Gender justice statistics: the case of poverty measurement

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The last two decades have seen a welcome proliferation of the collection and dissemination of data on social progress, as well as considered public debates rethinking existing standards of measuring the progress of societies. These efforts are to be welcomed. However, they are only a nascent step on a longer road to the improved measurement of social progress. In this paper, I focus on the central role that gender should take in future efforts to measure progress in securing human rights, with a particular focus on anti-poverty rights.
I proceed in four parts. First, I argue that measurement of human rights achievements and human rights deficits is entailed by the recognition of human rights, and that adequate measurement of human rights must be genuinely gender-sensitive. Second, I argue that existing systems of information collection currently fail rights holders, especially women, by failing to adequately gather information on the degree to which their rights are secure. If my first two claims are correct, this failure represents a serious injustice, and in particular an injustice for women. Third, I make recommendations regarding changes to existing information collection that would generate gender-sensitive measures of anti-poverty rights. Fourth, I conclude by responding to various objections that have been raised regarding the rise of indicators to track human rights.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Public Law of Gender
Subtitle of host publicationFrom the Local to the Global
EditorsKim Rubenstein, Katharine G Young
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016