Interim Findings from the Global Count
A substantial lack of data on the lived experiences, opinions and perspectives of women and gender-diverse people results in inaccurate funding and policy initiatives intending to support women on a global scale. A 2017 report found data is either completely missing or irregular when it comes to tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When it comes to gender-related SDGs, UN Women’s 2019 Women Count Report found only 31% of gender-specific SDG indicators can be reliably monitored at the global level.
The connection between a lack of data on women, and consequential unreliability of funding and policy initiatives to progress women’s equality is evident: only 1% of gender focused aid went to women-led organisations in 2016/2017. That meagre 1% is made even less effective by the fact that the bulk of it remained in “donor countries” and did not reach those in need on a local level.
At the close of a year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic when human rights authorities declared that gender-based violence and inequities in the workplace are as bad as they were 25 years ago, in 2021, it is more crucial than ever to get an accurate and comprehensive picture of how individuals around the world are being impacted by gender inequality. The post-pandemic “Global Reset” allows us an opportunity to give people from all contexts and walks of life the opportunity to define the issues affecting their lives and inform how we rebuild our systems and societies in an equitable way. The Global Count is an opportunity to ensure the voices of women and gender-diverse people define what is needed when it comes to funding and policy-making decisions that will impact them.
Unable to take to the streets for its anniversary march in 2021, Women’s March Global (WMG) and 60+ partner organisations launched The Global Count (GC) in lieu of the annual global event. The GC Steering Committee members include representatives from White Ribbon Alliance, CIVICUS, Girl Up, Global Fund For Women, Care International, Facebook, and Impact Mapper as well as local movements and partners including Akili Dada, Akina Mama Wa Afrika, BONELA, ASTRA Network, ARROW, and New Women Connectors. These partners were chosen for their ability to reach global networks as well as local communities and their expertise in engaging women and gender-diverse people. The Steering Committee members enable the GC to reach millions of women and ensure a diversity of data and perspectives, while Facebook subsidized targeted ad credits to help reach women and diverse people across the globe. (Please note: Facebook has had no access to the GC data or survey platform provided by SurveyMonkey.)
At the core of the GC is the coming together and collaboration of like-minded movements and networks to centre the voices of women in the ‘global reset’ and ensure that the information is extensive and representative enough to tangibly inform the 2021 Generation Equality Forum (GEF) accountability mechanisms and the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality. The GC envisions that accessible, translatable gendered data can result in a radical shift in funding, policy, and programming when applied deliberately, transparently and with integrity. The GC is formed on the basis that the development of any agenda that does not include the perspectives, views and experiences of those who will be affected will fail to meet the need. Informed by the GC, stakeholders at the GEF can set policy and make funding decisions based on women’s definitions of the issues impacting them, the barriers to progress, and the organisations that are driving change.
These Interim Findings are a snapshot of what the GC will be able to accomplish over time, as it continues to collect data, analyse, visualise, and translate it into actionable insights. Most notably, the Interim Findings are a snapshot of the information that will be made accessible technologically and linguistically, as well as cross-referenced with other studies through the Humanitarian Data Exchange. The mechanism with which this project seeks, communicates, and translates the opinions and perspectives of women and gender-diverse people on their empowerment is poised to hold the ACs at the GEF accountable.