The collection of gender statistics related to the environment does not take place within the usual field of environment statistics, but integrated within the social statistics. Gender statistics related to the environment may be produced, for example, as part of statistics on time use, housing conditions, health, or education.
Time use surveys are an important source of data on work burden due to poor infrastructure and poor housing conditions. When access to water and energy is an issue, it is important that the time use surveys collect not only data on time use for water and firewood collection, but also other information: (a) individual characteristics on persons involved in those activities, such as sex, age, employment other than collecting water or firewood, or purposes for which women and men collect firewood; (b) basic demographic and economic characteristics for other household members; (c) information on household assets that can be used to construct wealth indices.
Household surveys such as DHS and MICS may provide information on environmental conditions, although very little on the impact on women’s and men’s lives. For example, some of the housing conditions data collected by these surveys refer to access to water and sanitation. Data are collected on whether the households have access to water sources and sanitation considered improved, how far the source of water is, how much time is needed to fetch the water, and whether women or men are usually in charge of water collection. With regard to the potential health effects of the solid fuels used for cooking, the demographic and health surveys provide valuable background information on types of fuels used for cooking and heating as well as ventilation factors such as the place of cooking or the type of stove used for cooking.
Multi-purpose household surveys within a regular programme of a national statistical office can be used to assess gender-differentiated impact of a natural disaster, when conducted in a short interval after the disaster. It is important to compare, for example, data on school attendance, employment, or work burden collected in the last survey before the disaster with data on the same issues collected in the post-disaster survey. When possible, the post-disaster surveys should also assess the loss of lives, loss of assets as well as access to economic resources necessary for recovery.
Population and housing censuses usually provide important background information related to households and population with poor access to water; and households and population using solid fuels for cooking. This background information is useful in assessing the work and health burden of women and men, especially when additional information on gender roles or health risks is available from other sources of data.
Epidemiological studies and health administrative sources are valuable in providing sex-disaggregated information on diseases associated with environmental factors such as unsafe water and sanitation and lack of hygiene, or indoor smoke from solid fuels. The health risks calculated based on these sources can be used in combination with background data provided by household surveys or population and housing censuses to estimate the burden of diseases associated with those environmental factors. Health or other administrative sources may also be used to obtained sex-disaggregated data on deaths due to natural disasters.
Administrative records can be useful in assessing mortality due to disasters. It is important that basic individual characteristics such as sex and age are systematically collected for all deaths. Other information related to circumstances of death, such as where and how the death occurred, is also important. Furthermore, administrative records may be used to assess post-disaster access to resources such as food, shelter, safe water and sanitation, health services, or financial services such as loans and credit. It is important that individual characteristics such as sex and age as well as household characteristics such as size, number of children, and sex of the household head, are systematically recorded.