Issue: Intra-household income and resource allocation

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

The interpretation of data from surveys that are designed to primarily collect information about households often assumes that resources are shared equally within a home. However, people living under the same roof often experience markedly different living standards. Many important components of the dimensions of individual well-being, i.e. income, nutrition, education, are still only measured at the level of the household, thus masking important differences in how men and women, boys and girls experience poverty.

Some World Bank Living Standards Measurement Surveys (LSMS) are used to collect data on the consumption of certain goods at the individual level, and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) has a module on material deprivation and another on intra-household sharing of resources, where some of the questions capture individual-level information. The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty that assesses deprivation at the individual level and overcomes the limitations of current approaches that measure poverty, collectively, at the household level. The IDM is currently being piloted in selected countries with the goal that by 2020 it is ready for global use as an individual measure of deprivation.

Issue: Access to social protection floors (by sex)

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

An estimated 4 billion people worldwide are unprotected by any social benefit, with women disproportionately excluded from social protection schemes and their specific risks and needs often unaddressed by existing policies. Millions of women are also unprotected by maternity benefits: according to the ILO’s World Social Protection Report 2017-19, only 41.1% of mothers with newborns receive a maternity benefit, with an estimated 83 million new mothers worldwide are uncovered. Such discrepancies in access to social protection policies can limit women’s personal income and leave them more vulnerable to economic shocks, and widen gender gaps in poverty rates, particularly for single mothers, widows and disabled persons.

The World Social Protection Report provides a global overview of social protection systems, using a range of global, regional and country data on coverage, benefits and budgets. The report includes gender-specific data on protections available to women and men of working age, as well as protections for maternity, unemployment, employment injury and disability, as well as pensions.

Issue: Women’s land tenure and legal documentation

Relevance and promising measurement approaches:

Lack of a government-recognised identification document may limit a woman’s ability to own land, yet married women cannot obtain such a document as easily as married men in 11 countries. More than 10% of people worldwide have reported having paid bribes when dealing with ordinary land issues, and Transparency International finds that bribery around land management hits women the hardest: they are more likely to be subjected to sexual extortion.

The World Bank’s WBL initiative tracks discriminatory laws worldwide, including those governing land ownership and tenure. It collects global data on a wide range of indicators, i.e. national ID cards, marital property administer, non-monetary contributions, ownership rights to immovable property. Their 2018 report covers 189 economies and seven topics of relevance for women’s economic participation.