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Conference on Connecting Vital Events Registration and Gender Equality (ConVERGE)

25 - 26 February 2020

The Centre of Excellence partnered with Open Data Watch and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in February 2020 to co-host a two-day event at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada. This event brought together 200 participants representing a wide range of stakeholders in the CRVS and gender fields.

Conference Outcomes

The outcome report describes the conference objectives and accomplishments, offers summaries of high-level and technical discussions, and provides a unique section on messages of action on CRVS and gender. A key priority of the event was to move beyond discussions on the importance of CRVS systems for women and children toward securing commitment to find solutions and take action.

Read the outcome report 

See an infographic of key action messages

Watch video recordings of the conference sessions

Background Materials

Read the concept note

See the conference agenda

See the full conference program

About ConVERGE

The goal of the Connecting Vital Events Registration and Gender Equality (ConVERGE) conference was to review and further advance the progress made since the first global meeting, Making the Invisible Visible: CRVS as as Basis to Meeting the 2030 Agenda. Over the two days, participants evaluated current and future opportunities and challenges to

  • ensure that all vital events are universally registered and certified;
  • generate, disseminate, and use vital statistics that are disaggregated to highlight subnational differences and support the advancement of gender empowerment initiatives; and 
  • harness CRVS systems to contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The power of CRVS systems for achieving gender equality

CRVS systems are essential to achieving 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5 on gender equality.

When CRVS systems covers entire populations, women and girls are counted in key indicators such as population, mortality rates, and causes of mortality. This enables governments and other actors to monitor the status of women and children.

Civil registration is also a powerful form of protection for women, children, and other vulnerable groups. It provides legal identity, empowering individuals to access education, health services, and economic opportunities. Proof of legal identity can afford women and children rightful claim to inheritance or property, as well as protection against child marriage.

The challenge

Women, children, and marginalized groups can gain the most from civil registration – yet they’re also the most likely to be excluded from it. They face many barriers to access, such as lack of financial independence, cultural norms, and outdated legislation.

Women and children’s exclusion from population data makes them ‘invisible,’ and the lack of legal identity exacerbates their vulnerability to poverty, abuse, and exploitation.

Why the ConVERGE conference was so important

The Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems has set out to inspire global commitment to integrating gender analysis across activities that strengthen CRVS systems. The event was important for

  • Identifying and debating how gender sensitive CRVS systems complement other data systems
  • Strategizing how to increase political support for the CRVS gender agenda
  • Exploring how social norms and political economies affect the functioning of CRVS systems
  • Inspiring and encouraging action from event participants
  • Identifying areas of research needed to increase the knowledge base on CRVS systems and gender
  • Fostering links between the global CRVS gender agenda and ongoing gender equality commitments

Learn more

Find out more about gender and CRVS issues – and why our collective action is so critical: