Women Count

With 17 goals, 169 targets and 232 indicators, of which 54 are gender-specific, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a historic global compact to achieve gender equality by 2030.

The need to produce relevant and quality gender-sensitive indicators to monitor the SDGs is now greater than ever. Yet, without investing in gender statistics, there will be considerable gaps in our ability to adequately monitor the implementation of the SDGs.

UN Women’s strategy for change is Women Count, which seeks to bring about a radical shift in how gender statistics are used, created and promoted at the global, regional and country level.

Key highlights 2018

UN Women/Younghwa Choi

Gender Data Gaps & Challenges

The absence of adequate data can impede progress in creating informed and effective policies. Gender data gaps can be linked to three challenges…



Weak policy space, and legal and financial environments, are barriers to progress

In many countries, the production of gender statistics is not specified in statistics laws and policies, and as a result the sector is under-prioritized and under-funded in national budgets.

Technical and financial challenges limit the production of gender statistics

Areas such as violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and unpaid care and domestic work, are important to measure but are under-resourced. Also at risk are emerging areas, such as gender and poverty, gender pay gaps and women’s participation in decision-making, where a lot more methodological work is needed.

Lack of access to data and limited capacity of users to use gender statistics to inform polices.

Where data is available it is not made accessible or shared in user-friendly formats, impeding their use in informing evidence-based advocacy in decision-making. When data is not used to inform policy and advocacy, it leads to low demand, which in turn reduces the incentive to produce gender statistics.

What We Do

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Enabling Environment

Promoting a supportive policy environment to address institutional and financial constraints and to strengthen policies and practices governing the production and use of gender statistics.

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Data Production

Supporting efforts to improve the regular production of gender statistics, including building the technical capacity of the national statistical systems and providing financial support to improve data collection so that we can better monitor the SDGs.

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Data Accessibility

Improving access to data to inform policy advocacy through solutions such as open access, dissemination tools, and user-producer dialogues, so that data users are better able to use gender statistics in policy, programmes and advocacy.

How We Work

Coordination is key to the success of Women Count. We promote coordination among international agencies and other actors at all levels, including through joint programming and active knowledge-sharing. Coordination occurs at three levels:

Partnerships at the country level

12 pathfinder countries have been selected to implement Women Count in partnership with national statistical offices and in coordination with other actors, as a result of an independent country selection exercise in 2017. Learn more about the pathfinder countries.

Regional technical support

Regional projects provide policy and programmatic support to pathfinder countries as well as technical and financial support to other countries. Learn more about the regional projects.

Global policy support and SDGs monitoring

The global project provides programmatic and technical guidance to national and regional Women Count projects; monitors the SDGs through methodological work, data compilation and dissemination; and works to improve data on unpaid care and domestic work, among other thematic areas. Learn more about the global project.

A Steering Committee provides strategic guidance and monitors the implementation of the programme. It is composed of participating counties, bilateral donors, key agencies and civil society organizations.

Where we work
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Women Count is generously supported by the Governments of Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and Alwaleed Philanthropies, Alibaba Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Elizabeth Arden.

Country Fact Sheets

View the country fact sheets to learn more about data related to specific counties.

Learn More


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Counted and visible: Global conference on the measurement of gender and intersecting inequalities
UN Women and FAO hosted a side event on SDG indicator 5.a.1
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