Guide on Gender Analysis of Census Data Full Draft of 6 December 2012 Contents

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Guide on Gender Analysis of Census Data

Full Draft of 6 December 2012


Introduction: About this Guide 3

Part One Background and Conceptual Clarifications for Gender Analysis of Census Data 5

Chapter 1: Gender in Population and Housing Censuses 6

A. The Scope of Census Data 6

B. Gender Analysis of Census Data 9

Chapter 2: Conceptual Clarifications on Gender Equality and Gender-Responsive Data Analysis 15

A. Sex and Gender 15

B. Measuring sex/gender differences, gender inequality and gender inequity through gender analysis 17

C. Some issues in data analysis and the construction of indicators 21

Part Two 10 Key Gender Issues Analysed with Census Data 32

Chapter 3: Fertility 34

Chapter 4: Mortality 57

Recommended census questions to estimate maternal deaths: 64

Chapter 5: Sex Ratio at Birth and throughout the Life Cycle 66

Chapter 6: Marital Status, Polygamy, Widowhood and Child Marriage 85

Country Example 7: Gender and Long-term Shifts in Rates of Marriage and Divorce in the United States 96

Teachman et al. (2000) used three national censuses and a variety of sources to examine changes in marital status of American women over a period of three decades. Overall, they report a general decline over time in the early formation of marriages, a growing tendency to never marry (especially for some racial and ethnic groups), and an increase over time in the dissolution of marriages. The more specific findings fall into three areas: marriage, singlehood and divorce. 96

Chapter 7: Households and Families 113

Chapter 8: Income, Poverty and Living Conditions 146

Chapter 9: Education and Literacy 168

Chapter 10: Work, Economic Activities and Social Protection 180

Chapter 11: Migration 197

Chapter 12: Disability 210

Conclusions 230

References 232

Inhorn, M. C. and F. Valen Balen (2002). Infertility around the globe: new thinking on childlessness, gender, and reproductive technologies. Berkeley CA, University of California Press. 239


Appendix 1: Gender-Relevant Issues in 2005-2014 Census Forms 253

Appendix 2: Glossary of important gender terms 264

Appendix 3: Mapping of Resources on Gender Statistics, Relevant to the Gender Analysis of Census Data 267

Appendix 4: A Brief Overview of the Evolution of Gender Statistics 271

Appendix 5: From Understanding the Gender Data Gap to Improving the Production and Analysis of Gender Statistics 275

Appendix 6: How to Apply this Guide in a Country Context 281

[Forewords and Acknowledgements]

Introduction: About this Guide

1. This guide is meant to serve as a tool for the staff of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) - possibly in collaboration with academic or research institutions -, National Ministries responsible for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and civil society gender advocates, to be used in their efforts to promote equality, human rights and equity issues between women and men through the appropriate analysis of census data. It is also expected to be utilized by various United Nations Regional, Sub-regional and Country Offices in the gender analysis of census data, to better support government partners in their formulation of gender-responsive policies and programmes in all areas and all levels of government.

2. The guide has been produced by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in close collaboration with UN Women, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Statistics Division, following two Needs Assessment Conferences for Census Analysis (Dakar, Senegal in 2009 and Bávaro, Dominican Republic in 2010). As one NSO delegate noted:
Gender is not systematically analysed [in censuses]. Many countries still do not consistently disaggregate data by age and sex and do not distinguish between sex disaggregated data and specific gender analysis from census data. There is a clear need that countries ensure the production and provision of easy access of age and sex-disaggregated data for users who require such information. Also, countries should develop specific gender databases from their censuses and mainstream gender in the entire national statistical system. UNFPA needs to build capacity for gender analysis in the form of both technical guidelines and practical training of staff (Dakar Conference Report, 2009: 8).
Besides responding to a clear national need, there are at least three additional rationales for producing this guide:

  1. Intrinsic Rationale

3. Promoting gender-responsive census analysis is in line with the human rights-based approach and supports countries in fulfilling their human rights obligations.

  • Gender differences and gender inequalities have often been overlooked in statistical production even though it is now widely acknowledged that access and control over resources, as well as the various dimensions of wellbeing, is gendered and that women and men have different needs and interests. It follows that national statistics that do not reflect these differences do not adequately reflect social reality in a way that supports sound development policy-making and planning. Gender-responsive census analysis can therefore contribute to making the national statistics base more relevant and comprehensive, and improve decision-making for development planning and programmes.

  • Gender analysis focuses on gender-related social inequalities, discriminatory practices and unjust power relations. Cross-referencing this information and going beyond sex-disaggregation to consider other factors such as ethnicity, age, place of residence can help identify additional social issues related to subsets of excluded or vulnerable groups.

  1. Instrumental Rationale

4. Carrying out gender analysis of census data can contribute to better and more sustainable human development outcomes.

  • Gender analysis of census data helps build up the evidence-base informing development policies and programmes in a way that takes into account the specific needs of women and men, and girls and boys. Many Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and countries undergoing humanitarian crises suffer from data scarcity and planners find it difficult to assess what the population’s needs are. Where in addition resources are limited, census data are a good place to start: It is sometimes the only available source of national statistics and some relevant gender analyses can be performed on the basis of census data, as this manual will show.

  • Taking gender differences into account and overcoming gender inequality is an obligation under international law (CEDAW) and not optional. International guidelines exist on how gender statistics should be produced (BPFA, Strategic Objective H.3). This is so because the international community now agrees that gender equality is a prerequisite to advancing social justice and sustainable development.

  1. Institutional Rationale

5. Promoting gender analysis of census data is timely.

  • The vast majority of countries have undertaken a census during the 2010 Population and Housing Census round or are scheduled to do so soon. Although there are several manuals on gender statistics, there is not, as yet, a comprehensive orientation on how to analyse census data for gender purposes.

  • Countries have repeatedly requested help in fulfilling their reporting obligations on gender equality issues (e.g. CEDAW) and in producing thematic census reports. Although the fact that censuses usually happen only once every ten years is a limitation in this regard, it can also be interpreted as an opportunity that should be taken advantage of whenever it presents itself. In particular, NSOs are often at a loss when it comes to writing reports on gender statistics from censuses, and consequently the census data on this and many other issues end up being under-utilized. The earlier a guide on this issue becomes available, the better.

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