IDM at the Commission on the Status of Women

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Introducing the IDM at CSW in 2015

The Australian Government and IWDA co-sponsored a side event at the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2015, presenting the IDM to a standing room only audience. Peter Versegi, then Minister Counsellor at the Australian Mission to the United Nations chaired the panel, which included:

  • Scott Wisor (formerly Research Fellow at ANU, then Deputy Director, Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham and lead author of the IDM research report)
  • Jeni Klugman (Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Kennedy School, Harvard University)
  • Joanna Hayter (then CEO, International Women’s Development Agency)
Image of Joanna Hayter, Peter Versegi , Scott Wisor and Jeni Klugman at CSW to launch the IDM.
Joanna Hayter, Peter Versegi, Scott Wisor (out of view) and Jeni Klugman at the IDM side event

There was strong interest in the measure as a way to get beyond the limitations of household-level and income-focused measurement, with questions coming from people from a wide range of countries, including Jamaica, Mexico, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Somalia, Indonesia, Zambia and the United States.

Interest in the IDM was also reflected in a guest post on the IDM’s innovations for Duncan Green’s From Poverty to Power blog, which was then picked up by The Guardian and the World Bank.

Inside the side event for IDM at CSW59

IDM at CSW in 2017

Sian Phillips (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), speaking on behalf of the Assistant Secretary and Principal Sector Specialist of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sarah Goulding, profiled the IDM at the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women as part of an interactive expert panel on Enhancing availability and use of data and gender statistics (video). The presentation highlighted a range of initiatives being supported by the Australian Government to address gender data gaps, including for the IDM.

The Chair noted in his official summary of discussions that participants unanimously affirmed that improving the availability, accessibility and use of high-quality gender-related statistics and data disaggregated by sex was critical in order to effectively monitor progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the 2030 Agenda.

In 2017 the IDM Was part of an interactive expert panel on enhancing availability and use of data and gender statistics at CSW.


The Chair’s summary referred directly to the IDM, noting that participants reported on such methodological developments as the Individual Deprivation Measure, which is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty, aiming at overcoming the limitations of current approaches.

Importantly, the Chair’s summary also underlined the need for intersectional and disaggregated data more generally:

Participants concluded that priority attention needed to be devoted to increasing data collection with regard to intersectionality and disaggregating data by sex, age, location, disability, sexual orientation, marital status and other types of discrimination to make visible and effectively address the intersecting inequalities that women and girls experience in order to ensure that no one is left behind.