DataShift at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women in New York

DataShift’s Cassia Moraes is in New York (NY) attending the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) taking place at the United Nations Headquarters.

Based on our work on Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5), to “achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, we will be promoting the role of civil society and citizen-generated data in achieving gender equality.

To tackle today’s global challenges in cross-cutting thematic sectors like health, education, economic opportunities, political participation, and human security, more data on gender is needed. However, we know significant barriers stand in the way of achieving gender equality and inclusivity, particularly of marginalised and disenfranchised groups – even in the most progressive societies. Increased citizen participation in the implementation and tracking progress on 2030 agenda could mark a significant turning point in delivering this ambitious agenda to those who need it the most. Citizen-generated data (CGD) thus offers an opportunity for increasing people-powered governance and development.

CGD has the potential to plug gender data gaps, identify those at risk of being left behind and draw the attention of decision-makers to tackle the issues causing their exclusion and marginalisation. DataShift has been building civil society organisations’ capacity and confidence to produce and use citizen-generated data to monitor sustainable development progress, demand accountability and campaign for transformative change. We have convened a series of national dialogues on the state of gender data in each of the DataShift pilot countries (Kenya, Argentina, Nepal and Tanzania), with a view to then identifying the challenges and opportunities around using citizen-generated data as part of an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach to spurring action and monitoring progress on SDG 5.

We will be participating in the “Supporting Feminist Movement Building for Planet 50-50 by 2030” on Wednesday, 15 March at noon. This session will look at how data can lead to on-the-ground changes and make real impact in girls’ and women’s lives, as well as the role gender data plays in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, amongst others.

During events at CSW61, we will be sharing the key findings and recommendations of our Global Gender Thematic Forum which took place in December 2016. The Forum looked at the diverse experiences and ideas that emerged from the above-mentioned national dialogues, bringing together a small group of gender data practitioners from our pilot countries, along with a number of other international experts, working on issues from digital literacy to empowerment of women, to statistics, and  ‘mutually reinforcing’ global advocacy activities.

You can also find us, as well as the CIVICUS delegation, at the following events during CSW:

  • CIVICUS Monitor Workshop for WHRDs, LGBTIQ activists and others in the feminist movement at CSW – 15 March, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Shrinking civic space for the feminist movement –  Wednesday, 15 March, 14:30 – 16:00 at ONE UN Hotel

For more information about these events, click here.

We will also be discussing the findings of some of our resources and reports around our work on SDG 5, including:

We look forward to seeing and engaging you in New York! Be sure to follow our conversations on Twitter @SDGDataShift, @casssia_moraes, #DataShift, #CSW61 and #CSW2017

Thematic Forum: Opportunities for an Integrated, Data-Driven, and Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Implementing and Monitoring SDG 5

“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”

Today the gender equality multi-stakeholder forum kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya, convened by CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation (DataShift), The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and the SDGs Kenya Forum.

The forum will explore opportunities for delivering an integrated, data-driven, multi-stakeholder approach to implementing and monitoring SDG 5, “Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls”, as well as other gender related targets and indicators in other SDGs in Kenya.

Over 50 stakeholders from government, private sector, media, civil society; including women’s rights organisations, development partners, academia, researchers, media, and technology enthusiasts will come together to explore practical mechanisms for working together while implementing their core mandates.

The aim of the forum:

  • Raise awareness on SDG 5 and brainstorm on a framework for civil society and other stakeholders to formally engage with government in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of progress,
  • Brainstorm on the value of drawing on multiple sources of data, including citizen-generated data, for a data-driven implementation, and monitoring of progress on SDG 5,
    Facilitate engagement between civil society, other stakeholders, and government on gender equality in Kenya in order to explore synergies and foster collaborations on SDG 5.
  • It also features highly interactive roundtable discussions, facilitating knowledge and experience sharing from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), and the Department of Gender (Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), among others.

Despite a progressive rights-based constitution, women in Kenya still face challenges including the ability to participate effectively in decision-making and leadership. Research by UN Women indicates that over 80% of Kenyan women are engaged in smallholder farming, only 1% own land in their own right, access less than 10% of available credit, and less than 1% of agriculture credit. Female poverty is exacerbated by gender-based violence; including sexual violence, rape, physical violence and sexual harassment. Women’s empowerment is hindered by polygamy, early marriage and harmful cultural and traditional practices such as female genital cutting. Traditional practices governing inheritance, acquisition of land and benefits accruing to land produce continue to favour men.

The absence of accurate, credible, timely, and gender disaggregated data and general lack of awareness on the goals and their implications inhibits progress. Technical expertise is also limited on the “how-to,” especially in mainstreaming in formal government programmes. Furthermore, where data or information exists; it’s disparate, trapped in silos by civil society, government, academia, development partners, private sector, and researchers, among others. A recent report by Data2x, found no data especially on aspects of the lives of women and girls that are not highly valued by society. Unpaid work in home production, time spent fetching fuel and carrying water, housework, childcare and eldercare – all activities carried out mostly by women and girls, are part of a ‘care economy’ that society undervalues and, therefore, does not count in official statistics.

This forum is the culmination of a two-day capacity-building workshop for civil society on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which focused on women’s rights, gender equality and global and regional commitments. These two events between civil society, other stakeholders, and government on gender equality, offers an opportunity to synergise efforts and foster collaborations on SDG 5 and other gender related targets and indicators in Kenya.

Watch this space for the report emerging from the forum discussions, exchanges, and ideas; including a joint civil society communique and blog post to be shared widely. These will be fed into local and international forums and workshops to facilitate further learning.

Here’s a look at the full Concept Note – SDGs Gender Equality Thematic Forum 12-7-16.