Abstract Provides Statistical Starting Point for Gender Equality in Kiribati

Women make up 51 per cent of the population of Kiribati, 60 per cent of those over 60 are women, and 169 girls are enrolled in secondary education for every 100 boys.

However, only 7 per cent of seats in parliament are held by women, 68 per cent of ever-partnered women between 15 and 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and 73 per cent of young women are unemployed.

These are just a few of the highlights in Kiribati’s Gender Statistics Abstract published early this year.

The Kiribati National Statistics collaborated with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Sports and Social Affairs (MWYSSA) and the Social Development Programme of the Pacific Community (SPC) through the Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific program (PGEP) to produce the document.

As the first of its kind for Kiribati, it provides key gender statistics that relate to education, health, human rights of women and girls, public life, decision making, and economic structures, participation in productive activities, and access to resources.

The Abstract provides evidence for policy formulation while also incorporating cultural considerations relating to gender equality using data sourced from Kiribati’s Census, administrative records, and the 2009 Demographic and Health Survey.

Taking a gendered approach is not only beneficial to women alone; as the Abstract highlighted:

‘Gender statistics are fundamental to providing evidence of development aspirations for wealth and peace for equality among men and women. For example, the attendance statistics from the 2015 Census of Population and Housing show that boys are not attending primary or secondary school, are more likely than girls to die before they are 12 months old, that about half of all adult men smoke tobacco, and the same proportion drink kava. These statistics highlight the need for initiatives by government, civil society and the private sector to address the gender needs of boys and men as well as women and girls.’

It also contains indicators from the United Nations Minimum Framework of Gender Statistics, the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, relevant SPC programme indicators and even some Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.

Aligning to international statistical standards, the Abstract follows consistency principles and promotes Kiribati’s comparability among regions and nations.

The National Statistic Office of Kiribati hopes the Abstract will also inform quality assurance of administrative sources as well as continuous data literacy and capacity building to support processes including report writing for the implementation international gender commitments like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The abstract can be accessed on SPC’s website: http://sdd.spc.int/en/news/latest-news/158-kiribati-2017-gender-statistics-abstract