A global view of missing data on women

Just a quick one to share with you this week but wow does it show a lot! The folks over at Bread for the World held a hackathon last year bringing together data scientists, coders, statisticians, and graphic designers to visualise the data gaps on women and girls.

What they found was both disappointing and unfortunately and all too familiar story. The vast majority of the data that we need to truly understand and represent the lives of women and girls just don’t exist.

In 2013, the United Nations agreed a minimum set of 52 indicators that countries would need to collect in order to track the progress of women and girls. If all the data were available, we would be able to clearly see the faces of the women below.

Their faces are obscured by empty pixels representing all of the missing data in the World on female education, health, economic participation, human rights and public life. In short, we do not even have basic information on how much or well women are learning; how they interact with their health systems; what jobs they do, for how long, for how much money; whether they are properly protected under their countries laws and practices; whether or how they manage to make their voices heard in decision-making in their communities and countries.


Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 07.27.59http://hungerreport.org/missingdata/

If you follow the link above you will find an interactive tool that lets you select particular countries and indicators. The continent that performed the best in terms of available data was Latin America and the Caribbean with 71.4% of data missing, while in Sub-Saharan Africa, 82.3% of data was missing. Think about that. It means that in sub-Saharan Africa we only have 17.7% of the data that we need to really understand women’s lives. In a World where women and girls are often the poorest and most vulnerable, how can we hope to change the situation when we have less than a fifth of the information we need to even understand the situation in the first place.

UNStats has come up with some tools to try to change the situation. The gender statistics manual talks you through how to bring a gendered perspective to data collection, analysis and presentation. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in how to make statistics in every country better represent women and girls.



Just a little disclaimer: XYstats has no affiliation to Bread for the World nor does it have any religious affiliations. Our only guides are great stats and creative data visualisations! 


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