According to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, it will take at least another 135 years for the world to achieve gender parity. At this rate, no one alive today is likely to see a world where gender equality is achieved. The good news is that some countries will get there faster with committed leadership, investment and public policy.
International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 each year, is an opportunity for us to reflect on the efforts that have been made so far and what remains to be done to accelerate progress towards a more egalitarian.
There have been positive gains for women and girls over the past decades, but today women still face multiple challenges. Women are still more likely to be poor than men, to experience high rates of violence and abuse, and to bear the greatest burden of unpaid domestic work. They continue to be underrepresented in leadership and decision-making, as well as in science and technology fields, with persistent gender biases impeding women’s progress.
This year, Tanzania’s theme for International Women’s Day, March 8, is “Generation Equality for Sustainable Development: Take part in the next census”. It is an important and timely reminder that women and girls need to be counted and visible in the census. We need to understand their potential and realities to inform national planning, and specifically to implement Tanzania’s Generation Equality Forum commitments to promote justice and women’s economic rights. In short, Tanzania needs strong data and evidence on women and girls in order to deliver on its commitment to achieve gender equality by 2030.
In a country where women and girls constitute the majority of the country’s workforce, it is imperative to collect and analyze comprehensive data on women and girls. This data will help shape gender-responsive policies, laws, plans, programs and budgets to uplift women and girls across the country.
Population censuses provide official data on the number of people living in a country, their place of residence, age and sex distribution, and the main social and economic characteristics of the population. Various foundational assistance programs that support improved protection, education, health, and economic security outcomes for women and girls rely on census data to inform them. Census data also helps the country understand the different needs and characteristics of the nation. It is essential that everyone, especially women and girls, participate in determining where to focus development efforts.
To ensure that the census is as inclusive as possible and provides the necessary gender data, women and men, girls and boys need to understand why it matters. This includes teenage girls. As adolescence is a tipping point in a girl’s life, this data will help ensure that they can access the right resources and opportunities so that today’s girls can become leaders, entrepreneurs and actors of tomorrow’s change.
It is also essential to identify and address existing gender biases in data collection. Discriminatory social and cultural norms and attitudes have historically led to women and girls working outside the market economy being invisible in official statistics. These biases must be tackled head-on to ensure that the census takes into account the contributions of women and girls to their families’ livelihoods and the economy and that this data reflects their lived realities.
Focusing on the census on this International Women’s Day further demonstrates the government’s commitment and determination to ensure that the census is gender sensitive and to improve the production and use of statistics more broadly. genre.
The government has also made commendable progress in recent years to make gender-disaggregated data more available and accessible, resulting in a number of important publications, including the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Tanzaniawhich provides evidence of how discriminatory social norms and practices continue to restrict women’s and girls’ access to opportunities and rights.
Generation Equality envisions a world where all people have the same rights and opportunities. Where there is equality in political leadership, classrooms, corporate boardrooms and agricultural fields. Where women and girls, including those with disabilities, do not have to fear for their safety and can enjoy the same economic opportunities. On this International Women’s Day, let’s make sure we work together to make that vision a reality. Keeping all women and girls visible in national data sources can propel us in the right direction.
We are proud to accompany Tanzania on its journey towards gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. A journey that, with good data to guide our choices, need not last 135 years.