Maldives is making strides in strengthening their coordination of gender statistics in the context of the upcoming national strategy for development of statistics (NSDS). On 26 February 2020, the Maldives’ National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services organised a validation workshop with PARIS21 on an assessment of national gender statistics that launched in 2019.
This assessment took place as part of a PARIS21 pilot in Maldives, a component of PARIS21’s wider collaboration with UN Women under the “Women Count” programme aiming to integrate gender statistics in the national statistics system through the NSDS. Of the 50 total participants from the data ecosystem who attended, there were representatives from different NBS departments and line ministries, including the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Community Empowerment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Agriculture. The workshop also benefited from strong representation of civil society organisations, NGOs and gender researchers.
The assessment, designed using PARIS21’s conceptual framework and guidelines, highlighted current data and capacity gaps that hinder the production and dissemination of the high-quality gender statistics needed to satisfy an increasing demand from users in Maldives.
The validation workshop marked an important step in the statistical capacity development in Maldives. In 2019, national stakeholders attended two gender statistics-focused trainings: a training on basic concepts of gender statistics organised by the UN Women Asia Pacific Regional Office, as well as a hands-on course covering PARIS21’s data planning tool, ADAPT. The main objective of these workshops was to provide the national statistical system with a greater understanding of gender statistics, as well as a better overview of gender data supply and demand originating from national policies and international agendas, such as the SDGs.
The outcome of the validation workshop was the endorsement of the assessment's findings, as well as discussion on concrete ways to improve national capacities for better gender statistics production, user-centred dialogue and improved communication. The next step will be to integrate the assessment findings into a strategic framework of gender statistics for the NSDS. The full integration of gender statistics in the national statistical system is a long process, but the current commitment of the national stakeholders is vital and signals a promising beginning.