In its capacity as the Secretariat of the Statistical Commission of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC-StatCom), the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) organised the OIC-StatCom Technical Committee of Experts (TCE) Meeting on Gender Related Issues on 21 – 22 January 2013 at the SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey. The Meeting brought together experts from the National Statistical Offices (NSO) of OIC Member Countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman, Sudan, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. The delegation of United Arab Emirates chaired the Meeting. The experts representing various international organisations including Islamic Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Turkey Country Office also attended the Meeting.
After recitation of some verses from the Holy Quran, the participants listened to the welcoming remarks of Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, and Mr. Abdulla Hassan Abdulla Al Shaer, Chair of the TCE and Director of Population and Social Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of United Arab Emirates, in the Opening Session. In his remarks, Dr. Alpay commended the successful activities of OIC-StatCom although being a recently established Commission. He underlined that the gender related issues are under the close scrutiny of the international community for a long time; including the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In this regard, Dr. Alpay thanked the NBS of United Arab Emirates for having raised the importance of gender statistics with a specific focus of reflecting cultural issues in the Second Session of OIC-StatCom.
Referring to statistics on demographic characteristics of OIC Member Countries, Dr. Alpay highlighted that the young population of the OIC as a group can be an opportunity if proper guidance and conducive environment will be provided. Quoting from the book of Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz titled “Price of Inequality”, Dr. Alpay expressed that the top 1% of Americans control 40% of nation’s wealth and stated that if the world will not realize the high cost of growing inequality in all aspects, the most pressing problems of societies cannot be tackled. He also underlined the critical importance of fair treatment in all aspects including gender to have a more just and prosperous future.
Being the Chair of the TCE Meeting, Mr. Abdulla Hassan Abdulla Al Shaer took the floor after Dr. Alpay and thanked SESRIC for giving an opportunity to reflect the point of view of NBS of UAE in terms of gender statistics by organizing such a meeting.
In Session I, Mrs. Neda Jafar, Head of Statistical Policy and Coordination Unit at UNESCWA presented a comprehensive overview about the general framework of gender related statistics and informed the participants about the efforts of UNESCWA in this area. Highlighting the difference between sex disaggregated data and gender statistics, she emphasized the need to go beyond the sex disaggregated data through conducting situation analysis and to identify concrete strategies for evidence based development planning in elimination of gender inequality.
After the lively presentation of Mr. Al Shaer, Director of Population and Social Statistics reflecting the background and the expected tasks, Mrs. Münevver Nilgün Egemen, Senior Researcher at SESRIC, provided a brief assessment about the current situation of OIC Member Countries in terms of some gender related indicators.
Under Session II, the presentation of Mrs. Kristonia Lockhart and Mr. Thiekoro Doumbia from IDB focussed on gender mainstreaming in the IDB and pointed out the lack of dialogue between producers and users. The speech of Mrs. Meltem Ağduk, Gender Programme Coordinator at UNFPA Turkey Country Office, about the various UNFPA activities in Turkey was followed by the presentation of Mrs. Dilek Güder, Vital and Gender Statistics Group Leader at TurkStat, in which she summarized the immense experience of National Statistical Office of Turkey in conducting gender related surveys and producing gender statistics.
For Session III, the participants from Indonesia, Sudan, Nigeria and UAE presented their country practices on gender related data collection and dissemination.
In the last Session, the future work of and the expectations from the Committee was discussed in detail to elicit the approaches the TCE should follow in order to reflect the various perspectives of OIC Member Countries to the international statistical community. Additionally, the issues and challenges that member countries experienced while adapting international concepts and definitions into their studies were addressed.
UNESCWA: Engendering Statistics (English)
UAE: TCE on Gender Related Statistics (Prezi Presentation)
SESRIC: Gender Overview of OIC Member Countries (English)
IDB: Gender Mainstreaming in the IDB, Statistical Requirements and Challenges (English)
Turkey: Gender Statistics in Turkey (English)
Indonesia: Development of Gender Related Statistics in Indonesia (English)
Sudan: Gender Statistics in Sudan (English)
Nigeria-1: Situation of Gender Related Issues in Nigeria (English)
Nigeria-2: NBS, the Custodian of Official Statistics in Nigeria (English)
UAE: National and Regional Consultations on Measuring Violence Against Women (English)