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Strengthening African statistical systems to generate gender-disaggregated data to support policies to promote gender equality and empowerment of women


Gender research and studies have increasingly taken on a new dimension — that of incorporating economic efficiency considerations in the analysis of the allocation and productivity of resources for women in development. The marginalization of women in economic production, distribution and social services and in the allocation of public resources is therefore considered a source of economic inefficiency. The capacity to mainstream gender aspects into development policymaking and programme formulation, implementation and monitoring requires detailed, reliable and timely gender-disaggregated data. Unfortunately, the statistical datasets and systems at the national and regional level in Africa are still lacking in gender-specific statistics and indicators.

The availability of gender-differentiated data would considerably facilitate the work of monitoring women’s progress through the African Gender and Development Index, which is a composite of two indicators: the Gender Status Index and the African Women’s Progress Scoreboard.

ECA will execute the project with the collaboration of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The project will contribute to the design of a gender-disaggregated database and will also foster networking and partnership between stakeholders involved in research on gender equality and empowerment of women.


To improve policy formulation, programme targeting, including public expenditure programmes, and monitoring progress towards gender equality and empowerment of women by African Governments.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced national capacity of Member States to generate gender-disaggregated data
  • Identification and incorporation of gender dimensions in development indicators being produced by various sectors, policies and programmes
  • Exchange of gender-related best practices on gender-disaggregated data compilation by national statistical services between Member States

Implementation status:

The implementation of all the project components which started during 2007 were completed by December 2009. The outputs recorded so far are the following:

  • A sectoral index on agriculture was developed in close collaboration with relevant ECA divisions (Food Security and Sustainable Development) and Sub Regional Offices (SROs), and other UN agencies including FAO, and non-UN partners. This sectoral index was reviewed and validated by an Expert Group Meeting. The meeting also discussed the validity of the initial indicators and proposed the final set of indicators. The final indicators were presented at a session of the African Commission on Agricultural Statistics which took place in December 2007 in Algiers.
  • A report on Engendering Population and Housing Censuses was prepared by a consultant and discussed during the workshop on Gender Statistics, organized from 15-16 December 2008 in Addis Ababa. The workshop gather more than a hundred gender experts and statisticians from all over the continent and provided valuable technical suggestions to finalize the aforementioned report. This document has now been finalized and is ready for dissemination.
  • Four sub-regional workshops for English and French speaking countries were held for the capacity building of national statisticians and gender experts.
  • The African Gender Statistics Network (GESNET) portal has been developed and presented during the sub-regional workshops to enable national experts to register as part of the Network and allow the exchange of experiences and good practices in developing gender statistics.