22 September 2016:     $6.5M funding boost to collect data on girls vital to ending violence against women

Plan International Australia today warmly welcomes Julie Bishop’s commitment to ensuring accurate data on the profound social, economic and health problems experienced by girls and women worldwide is collected.

Speaking from New York earlier today, Ms Bishop has pledged $6.5 million from the Coalition over four years to help governments worldwide respond to gender inequality and violence against women and girls by improving data collection methods.

“Data collection is hugely important, particularly for ending gender-based violence and closing the gender pay gap, two very large, but extremely important challenges of our lifetimes,” Plan International Australia CEO Ian Wishart said.

“The issue is that until we know the extent of the problem, we cannot effectively address it. Millions of girls around the world are invisible to governments and policy makers because they’re not being counted.

“For example, we don’t count how many girls leave school because of early marriage, pregnancy or violence. We don’t know what work they’re doing and how much they are being underpaid.

“Bringing visibility to the problems faced by these girls will change their lives and the lives of the next generations to come. A world where every girl and woman is counted is not only possible, but is essential if we are to achieve true equality and fulfil our commitment to eradicating gender-based violence by 2030.

“It’s fantastic to see how closely the Making Every Woman and Girl Count program aligns with Plan International’s commitment to transforming the world for girls. Australia is really setting the pace for many other countries to start taking data collection for girls and women seriously.

“Plan has worked extensively on designing tracking systems for girls and we look forward to opportunities to feed into this fantastic initiative.”

Achieving gender equality is one of the global goals Australia ratified almost one year ago when they adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on September 25 2015.

The ‘Making Every Woman and Girl Count’ program is run in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UN Foundation, and UN Women. 

Better data on women’s access to income and social protection, the quantity and quality of women’s work and the prevalence of gender based violence will enable Governments to advance gender equality, which is essential to achieving sustained economic growth and development. 

About Plan International Australia: Plan International Australia is one of the world’s oldest and largest child rights development agencies. We work in over 70 countries around the world to tackle the root causes of poverty, inequality and injustice.