Data Availability

Gender Data Availability

Understanding the availability of gender-related indicators over time helps us understand the progress made in improving access and highlight existing gender data gaps.

Improving measurement of gender-related indicators

Measuring ownership and control over assets

There is a rich and growing body of research on measuring women's and men’s ownership and control over assets. Research includes findings from the Gender Asset Gap Project (see this study ), the Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) initiative managed by the United Nations Statistics Division and UN Women (see Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective), and the World Bank study in Uganda Methodological Experiment on Measuring Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective (MEXA).


Measuring women’s and men’s work

The new international statistical standards have important implications for measuring the activities that women and men undertake. They make a clear distinction between “employment” which is defined as work performed for pay or profit and “work” which includes household chores and production for own consumption. The Women's Work and Employment Partnership (WWEP) is a joint effort of the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Data 2X. The WWEP is focused on operationalizing new international definitions of work and employment that recognize all productive activities, paid and unpaid. These new definitions -approved at the 19th International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS) - have major implications for how women's work is measured. The results will inform the formulation of guidelines for the measurement of employment, unemployment, and labor underutilization in household surveys.


The World Bank conducted methodological experiments and piloted data collection in Ghana ( see working paper) and Malawi to inform the operationalization of the new standards. The World Bank also completed a methodological study in Sri Lanka (jointly with the ILO and the Sri Lanka Department of Census and Statistics) to help solve persistent measurement problems.


The World Bank is also conducting research on improving the measurement of individual and poverty. A summary of this work can be found in chapter 5 of the 2018 Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report. In addition, the World Bank will test traditional recall- and diary-based methods to collect time use data using household survey experiments.


The Strengthening Gender Statistics Project

The Strengthening Gender Statistics (SGS) project provides technical assistance to National Statistics Offices in low-income IDA-eligible economies to improve the availability, quality, and use of gender data. With respect to the methodological advances in measuring women’s economic empowerment from the aforementioned partnerships and initiatives, the SGS project distilled the latest recommendations from the various reports produced by LSMS+ and WWEP into a guidance note for NSOs to more easily operationalize them in ongoing and future survey operations. To complement the guidance note, the SGS project also provides targeted advice to survey design and implementation protocols within each economies specific survey context as well as economy-trailored data analysis and dissemination training.

Expanding efforts to collect sex-disaggregated data

The Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) partnership is supported by the World Bank Group as well as the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)Data2X, the Financial Alliance for Women (formerly known as the Global Banking Alliance for Women), IDB Invest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The WFID partnership brings awareness about the importance of sex-disaggregated financial services data and coordinates efforts and interventions to maximize its collection and use.