December 16, 2014 / 3:43 PM / 4 years ago

Hillary Clinton unveils new partnerships to close gender data gaps

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have rolled out the next phase of a program that collects data to close gender gaps in various aspects of women’s lives.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on "Smart Power: Security Through Inclusive Leadership" at Georgetown University in Washington December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Through six new partnerships, the Data2x initiative will dig up data on women’s health, employment, poverty and progress, among other things, to help guide better policies and smarter investment to benefit women and society at large.

“When it comes to the lives of women and girls, too much is not being measured,” Clinton, a long-time advocate for women and girls’ rights, said at an event on Monday hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the ex mayor’s philanthropic foundation, in New York.

“Births aren’t always counted...the work of women outside the formal economy is not always counted, the participation of women at decision and even peacemaking tables is not always counted. There are so many data gaps that undermine progress, not just for women and girls, but for entire societies.”

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” said Bloomberg, who highlighted the key role played by data in promoting transparency accountability.

Founded by Clinton in 2012 when she was head of the State Department, Data2X is led by the United Nations Foundation with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

The initiative identified 28 gaps in global sex-disaggregated data across five domains: health, education, economic opportunities, political participation, and human security.

“You can’t understand what the problem is, if you don’t have a good grasp of what the facts and figures are,” said Clinton, a former U.S. Senator said to be a possible candidate in the next presidential elections.

For example, she said, data collection and analysis revealed that in India women spend an average of six hours a day performing unpaid labor.

India’s GDP would increase by $1.7 trillion if women participated in the formal labor force at the same level as men, Clinton said.

Last year, the former Secretary of State championed another data-driven initiative called No Ceilings together with her daughter Chelsea, who hosted a panel discussion at the event.

“Bring the data home,” said Clinton. “Help make a data-based case for women.”

Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Tim Pearce

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