Indian policymakers’ estimates of the percentage of women in the labour force ranged from 20% to 70%. The most recently available data says 27%
GN Bureau | September 26, 2017
The highest proportion of policymakers with not much or no knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was found in India (38%), said a report by an international advocacy group.
Equal Measures 2030, an advocacy group, which spoke to policymakers in India, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and Senegal, said that Indian policymakers’ estimates of the percentage of women in the labour force ranged from 20% to 70% (the most recently available data says 27%).
The wide variation in responses raises questions about whether policymakers are aware, have access to or are sufficiently guided by the relevant, current data needed to assess progress for girls and women towards the SDGs, said the report.
The report also highlighted that on early marriage rate for women (latest year available), 12 percent policymakers knew it. But 69 percent were in the category “I don’t recall but know where the information is” and 19 percent were in the category “I don’t know and don’t know where this information is.”
On share of seats held by women in parliament in 2016, 35 percent were in the category “I know this”, but 65 percent were in the category “I don’t recall but know where the information is”.
On share of women in labour force in 2015, 19 percent knew this. But, 69 percent responded “I don’t recall but know where the information is” and 12 percent said “I don’t know and don’t know where this information is.”
With regard to maternal mortality rate in 2015, 23 percent knew this. As high as 65 percent responded “I don’t recall but know where the information is”, while 12 percent said: “I don’t know and don’t know where this information is”.
The Equal Measures 2030 report said that millions of girls and women are currently “invisible”, preventing them from fully participating in their communities, as well as restricting their access to rights and opportunities. Their invisibility is exacerbated by incomplete, missing, or underutilized data about the barriers that girls and women face, their potential to transform societies, and about what works to improve their well-being.
The gender policy landscape is complex - it cuts across all of the 17 SDGs and impacts all aspects of a girl or a woman’s life. Policymakers face daily decisions in all areas of policy - whether health, education, justice or public finance - that have a direct implication on the rights and opportunities of girls and women and that require effective coordination across multiple ministries. In many countries, ministries devoted to gender equality issues tend to be under-resourced and marginalized from government decision-making. Globally, less than a quarter of parliamentarians are women, which demonstrates the scale of the challenge.
The fact remains that, if the SDGs are to be achieved, it will be because policymakers (in the 193 countries that signed up to the goals) put in place the laws, policies and funding necessary to implement the goals on the ground, said the report.
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