The government of the City of Buenos Aires is a global leader in gender data collection and reporting. Following Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SGD)—achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls—the city created the Buenos Aires Gender Indicator System (SIGBA) in 2018.
The indicator system is the first of its kind in Latin America and one of few data collection portals implemented by a local government anywhere in the world. These indicators measure gender gaps across three elements of women’s autonomy: physical, economic, and decision-making.
- Physical Autonomy: Refers to women’s right to their own bodies and well-being. This category is measured with indicators such as maternal mortality and rates of femicide.
- Economic Autonomy: Captured in women’s access to economic resources through, for example, labor market participation and educational credits. By browsing this category, users can find information about the gender pay gap, the average time spent on caring responsibilities, and the percentage of women that have attained higher education relative to men.
- Decision-making Autonomy: Refers to women’s ability to make their voice heard in society, and is measured in indicators such as women’s participation in the different branches of government, the proportion of women legislators, with hierarchical positions in the Judicial system, etc.
In addition to indicators within this framework, the City shares the demographic and administrative data necessary to understand the local context. Most of the information comes from official government surveys and censuses, and others from external sources.
The creation of these indicators gave the city a proper framework to transform Buenos Aires into a city where women can easily travel and enjoy public space without aggression or violence, where they can be responsible for their own economic development, and where they can hold key decision making positions in the public and private spheres.
Open data helps the government design better policies and allows journalists, academics, and activists to access public information data to enhance the conversation around gender issues in the city.
Transportation policies in Buenos Aires provide an example of how the data has been used since its release. In response to findings revealing that women felt insecure in public transport, precise initiatives were created to help women travel through the City safely, including a free SMS messaging line for women who experience harassment on public transport and a filter to request a female driver on the city Taxi app.
There are still obstacles to overcoming gender inequality, but creating these indicators and opening access to public data to track progress creates a more accountable government and strengthens the case for gender-specific and gender-sensitive policies to ensure that women and girls are no longer left behind.