In order to realize the ideals of the Millennium Declaration and acknowledge the fact that women and men are influenced differently by development and changes in society, gender issues and concerns must be mainstreamed within the development agenda. The existence of a gender and development perspective has led to the need for gender measurements and the production of gender statistics, including sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive quantitative and qualitative indicators for evidence-based policymaking.

Linking MDGs to the implementation of CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action is crucial for capitalizing on the synergies generated from both processes. The identification of gender issues and an in-depth gender analysis of the processes related to CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action is a means of informing MDG work and related interventions in terms of targeting efforts and resources. This can be achieved by incorporating a gender analysis and perspective in MDG reports, as well as developing common frameworks or parameters to serve as guidelines for gender-sensitive MDG monitoring and reporting. There has been only limited progress, however, in producing the statistics needed to monitor the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the goals of other international conferences and summits, including MDGs.

It is worth noting that there are differences in the availability of sex-disaggregated data across countries. There are several reasons for this, including inadequate statistical capacity, a lack of gender mainstreaming and inadequate concepts and methods. Improving gender statistics calls on the one hand, for strengthening national statistical systems, and on the other, for improving methodological work in the collection and compilation of statistics through concentrated efforts in capacity-building. This requires securing a sustained commitment at the highest levels of Government and raising the awareness of both data producers and policymakers.

Systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective within national statistical systems and in the production of statistics, including the development of concepts and methods, and in collecting and presenting statistics will help to maximize the use of official statistics on gender. This will promote the use of available, and possible complementary and diverse sources of data, and improve data availability so that it will be possible to provide comprehensive statistics that reflect the situation and concerns of women and men equally.

The proposed G IS IN framework for Arab countries is a means of linking MDGs and the Arab Beijing Priority Areas of Concern with corresponding gender-sensitive indicators. It is an initial step for Arab countries towards realizing the ideals of the Millennium Declaration and implementing CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action.

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