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Measuring progress

Research, data collection and the understanding of the various ways that sex, gender, age, First Nations heritage, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability and other demographics interact is complex and evolving. The existing evidence base and data collections have many limitations in this respect and in some cases, demographic information is not always available in a statistically relevant way.

These gaps in data constrain our analysis of what life is like for diverse women, men and non-binary people in Australia. The Government is working to map and better use its data holdings, especially to support gender impact analysis for government decision making, and to shine a light on where progress is slow and more effort needed. This effort is critical to making the invisible visible and surfacing the reality of women’s lives so that policies can respond. Data is also critical for measuring progress and holding ourselves accountable for achieving impact.

The Strategy will help identify where we can focus these efforts, as well as identify what targets we could set ourselves, what indicators of success we should monitor and how we could report this.

Limitations of the Data

In this discussion paper we have used the best data available to demonstrate the state of gender equality in Australia, however we acknowledge that in some cases this is imperfect or does not properly represent the experience of many in Australia. We are seeking to overcome these limitations as best possible by consulting broadly and with a diverse range of people in Australia. In your response to this paper, please feel free to use the terminology that best describes you and your experience so we can understand the words that best resonate with the community when developing the Strategy.


  • When building the evidence base and assessing progress, where should we focus?
  • What accountability and reporting mechanisms would you prioritise?