Gender Data and Climate 


Understand and Build Gender Data

Women and girls have unique solutions for adapting to changing environmental conditions and moving toward sustainability.

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Data is essential to achieving the goals expressed by advocates and policymakers around International Women’s Day. Yet we are still grappling to collect and use data that highlights the unique experiences of women and girls, reveals barriers to gender equality, and illustrates what works to improve the lives of women and girls. This lack of data not only restricts effective programming but masks and at times even perpetuates gender inequalities. (GWPIS, 2023)

We know that environmental change has differentiated impacts on different genders, and there is increasing evidence that women, girls, and other marginalized communities disproportionately suffer from climate change and environmental disasters. We also know that women and girls have unique solutions for adapting to changing environmental conditions and moving toward sustainability. Existing data and methodologies fail to reflect this reality. (GEDA, 2023)

Key Questions

  • What is gender data? How can we collect it?
  • Why is gender data essential for changing the lives of women and LGBTIQ+ individuals, and how can it help leaders create policies to address gender disparities?
  • What are gender statistics and indicators? What can we do with them?
  • How does the underrepresentation of women and diverse voices in the data production and technology sector contribute to the gender data gap?
  • How does intersectionality relate to assessing the success of initiatives in targeting and benefiting diverse gender identities?
  • What steps should be taken to build better gender data?

What is Gender Data?

Gender data is any type of data that can at least be disaggregated by male/female. This term began to gain more currency as it was included by the UN in several recommendations. In fact, the most exhaustive and referenced definition that currently exists is the UN’s gender statistics, which contains gender data.

Gender Statistics and Indicators

Gender statistics are defined by the UN as the sum of the following characteristics:

Sex-Disaggregated DataGender-Inclusive DataDiverse and Comprehensive DataGender-Balanced Data Collection
Data are collected and presented by sex* as a primary and overall classificationData reflect gender issuesData are based on concepts and definitions that adequately reflect the diversity of women and men and capture all aspects of their livesData collection methods take into account stereotypes and social and cultural factors that may induce gender bias in the data
*UN Statistics also asserts that gender statistics go beyond merely breaking down data by sex. “The characteristics mentioned earlier serve to distinguish between sex-disaggregated statistics (the first element on the list) and comprehensive gender statistics (which encompass all four elements)”. When we talk about sex-disaggregated statistics, we’re essentially referring to data collected and sorted separately for women and men. However, this doesn’t automatically ensure that the methods used for data collection truly capture gender roles, relationships, and disparities within society.


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