Chapter 2 - Introduction

Modified on 2013/05/16 13:45 by Haoyi Chen — Categorized as: Chapter 2 - Bringing gender issues into statistics

Gender statistics are more than data disaggregated by sex. Although very important in obtaining gender statistics, disaggregation of statistics by sex is only one of the means to integrate a gender perspective in statistics. As explained in Chapter 1, gender statistics have to adequately reflect problems, issues and questions related to women and men in society. Thus, besides disaggregating data by sex, four other elements are particularly important in producing gender statistics. First, the statistics have to reflect problems, issues and questions related to women and men in society. This element is taken into account in two ways: (a) by focusing on certain areas of concern where women and men may not enjoy the same opportunities or status (such as work status in the labour market or higher education, for example) or where women’s and men’s lives may be affected in different ways (such as maternal mortality, domestic violence, or occupational injuries, for example); and (b) by taking into account specific population groups where gender inequality is likely to be present or more pronounced. Second, the concepts, definitions and measurement used should allow an adequate reflection of women’s and men’s status, gender roles and relations in society. Third, data collection tools should take into account stereotypes and social and cultural factors that might introduce gender bias into data. Fourth, analyses and presentation of data should reveal meaningful differences and similarities between women and men.

This chapter is focused on the first key elements in producing gender statistics: coverage of gender issues; disaggregation of data by sex as well as by other variables to show gender inequality at the level of specific population groups in a society; and gender specific conceptual and measurement issues. The other two elements in producing gender statistics are discussed in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4: Chapter 3 is focused on integrating a gender perspective in data collection; while Chapter 4 is focused on data analysis, construction of indicators and presentation of data that would reveal meaningful gender differences or similarities.