Collecting sufficient data on women

Improving women's inclusion in statistics

Statistics may ignore or under-represent women. Including women in statistics accurately illustrates the real status and problems of women. Such meaningful data permits better understanding and a realistic response to their circumstances. The system of national accounts in many countries, especially developing countries, under-counts economic activity of women in particular.


INSTRAW's research and activities focus among others, on making economically invisible women (women who work in the informal sector - [eg] housewives, elderly women, migrant women) visible by including them in statistics. The Institute's work on women in the informal sector in Africa has broken new ground in collecting statistics on that sector and is the first time that women's contributions in the informal sector can be estimated. Recently, INSTRAW has been taking steps toward developing an improved method of collecting data needed to measure the value of paid and unpaid work in both developed and developing countries. For instance, as of 1993, a study will use time-use survey techniques to measure the value of both paid and unpaid work. An INSTRAW sponsored National Workshop on the Visibility of Women in Statistics in India, facilitated India's recent improvements in its census questionnaire to probe the kinds of work accomplished within a certain time period, with particular emphasis on the unreported productive activities of women. INSTRAW and the UN Statistics Division (UNSTAT) have conducted a review and analysis of data collection of statistics on women that has led to the publication of two widely-recognized international debates on the adequacy, quality and use of alternative sources of data in describing the status and role of women in society. An INSTRAW co-organized subregional workshop in Asia in 1994, identified strategies for the development of improved statistics and indicators of women, and areas that require further study in the region. The workshop has contributed to the preparation of national reports of various Asian countries for the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal