Insufficient data has been cited as a major hindrance to the realization of gender equality especially in land ownership.
According to UN Women statistics, 80% of the indicators for gender equality across SDGs are lacking data.
UN Women Chief Statistician Papa Seck says lack of political good will and technical challenges are to blame.
“Countries have not prioritized collecting data on women’s right to own land. For example for one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators we only have less than 10 data points globally out of 193 countries. At the end of the day it boils down to basically countries acknowledging the need for this data on women land rights in order to improve their access,” Seck added.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) less than 15% of agricultural land holders globally are women.
Speaking at a forum on Creating a Gender Equal World; The transformative Power of Women’s Rights to Land on the sidelines of the World Deliver 2019 conference in Vancouver Canada, said the UN Women is running a global advocacy campaign in twelve countries in Africa, Asia and South America improve production and use of gender statistics.
He singled out Kenya for showing willingness to develop systems for better gender data.
“Under Making Every Woman and Girl Count flagship programme we are working with Council of Governors and Kenya Bureau of Statistics to formulate county gender data sheets that will shed light on gender inequalities. Since January 2018, we are investing $2.5 million to improve systems, collect data that is necessary and work with the users to improve how the data is used to monitor gender equality policies and also to inform them. There is a commitment by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics to ensure the data is of high quality to also monitor the big four agenda,” Seck said.
In Tanzania, innovative and progressive laws that encourage individual, matrimonial and communal land ownership have been instrumental in helping to correct past injustices.
Dr Monica Mhoja the Country Programme Director for Landesa Rural Development Institute while acknowledging that social and cultural norms derail progress lauded the government alongside grassroots organizations, civil societies and NGOs for joining forces to ensure women previously disenfranchised access, use and control land.
“The national campaign in Tanzania aims to bridge the gap between law and practice enabling women to realize and claim their land rights.” Dr. Mhoja explained. Other countries in the global gender statistics advocacy campaign are Uganda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Morocco, Jordan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Albania and Colombia.
Women Deliver is the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women.
Over 8000 delegates from 165 countries attended this year’s forum held over four days between June 3-6, 2019 in in Vancouver, Canada under the theme of Power, Progress, Change .