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The power of research to improve CRVS: A gender lens


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Presentation by Mayra Buvinic (Data2X) at the High-Level Panel and technical consultations on Making the Invisible Visible: CRVS as a basis to Meeting the 2030 Gender Agenda - Ottawa, 26 February, 2018.

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The power of research to improve CRVS: A gender lens

  1. 1. Mayra Buvinic, Senior Fellow February 2018 The Power of Research to Improve CRVS: A Gender Lens
  2. 2. The state of CRVS • About 230 million, or 35 percent of children under the age of five do not have registered births. Most of these children are in South Asia and Sub- Saharan Africa. (UNICEF) • Globally, two-thirds (38 million) of 56 million annual deaths are still not registered. (WHO) • More than 100 developing countries still do not have functioning systems that can support complete registration of births, marriages, divorce and death. (WHO)
  3. 3. Why does CRVS matter for women and girls? Well functioning CRVS systems are particularly important for women and girls: they help overcome gender gaps in data and services • Provide sex-disaggregated demographic data on key issues • Gateway for women and girls to exercise individual rights and protections • Can prevent passing on disadvantage between generations
  4. 4. Why does CRVS matter for women and girls? • Non-possession of birth registration is more of a problem for women (early marriage, sex trafficking)
  5. 5. Why does CRVS matter for women and girls? Non-possession can affect rights of widows and divorced women
  6. 6. Why does CRVS matter for women and girls? • Non possession can pass disadvantage between mothers and children
  7. 7. CRVS and the SDGs • In general, CRVS is essential for population data as a denominator for population-based targets and indicators. • Specifically, 25 of the SDG targets require CRVS to meet or measure progress – Target 3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births. – Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  8. 8. Examples of Research Findings • Gender gaps in birth registration small at national level, but can be large at subnational level (Kenya, Mozambique, Benin) and among population groups (Afghanistan, Nepal). Gaps may be masked by sex-selective abortion in some countries (Data2X). • In SSA women who are younger, in polygamous marriages, or who give birth outside a hospital are least likely to register their infants (Data2X) • Female deaths are less likely to be registered in China, Rajasthan (India) (Rao et al. 2005; Abouzahr et al. 2014) • Overall, there was an 6% gender gap in ID possession in Pakistan in 2012-13. Gap was 8-11% in poorest 3 quintiles (Data2X)
  9. 9. Examples of Research Findings • 55% of couples in poorest 30% of population in Indonesia have only religious marriages, 75% of children have no birth certificates (Sumner 2015). • In Nepal, widows can have widowhood pension only if they provide death and citizenship certificate of dead husband (Vandenabeele and Lao 2007). • Nepal cash grant program requires birth certificate to enroll children under 5. Birth registration increased dramatically in target populations (Karnali subregion, poor Dalit households), compared to rest, and significant pre-program gender gap in birth registration disappeared only in target populations (Data2X).
  10. 10. What is needed to improve CRVS We need: • Reduce existing gender gaps in CRVS and access to adult ID. Need to work on proximate constraints (cost, physical access, complex procedures, etc.) and underlying factors (economic status, education, location, ethnicity, religion) • Improve available data on gender gaps at both national and subnational levels and develop appropriate knowledge base to support effective policymaking • More detailed and systematic research on benefits of CRVS, assessments of CRVS systems, factors influencing access to registration, and policy impact • Funding and capacity support to CRVS systems and a gender lens on CRVS.