Kazakhstan soars on gender data transparency amid mixed results from rest of Central Asia

©Gender Compass Data

Open Data Watch, an international non-profit organization supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, published in late 2023 a Gender Data Compass (GDC) report on the availability and openness of 53 key gender indicators in 185 countries. With numerous outlets and articles celebrating international women’s day last week, now is a good opportunity to revisit this important document to see where Central Asian countries rank in the world in terms of gender data transparency. The most interesting finding from the report is Kazakhstan’s remarkable success: The country has secured a coveted fourth position globally, coming just behind Great Britain, South Korea and Denmark, and is the only country from Central Asia that entered the top five. By comparison, Kyrgyzstan holds the 45th place out of 185 countries, Uzbekistan the 56th, Tajikistan the 159th, and Turkmenistan holds the 171st spot. The United States, on the hand, came in 48th globally.

The GDC provides information on national gender data systems and the environment in which they operate. It investigates whether a country has policies and laws that encourage the production and dissemination of official gender data, as well as the strengths of their regulatory frameworks, funding structures and national capacities in terms of ability to support transformative changes. Kazakhstan has scored 60 out of 100 on both “openness” and “availability” of its gender data, according to Open Data Watch. It is important to note that the front runner of the rankings, the United Kingdom, has scored just 55 on “availability” and 74 on “openness”, underlining a need even in developed countries for improving gender data coverage gaps and publishing data in more open and available formats, among other things.

The goal of this report is to provide necessary insights and serve as a practical guide to relevant national authorities as well as to their partners to take effective action towards gender equality.