"Without quality data, there is simply no credible path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals"—Executive Director

Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Making Every Woman and Girl Count side event to launch a public-private partnership to close gender data gaps for SDGs monitoring and accountability

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the launch of the "Making Every Woman and Girl Count" initiative. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the launch of the "Making Every Woman and Girl Count" initiative. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

[As delivered]

The 2030 Agenda is an unmistakable commitment to justice and prosperity, with gender equality at its heart. But this is a promise and a commitment that can only be a reality when we have adequate data that we can monitor. We must ensure that when we have policies, these policies can be informed by reliable data. Without quality data, there is simply no credible path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

There is no shortage of data “noise”, as you know. On any given day, the world produces 2.5 quadrillion bytes of data, yet data on gender equality is still hard to come by. I hope that we will be contributing towards solving this problem.

Right now we do not have data for 80 per cent of the indicators to monitor SDG 5. That is serious. This is an urgent challenge that requires urgent solutions.

Currently, lack of political will and chronic under-investment plague gender data production and only 13 per cent of countries dedicate a regular budget for gender statistics. Out of US$131 million committed to statistical capacity-building by the OECD-DAC, only 2 per cent is devoted to projects that specifically address gender equality.

This is a significant gap and we hope this initiative will close that gap or at least narrow it significantly.

Thank you.