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Choosing and Using Gender Data

In the UNECE region, employed people spend two to three hours per day on domestic work[1] according to data from time-use surveys around 2010. But these average figures hide wide gender differences: for example, employed women in Albania spend eight times as long on domestic tasks as employed men. Sweden has the smallest gender difference in time spent on these activities by employed people.

[1] Domestic work includes housework, child and adult care, gardening and pet care, construction and repairs, shopping and services, and household management.

A lunchtime seminar organized by the UNECE Statistical Division demonstrated the diversity of indicators available in the UNECE Gender database—82 tables of indicators in ten domains, such as work-life balance, health and mortality, education, and crime and violence—and showed fellow UNECE staff how the database can be used to support the inclusion of a gender dimension in normative and analytical work across all areas of UNECE’s mandate.

Sex-disaggregated data and data on gender-relevant topics can help UNECE to fulfil our commitment to consider the gender dimensions of everything we do, as called for by UNECE’s own gender policy, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With a goal specifically devoted to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as well as the broad inclusion of gender concerns throughout the Agenda and an explicit call for sex-disagreggation wherever possible, the importance of high-quality gender statistics is becoming ever more widely recognized.     

The seminar emphasized that numbers on their own are not enough, and that readers or audiences should be guided—by explanations or appropriate visual presentations—to draw out the relevant key messages from statistics.  UNECE’s four-part series of ‘Making Data Meaningful’ guides, as well as a series of training videos on gender statistics, are ideal tools to guide effective communication, not only of gender statistics but of all statistics.