Why strengthened CRVS is important for women and girls (Pt.2)
In our previous blog, we touched upon the importance of resilient Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems, especially during crisis. However, CRVS is not just about data collection or a government box-ticking exercise. In most countries, we take it for granted, but it can be a matter of life or death for women and girls. In countries looking to achieve gender equality, it can be one of the most important steps forward.
Why is civil registration so important for women?
We must aim for all global citizens to gain certification from birth, as we know that it has a positive effect on early childhood growth and development outcomes. In South Asia, 32% of children under 5 do not hold a birth certificate. There can be several reasons for this. For example, in countries such as in Nepal and Bhutan, births cannot be registered without the father’s name. In Iran and Indonesia, similar legislative biases result in registration denial without the presence of the father or another male relative.
Later in life, marriage and death registration are effective tools for women’s empowerment and for facilitating access to social benefits and protection. It’s not merely a case of being ‘uncounted’, the consequences of remaining unregistered in terms of access to economic and educational opportunities are severe, and leave women locked in a cycle of poverty and oppression.
What are the barriers women and girls face when they remain unregistered?
There are three core areas where the lack of a functional CVRS system is severely limiting women and children:
Education is key to erasing the gender gap, but the opportunities to access formal education for those without a birth certificate are severely limited.
Financial inclusion is a large-scale problem, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where 42% of women cannot access a bank account due to a lack of identity documentation.
Safety and protection for unregistered women and girls is negligible, and this can result in violence and exploitation. An eCRVS system provides real-time age verification, preventing unlawful marriage and opening up access to age-related health services.
“Critical to preventing childhood statelessness is the ability of both parents to register the births of their children. Preventing women from having equal rights to do so risks leaving a child without a crucial form of legal identity and proof of entitlement to a nationality.” said Grainne O’Hara, UNHCR’s Director of International Protection.
An urgent and critical advantage of eCRVS is its weaponry in the fight against child marriage. Ingrained gender inequalities are a regrettable repercussion of manual CRVS systems. Their incomplete nature has enabled exploitation by way of the gaps in civil registration data that should protect minors by accounting for their existence via vital statistics.
How can affected countries overcome these barriers?
In territories where systems lag behind, installing an eCRVS system could quickly and dramatically improve gender imbalance and increase civil registration for everyone. It moves civil registration forward and levels up the life chances of disadvantaged people across the world.
Once an efficient eCRVS system is operational, the barriers start to disappear. Women can access financial services independently of men, and make their rightful claim to property and inheritance: all of the critical life advantages that many of us take for granted.
How WCC can help achieve a balance
As the deadline for the United Nations 2030 Agenda approaches, our HERA eCRVS solution can bring equal opportunities to your population, whether you have an existing CRVS system that needs upgrading or are currently using a manual process. We integrate seamlessly with other voter rolls, national ID systems and residency systems and support the Open Standards Identity API for civil identity systems.
You don’t need to choose between quality, cost or speed with HERA: it offers all three. Our vast experience means we can get you up and running fast, with guaranteed compliance with international standards. To ensure longevity, HERA is completely configurable to your needs and scalable when your requirements change. And because we use the same base product, we’re able to keep your costs low.
Find out more about our CRVS solution HERA or contact us now.
Article by: WCC Community