Producing Statistics on Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective

This publication of the present Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines) provides national statistical agencies and policymakers with guidance on collecting, processing, analysing and disseminating individual-level data on asset ownership to inform three broad sets of policy issues: fostering the empowerment of women; reducing poverty and vulnerability; and understanding livelihoods. The Guidelines introduce the concepts, definitions and data requirements for measuring asset ownership from a gender perspective in household surveys and provide guidance on planning, organizing and implementing a household survey, appending a module, or adding a minimum set of questions on asset ownership to a nationally representative household survey. Countries may choose a particular modality for the implementation of the recommendations, depending on their own needs and capabilities, including the needs of data users and the availability of data from other sources, such as administrative records.

The Guidelines present a framework for measuring asset ownership from a gender perspective, in which ownership is conceptualized as a bundle of ownership rights, including reported and documented ownership and the rights to sell and bequeath an asset. The extent to which these ownership rights are vested in one individual varies across and within countries, depending on their legal frameworks and social norms. The Guidelines also outline key recommendations, including the list of assets for data collection, highlighting priority and additional assets; the issue of valuing assets; the rationale for self-reported or self-declared data collection rather than proxy data (because collecting proxy data from the head or another member of the household, as is standard in many countries, is likely to underestimate both women’s and men’s ownership of assets); data collection strategies; recommended approaches for sample design, focusing on within-household selection; and suggested data analysis and indicators, relevant for gender analysis of asset ownership and control.