Publishing gender statistics to promote equality

*This Story of Change was originally published in the Pacific Women Annual Progress Report 2017–2018. All values are consistent with that reporting period.

Project name: Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific (Regional)

Project partner: The Pacific Community

Total funding: $3,817,300

Funding timeframe: 2013–2018

The Kiribati Gender Statistics Abstract 2017 is the first of its kind in Kiribati and provides key indicators and statistics related to education, health, human rights, public life, decision making, economic structures, participation in productive activities and access to resources.

Cover of the report.

The Kiribati National Statistics Office collaborated with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Sports and Social Affairs to produce the Abstract, with regional funding from Pacific Women through the Pacific Community’s Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific program. It is a compendium of statistics containing age and sex-disaggregated indicators guided by the UN Minimum Framework of Gender Statistics, the Pacific Leaders’ Gender Equality Declaration, relevant indicators for the Pacific Community’s programmes and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the foreword to the Abstract, the Honorable Dr Teuea Toatu, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, highlighted that using a gendered approach to statistics can benefit everyone:

‘Gender statistics are fundamental to providing evidence of development aspirations for wealth and peace for equality among men and women,’ Dr Toatu wrote. ‘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.’6

Data shows that women make up 51 per cent of the population of Kiribati and have a life expectancy of nearly eight years longer than men. In secondary schools, 169 girls are enrolled for every 100 boys. However, only seven per cent of seats in parliament are held by women. Unemployment for young women stands at 73 per cent.

Statistics such as these form an evidence base for policy formulation. Representatives from the Kiribati National Statistics Office hope the Abstract will also inform quality assurance of administrative sources, and continuous data literacy and capacity building.

The Abstract aligns with international statistical standards, allowing data from Kiribati to be compared with that from other countries. Data was sourced from the Kiribati Census, administrative records, and the 2009 Demographic and Health Survey.