Tonga’s commitment to gender equality highlighted by launch of first gender statistics publication


To mark International Women’s Day, Tonga launched its first GENDER STATISTICS publication titled Gender Equality: Where do we stand? The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Women’s Affairs Division spearheaded the compilation of the publication with the support from key Ministries, key stakeholders and the Pacific Community (SPC) Social Development Programme. The “Gender Equality: Where do we stand? Publication is an innovative example of how Tonga is working to advance gender equality. While the work in compiling gender statistics, data analysis and convening of gender statistics workshop began 2 years ago, SPC began supporting gender statistics in Tonga since 2000.

The development of the GEWDWS Publication is part of the implementation of the Progressing Gender Equality in Pacific Island Countries (PGEP) initiative funded by the Government of Australia. One of the outcomes of this initiative is Governments use gender statistics and learning systems to inform policies and programmes, and monitor progress against gender equality commitments. “Through the production of these publications, Governments are able to track progress on advancing gender equality and will further assist in decision making on progressing their gender equality commitments”, says Ms. Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago- Elisara, Director- Social Development Programme (SPC).

The work on gender statistics under the PGEP initiative began in 2013 laying the groundwork for governments to track and report on changes in gender equality, and to work closely with government machineries in strengthening the collection and utilisation of gender statistics.

The “Gender Equality: Where do we stand? Publication highlights gender data gaps and challenges, to initiate discussions on how the needs of women and men are being addressed in the roll out of programmes, activities and implementation of national policies. Director of the Social Development Programme (SPC), Ms. Tago- Elisara said “The lessons and findings from this publication will contribute to improving communication, knowledge management and information between users of statistics, policy makers and key stakeholders”.

A range of stakeholders were engaged throughout drafting of the publication, with the process of formulating contents, key messages and statistics incorporating strengthening their capacity in data compilation and analysis, and improving their statistical literacy. By highlighting the gender differences in employment, health, decision-making and the environment, the publication contains clear evidence to support the review, development and implementation of gender-sensitive policies, activities, programmes and decision making.

Tonga launched its first gender statistics publication titled “Gender Equality: Where do we stand? along with the National Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality Tonga Policy and Strategic Plan of Action 2019-2025; and Gender Mainstreaming Handbook, with the latter two supported through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) work in Tonga

The finalisation and production of the gender statistics publication is part of the Progressing Gender Equality in Pacific Island Countries (PGEP) initiative delivered through the Social Development Programme of the Pacific Community-SPC. PGEP is funded by the Government of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the program Pacific Women.

Media contact:
Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago- Elisara, Director- Social Development Programme (Gender, Culture & Youth), Pacific Community - SPC | E: [email protected]

Gender Equality: Where do we stand?

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