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U.S. Government, World Bank Launch Initiatives To Collect More, Better Data On Women Worldwide

“The World Bank and U.S. government on Thursday each announced major new initiatives aimed at expanding knowledge on the experience of women around the world, while acknowledging that much remains to be done on filling the global ‘data gap’ on women,” Inter Press Service reports. At an event at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of Gallup, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “announced the creation of a new U.S. government initiative called Data 2X, which will aim [to improve] international capacity on the production and analysis of data, including training in gender-sensitive data-gathering techniques and filling gaps in gender-sensitive data,” IPS writes. World Bank President Jim Kim “also announced a major new initiative on the subject, the World Bank’s Gender Data Portal, a clearinghouse of the bank’s decades’ worth of gender-related statistics and analysis,” the news service notes (Biron, 7/19).

Saying one of the greatest challenges is strengthening country systems, Kim said in his speech, “As experienced in my own work on maternal health, even seemingly simple data, such as births and deaths, can sometimes be difficult to capture. Basic indicators like maternal mortality remain underreported because too many women in poor countries never come into contact with health facilities or official statistical systems” (7/19). According to her speech transcript, Clinton said, “Just as investing in women and gender equality has a multiplying effect that brings about positive results for entire societies, investing in collecting and analyzing data on women and gender equality can exponentially increase those benefits” (7/19). A State Department fact sheet on the issue also is available (7/19). A video of the event is available from Gallup, according to the Gallup Blog (Morales, 7/19).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.