Newswise — Geneva, Switzerland, 08 July 2014. The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) calls on all governments, regional agencies and other relevant bodies to incorporate a gender-specific perspective in gathering, analysing and publishing indicators of development, so that gender disparities and biases can be properly identified and addressed. The compilation and publication of data, which specifically examines the participation of girls and women in society, is needed immediately so as to track the progress being made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
IFUW President Catherine Bell emphasised that “it is not enough to show general, aggregated trends of development within countries. Given the increased vulnerability of girls and women in areas such as education, health and employment, we must have gender indicators that accurately reflect whether and to what extent progress is being made in closing gender inequalities.”
Both the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) have expressed concern that not all countries are using gender disaggregated data and thus “do not provide sufficient information about the situation of women and girls throughout their life cycle”.(1) Where gender disaggregated data does exist, the results provide concrete cause for concern in terms of the disparities between male and female empowerment. Gender statistics within education highlight the stark reality of inequality; of the 774 million people who are illiterate in the world, over two thirds are female, while there are 4 million more boys than girls enrolled in primary education.(2)
The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an international membership. Founded in 1919, IFUW is the leading girls’ and women’s global organisation run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels.
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1 UN Commission on the Status of Women, ‘Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls: Agreed Conclusions’ 58th Session, 10-21 March, 2014 UN Doc. E/CN.6/2014/L.7.2 UNESCO ‘Education for all Global Monitoring Report: Girls’ Education- The Facts’ October 2013 http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/GMR/images/2011/girls-factsheet-en.pdf