SAARC Gender Infobase

Equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace.

In South Asia, an Info Database is being developed, which crosses the parameters of conventional statistical data gathering exercises and databases and aims at creating a single data and information pool on gender issues a comprehensive Gender Info Bank.

Endorsed and supported by countries in the region, the SAARC Gender Info Base (SGIB) is one of the key goals of the MoU between the SAARC and UNIFEM. A SAARC and Member States driven process, UNIFEM supports the initiative with overall coordination and financial and technical resources. The SGIB was launched in 2008 by the SAARC Secretary General at the Inaugural Session of the “Sixth Biennial Conference on Commemorating Beijing” in New Delhi in the presence of H. E. Smt. Pratibha Patil, President of India and Ministers and Head of Delegations of the 8 Member Countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Responding to key priorities of the region, the SGIB is being seeded with information and data on the following:

  • Violence against Women (VAW), especially trafficking;
  • Health issues, including HIV/AIDS;and
  • Feminization of poverty

The SGIB has generated a momentum of its own through the collective participation of the 8 Member States and through the larger SAARC Mechanisms. It has been recommended that the SGIB be the ‘First Point of Reference’ for some of the major social sector initiatives of the region.