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PARIS21 is the new secretariat of the
Gender Data Network

Dear Colleague,

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for more and better data, especially on women and girls, to better understand and address increasing vulnerabilities and widening inequalities emerging from the pandemic. Still, barriers to produce, publish and use gender data remain.

Timely and high-quality data collection and access to gender-related administrative records have been difficult, and there are still roadblocks to using innovative solutions to collect, analyse and communicate gender data.

In addition, while the demand for real-time gender data for decision-making has increased during the pandemic, national statistical offices (NSOs) have reported a decline in financing for statistics—and even more so for gender statistics—as resources are channeled to preventive measures and health needs of staff.

Given the ongoing capacity constraints many NSOs face, closing gender data gaps and linking gender data to policy in the aftermath of the crisis will take ingenuity and creativity.

The Gender Data Network (GDN) is a key part of the solution.

Launched in 2019 by Data2X, the African Centre for Statistics at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Open Data Watch, the GDN aims to improve the production and use of gender data within national statistical systems by raising gender data production standards, improving the effectiveness of communication of and about gender data, and encouraging gender data use across participating countries.

GDN members have gained credibility and confidence through valuable conversations and knowledge-sharing. For some, the GDN has exposed them to best practices. For others, it has given them a platform to push gender issues forward in their organization. All members have benefitted from a shared sense of community that functions as a primary source of information on new developments in gender data and statistics.

Since its inception, the GDN has been housed at ECA, with an exclusive focus on 15 African countries. To mark a new phase of the GDN’s growth, we are pleased to announce that the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) will become the secretariat of the GDN, working in collaboration with Data2X, ODW and ECA.

As a global partnership that has supported the development of national statistical systems in low- and middle-income countries for more than twenty years, with a rich expertise in supporting countries to advance gender statistics, PARIS21 is uniquely placed to help GDN members connect to policy and other audiences to build on existing successes, respond to emerging global challenges and further drive gender data demand and use.

We look forward to working with you to advance gender equality through timely, high quality and representative data and statistics. We will contact you with further information soon.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the GDN, kindly contact Ms. Meriem Ait-Ouyahia at


Mr. Oliver Chinganya Director, African Centre for Statistics

Mr. Johannes Jutting Executive Head, PARIS21

Ms. Emily Courey Pryor Executive Director, Data2X

Learn more about the GDN
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