Monday, 17 February 2014

Women's civic and political participation: where are the data gaps?

This blog, written by Wikigender Coordinator Estelle Loiseau, gives some highlights of the Wikigender online discussion on "Data Gaps on Gender Equality", which in its last week focused on the civic and political participation of women.

In this final week participants discussed on where the gaps are and where improvements can be made in terms of data on women's civic and political participation

Questions asked included what type of data can we use/should we use to measure women's civic and political participation; whether attitudinal data can be used more systematically to better document women's civic and political engagement; how new technologies can be used to better map women's collective action; examples of women's collective action that resulted in an improvement of their lives; and more!

The discussion culminated with 88 comments, below are some highlights. To see all the comments made, please visit the discussion page.

Where are some of the data gaps and issues ?

  • In the case of Chile, there is some gender data in terms of female representation in the electoral system, but no statistics on attitudes to female political participation and agency
  • There is a lack of indicators on women's collective action
  • There are issues of sisues of coverage and frequency for attitudinal surveys. We need a global push for harmonisation on key questions such as attitudes towards female political participation - and this includes more political will too!
  • Apart from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which collects data on women in parliament, there is no equivalent for the sub-national level
  • For PARIS21, we are a the beginning of the ideal sequence (illustrated as per the diagram below); there might be some administrative open data, but it is a question of priority setting to address the multiple demands and limited resources.
The ideal sequence for statisticans to produce data on women's civic and political participation would be as follows. Once the feedback part done, the cycle would start back again with the integration of this data in programmes:

"As the OECD is increasingly using subjective sources of information like Gallup (or Latinobarómetro in the case of Latin America), we should be able to build better indicators for identifying political preferences by gender and understand better these contrasts."

                                                                                       - Rolando                       

What type of data do we need?

  • We need a focus on how women use digital platforms for political activities - we need surveys to understand who the users of such platforms are
  • We need data on vulnerable women: in the case of Latin America, women of Indigenous and African descent face the greatest barriers to political participation
  • There are some examples of projects that focus on attitudinal information: Through the SWMENA project (Status of Women in the Middle East and North Africa), country-specific but comparable surveys are produced on how women in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen see themselves as members of society.

Some unanswered questions

  • Can big data and ICT technologies bridge those data gaps?
  • What is the role of national and international institutes in that process?
  • How can the EU and Latin America cooperate on women's political participation, amongst other issues? 

"It would be interesting to also see whether we can better capture what women's civic participation can do for the development of communities in general, and for women in particular. The collective action for women may have more impact in that respect. Are there any initiatives to capture that impact anywhere?"                                                                                                                                         - Keiko Nowacka

Your question/comment was not addressed? You would like to add more to this discussion by sharing your data/resources? Click here and create you article on Wikigender! 

We are now in the process of reading all the contributions to this discussion and we will soon share the synthesis report from the whole discussion. Stay tuned on

*The discussion is brought to you by Wikigender, the UN FoundationHealth Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC FoundationEuropean Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 - and in collaboration with Wikiprogress and Wikichild.

No comments:

Post a Comment