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As a political economist, the focus of my research and activism has always been how economic data can be used to influence public policy. I am very familiar with the technical, logistical and measurement arguments traditionally raised by statisticians or economists in the debates on the collection, presentation and imputations related to gender disaggregated statistics. I also have very little patience with them. This article explains why, in the context of a critique of the United Nations System of National Accounts (UNSNA). It also surveys some alternative methods of accounting, which better capture the realities of women’s contribution to the global economy. This article includes material from the introduction of the second edition of my book, Counting for Nothing – What Men Value and What Women are Worth (1999), University of Toronto Press, Toronto. The new feminist challenge is to identify and use these models in public policy making and in advocacy for change.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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