Realizing the ambitious promises made by the Sustainable Development Goals – including but not limited to Goal 5 on gender equality – will require a serious commitment to the collection and use of more and better gender data. In support of this work, Data2X and Open Data Watch have identified 20 global indicators that are ‘ready to measure’ outcomes for women and girls now.

The first version of Ready to Measure demonstrated that while many of the proposed gender-related indicators within the SDGs are challenging to collect, a starting point exists. The project outlined 20 indicators that have internationally agreed definitions; are produced through available data collection instruments; already have comparatively wide coverage; do not have built-in gender biases; and are informed by recommendations from UN Women, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics, the Open Working Group, MDG indicators, and the current UN Statistical Commission list.

Building off this work, the second R2M edition — Ready to Measure: Phase II — explores data availability and openness of the indicators further. R2M Phase II consolidates SDG-related gender data in an online database that allows searching by indicator, country, or SDG to reveal even more data insights, data gaps, trends in coverage or types of data sources. R2M Phase II can also be used as a tool to explore what gender data are ready, in what countries the data are ready, how to access the data if they are available, as well the compilation necessary to fill in missing data. And because gender data are more than just numbers, R2M can be used to provide insights into the reality of lives for women and girls around the world.

Both aspirational and existing indicators are complementary for measuring progress, but these 20 indicators offer the opportunity to ‘jump start’ data collection, in a majority of countries, and at a small cost.

We hope these papers demonstrate that measurement on gender-related targets is possible throughout the entire SDG period. Learn more about how R2M can be used as a gender data baseline, gender data spotlight, and gender data storyteller.