World Bank Group Launches New Gender Data Products

January 20, 2016


Identifying gaps between males, females is key to new gender equality strategy

The World Bank Group today relaunched its popular Gender Data Portal, comprising current and historical data on topics ranging from health and education to jobs, assets, and political participation—all broken down by sex.

The Bank Group is also launching its Little Data Book on Gender 2016 alongside new online tables—to be updated quarterly—linked to the latest World Development Indicators, making it easier than ever to see how women and men are faring across a range of global indicators.

In addition to standard demographic and economic information, new indicators include the percentage in a given economy of businesses with female ownership or top management, percentage of men and women holding mobile phone accounts, percentage of men and women who saved any money over the preceding year, and proportion of women in ministerial-level government posts.

Country and topic dashboards in the Gender Data Portal provide an overview of data trends over time and across key themes such as female labor force participation and maternal mortality.

The portal allows users to explore tools for data visualization and assess the availability of indicators at the country level; for instance, while 198 of 214 economies reported data for male and female life expectancy in 2013, only 15 had information on the share of births attended by skilled staff in the same year. Online tables accompanying the Little Data Book on Gender 2016 provide a quick reference for the most common questions, such as the number of men and women who hold accounts at financial institutions.

The Bank Group's new Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2023 prioritizes more and better sex-disaggregated and gender data.  Smart, effective development demands good country-level data, but its availability varies widely. To fill gaps, data initiatives include Women, Business and the LawGlobal Findex, the new Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative, and support to the private sector to collect sex-disaggregated data.

The Bank Group is scaling up commitments and expanding partnerships, working with the WHO, ILO, FAO, Data2X, EDGE, the Hewlett Foundation, donors, clients, and the private sector to gather, distill, and share gender data on asset ownership, labor, access to ICT, and uptake of financial services.

With the ILO, FAO, and Data 2X, the Bank Group is working to operationalize new international definitions of work and employment that recognize all productive activities, paid and unpaid—which has major implications for how women's work is measured. The result will inform guidance to statisticians and survey designers. Other Bank partnerships—with the UN Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) Initiative—seek to gather data on women's asset ownership and entrepreneurship and scale the number of countries which collect this information so it can be used for monitoring Sustainable Development Goal 5