Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out an ambitious vision for universal progress on urgent issues over the next 15 years, pledging to leave no one behind. This presents a critical opportunity to advance the well-being and empowerment of a large segment of the world population that is at risk of being left out of global progress: 1.1 billion girls.

Data tell us that the lives of girls today are better in many respects than those of preceding generations. Girls are now more likely to survive childhood, more likely to attend school and complete their education, less likely to be undernourished and less likely to marry as children.

Yet the recently released brochure, Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls, shows that girls still suffer significant deprivations and inequalities, many of which result from the persistent gender discrimination faced by girls and women everywhere. And for many girls, further disadvantage based on disability, location, race, ethnicity or migration status compounds the challenges of building a fulfilling future.

UNICEF’s first global estimates on the time girls and boys spend doing household chores reveal vast gender disparities. Globally, girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40 per cent more time, or 160 million more hours a day, on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age.

The brochure takes a close look at data for girls in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscoring the fact that accountability for progress towards the goals will depend on data, yet availability for two-thirds of SDG indicators relevant to girls is either limited or non-existent.  Investing in data will be critical to increasing understanding of girls’ ongoing and emerging challenges and disadvantages as the world changes between now and 2030.