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SDG Monitoring

The 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved without quality data and a robust indicator framework. Yet, 80 per cent of the indicators for gender equality across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are lacking data. There are critical gaps in data coverage that must be filled, so that we can successfully monitor the SDGs and ensure they are implemented for women and girls.

Now, the need to produce more and better gender data is greater than ever. Without data, our ability to monitor the SDGs and track progress on commitments to gender equality will be compromised. Below are some examples of our work to monitor gender in the SDGs.

One aspect of this work is developing methodological standards for SDG indicators, to enable more countries to collect data that are not readily available to improve SDG monitoring. UN Women is the custodian agency to monitor three Tier II SDG indicators.

Indicator 5.1.1

Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non‑discrimination on the basis of sex

Indicator 5.5.1

Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments

Indicator 5.c.1

Proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment (gender budgeting)


To develop methodological standards for each of these indicators, UN Women and its partners piloted a set of guidelines and survey instruments and held consultations to seek feedback from countries to validate the approach and results. The results were then presented to the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) for approval and possible reclassification into Tier II. Indicators 5.5.1 and 5.c.1 have been successfully approved to Tier II category.

Tier Classification Criteria & Definitions

  • 01.

    Tier One

    Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

  • 02.

    Tier Two

    Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

  • 03.

    Tier Three

    No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.

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Explore the Data

Learn more about our data resources, why data is missing, and explore our multiple data dashboards to learn more about gender statistics.