The appeal was made Wednesday in Kigali in a three-day Gender Data Workshop that brought together participants from ten African countries.
The workshop was organized by UN for Women in partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa.
According to UN Women Africa, only 13% of countries allocate a budget to gender statistics and only 15% of countries have legislation that mandates specialized gender-based surveys.
The UN Women Regional Director for East Africa and Southern, Africa Dr. Izeduwa Derex-Briggs said that the greater percentage of women live in rural areas and their activities are not nationally captured.
“The works that women do are not captured by National Statistics offices. National Statistics offices capture national data, data on health surveys, house surveys and census, but they don’t capture data of Community Based organization do at community level,” she said.
She said that the data are not captured because they are not reliable, a fact that they are pushing for change.
“So, we are saying how we can make the data reliable so that the contribution of women and girls to the development of every country is also captured, so that is one of the challenges that we want to address through looking at the alternative data in addition to official data,” she explained.
Izeduwa said that data collection require resources and countries leave behind gender data.
“To collect data is very expensive and whoever makes choices on which data to collect have to understand that there is a need to collect gender data, and if you don’t have gender data, you can’t plan effectively for men different from women,” she emphasized.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Caleb Rwamuganza said that Rwanda is among few countries that capture women data in all sectors of the countries.
However, Rwamuganza said that the exercise require extra means.
“Among the statistics by National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, we are among countries that capture statistics of women to the grassroots level. Sustainable Development Goals require reliable data, a reason why there is need for capacity building in people accumulating the data,” he explained.
He said that in the budget allocated in different sectors like education, health, agriculture among others, they also consider women activities as men.