41% of PHL SDG indices lack gender-related data

Published by rudy Date posted on October 29, 2018

By Cai Ordinario, Business Mirror, Oct 29, 2018

THE Philippines, along with other countries in Asia and the Pacific, lack data for 41 percent of gender-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Women.

In a report, Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific: Baseline and Pathways for Transformative Change by 2030, the ADB and the UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) said the region only has data for 36 of the 85 gender-related SDG indicators.

The report, released by ADB and UN Women, will serve as the baseline study for the gender-related SDGs. It is considered as the first comprehensive review of the status of women and girls in Asia and the Pacific in the context of the SDGs.

“Data and evidence can bring a deeper understanding of how gender discrimination and power relations exclude women [or men] from certain rights, institutions and privileges,” Regional Director of UN Women for Asia and the Pacific Anna-Karin Jatfors said in a statement.

“Overcoming deeply entrenched gender inequalities would not just improve the lives of women and girls. It would transform the world, empowering everyone to realize their full potential and live a life of dignity,” she added.

In the case of the Philippines, there are no gender-disaggregated data for proficiency in reading and mathematics; gender parity in education and teachers; teacher training; and proportion of women who experienced physical or sexual abuse by a non-intimate partner per age group.

The list also includes the distribution of households responsible for water collection, by residence; deaths, affected and missing persons due to disasters and children who experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers.

In some indicators, only gender-disaggregated data are missing for indicators such as population living below the national poverty line; proportion of households living below the national poverty line by household head; urban or rural residence of stunted, wasted, and overweight male and female children; and the proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work.

Also missing among supposedly gender-disaggregated data are: the distribution of total landowners; proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone; proportion of children aged 5 to 17 years engaged in labor; average hourly earnings of employees; and proportion of population using the Internet, among others.

“It underscores the urgency to improve the production and use of gender statistics for implementing and monitoring the SDGs at the country level. The report uses available data in 57 countries and territories, helping to establish a baseline for governments to monitor and focus efforts on the gender- equality commitments where they are most lagging,” the ADB said in a statement.

The ADB said addressing gender-equality gaps and catalyzing progress toward the SDGs in the region means tackling four transformative policy areas promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights; reducing and redistributing unpaid care and domestic work; ending violence against women and girls; and empowering women to cope with climate change and disaster risks.

The Manila-based multilateral development bank said there is a need to invest in these areas. Through these investments, ADB said, the region will improve the lives of women and girls and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

The ADB said that, while Asia and the Pacific has made progress in some areas of gender equality, as many as 1 in 2 women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in the past 12 months. Women and girls also spend as much as 11 times more of their day than men and boys on unpaid care and domestic work.

However, ADB said some countries in the region have the highest incidence of “missing women” in the world due to discriminatory practice that favor sons, while progress in reducing maternal mortality rate has also been uneven.

Further, Asia and the Pacific is the only region globally where the gender gap in labor-force participation is increasing. Women also remain underrepresented in decision-making and leadership roles with fewer than 1 in 5 parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific being women.

“Gender equality must be addressed in its own right and as a catalyst of progress across the SDGs,” said ADB Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono. “The findings and recommendations in the report provide an opportunity to overcome deeply entrenched gender inequality through transformative change and support progress towards sustainable development in all dimensions: economic, social and environmental.”

The report highlights the remaining challenges facing women and girls and how improving their situation can help achieve the SDGs. Under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, achieving gender equality is both a stand-alone goal (Goal 5) and a priority across the 16 other social, economic and environmental goals, such as ending poverty and ensuring education for all.

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