Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commits fund to data on women and girls

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed money to national statistics offices for collecting information on the contribution of women and girls to society.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced, at the 2016 Women Deliver Conference, that it will commit $80m to plug the gaps in data on women and girls. This is towards meeting the gender equality goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal Five calls for the elimination of gender inequality and the empowerment of women and girls

Data is meant to influence policy to optimize the means of meeting the United Nations’ SDGs; agreed upon by the General Assembly in September 2016.

“We can’t close the gender gap we all aspire to close unless we close first the data gap,” Melinda Gates told the Conference in Copenhagen. She continued, “We live in an information age…but we don’t have all the data we need to know how to fulfill the great promise. You have to collect data if you are to know how to act on data.”

The money will be distributed over the next 3 years, through UN Women, to national statistics offices to collect information on the contribution by women and girls to society. The barriers they face in doing this as well. UN Women will work alongside governments and civil society to gather this missing information.

READ: WHY WE NEED WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

According to the Bill and Melinda Foundation, of importance is on the amount of unpaid work women carry out at home. This is not captured in calculating domestic production. Other areas considered difficult to compile data on, such as gender-based violence, will be given special attention.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world. It was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates, in 2000, to enhance healthcare, education and reduce poverty.