Issue: Quality of roads and infrastructure

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

Transport can make a difference in increasing women’s productivity and promoting gender equality by broadening access to health and education services, employment, and improving civic participation. It is also critical to ensuring that rural and marginalised communities — particularly their women, who face intersecting forms of inequality —are connected to economic centres and key services.

The Rural Access Index is among the most important global indicators for measuring people’s transport accessibility in rural areas, where the majority of the world’s poor live — the index attempts to measure the share of the population who live within 2 km of the nearest road in good condition in rural areas. A new method to calculate the Rural Access Index was recently developed using spatial data and techniques and is a promising new method to collect this data within the SDG framework.

Issue: Male to female ratio in manufacturing industries

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

A central tenet of the SDG agenda is accelerating development by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. Yet, women constitute the largest pool of untapped talent in the manufacturing sector. In Africa, for example, women represent only 38% of the manufacturing workforce. There is currently a critical gap in global, consistently collected or collated data measuring women’s participation in manufacturing industries.

Issue: Proportion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owned by women

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

The gender gap in business ownership is closely linked to gaps in education and technical training, as well as women’s access to technologies, business support services, and professional networks. Some data suggest that worldwide, women owned small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) have $260 to $320 billion in unmet financing needs. These factors lead to women’s underrepresentation in the supply chains — as workers, business owners, and decision makers — for manufacturing industries, energy and technology businesses, and national infrastructure projects.

Some nations have sought to remedy this by, for example, implementing policies that incentivise private-sector companies to support women-owned SMEs in procurement policies and offering longer repayment plans, lower interest rates, and different collateral requirements, as well as leasing and factoring options, for women-owned businesses, and by better collecting national-level data on women’s SME ownership.