the changes in the capacity of enjoyment of rights – we must think about indicators of quality as well as quantity.

Technical capability in many countries has always been difficult. Clearly the “data revolution” isn’t a magic solution. More than 20 years ago women’s organizations began to call for the collection of disaggregated data. However, data collection by itself does not necessarily foster the kind of intersectional analysis that accurately portrays women’s lives. Experience
during the Millennium Development Goals process would encourage us to work harder in our advocacy efforts to specify, as Cecilia pointed out, “what type of phenomena we are trying to measure.” The experience of organizations on the ground remains our best source. Do we have partnerships with feminists in academia who could help with the technical side of indicator data development?

From September 25-26, 2014, the UN Secretary General’s Expert Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development is having an Outreach Meeting in New York with participation from civil society and academia. This group will submit its recommendations by the beginning of November. This can be an important group to watch and look towards for opportunities to advocate more sensitive measuring of the state of women’s rights through the creation of data indicators.