Gender statistics inform policy and programme decisions, and are critical for effective monitoring and analyses of gender gains and gaps. Yet, eighteen years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) clearly laid out twelve priority areas that highlighted the importance of making available data on women and men, the need and demand for gender statistics continue to grow and remain unmet in many areas.
Recognition of the importance of women’s roles in the economy and society is being increasingly reflected in development policy in all sectors. Most Member States in the Asia- Pacific Region have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and are implementing policies to promote gender equality between women and men in the social, political and economic arenas. It is therefore essential that official statistics provide comprehensive information on the activities, needs and situations of women as well as men. Gender indicators based on such gender-sensitive statistics are also needed to measure and monitor progress toward the achievement of equality between women and men.
The United Nations Statistical Commission at its 44th session agreed on the use of the global minimum set of gender indicators, developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics, as a guide for the national production and international compilation of gender statistics.
ESCAP seeks to assist Member States to meet the need for more comprehensive and gender sensitive statistics on women and men, initially through development of a core set of gender statistics and indicators for the Asia-Pacific region for national policy development and to measure and monitor progress towards the achievement of gender equality and other global gender-related goals. The global minimum set of gender indicators is being adapted and extended to focus on the key development issues for gender equality in this region. ESCAP also seeks - in the longer term - to assist Member States through a regional programme on gender statistics, to build their capacity to collect the gender-sensitive data required to provide the proper foundation for such indicators.