Making use of existing databases and knowledge: World Policy Analysis Center(WPAC)


The WPAC hosts a collection of rights, laws and policies from all 193 UN member states, and is useful in using programmatic, legal and policy approaches for conducting agender analysis.

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The WPAC makes its data publicly accessible to inform the research and policy efforts of a wide range of stakeholders, including:

  1. Policymakers seeking information onwhatsteps are feasible and effective;
  2. Citizens committed to working for change and ensuring their governments are as effective as possible; and
  3. Researchers analyzing the link betweenpolicies and outcomes. The Center has collected and analyzed information onrights, laws, and policies in all 193 UN member states in the areas of education, health, adult labor and working conditions, child labor, poverty, constitutional rights, discrimination, childhood, gender, marriage, families, aging, and disability.

Gender Responsiveness Assessment Scale (GRAS) and the elements of good practice for gender mainstreaming (GM) used

Genderspecific through to gender transformative depending on use. Legislation and policies are important to improving the health of girls and boys, women and men both. However even with laws in place there can sometimes be inconsistencies between the law and orpolicy arrangements for implementation. The WPAC site can be used to collate information about related issues to check for potential and unintentional barriers or inconsistencies between related legislation and policy. For example, using this and similar databases the review of sexual and reproductive health of young people in the Asia and Pacific, identified that while the minimum legal age of consent to sex and marriage in some countries might be 15 years for both males and females, young women in the same country who areu nder 16 years of age still require parental permission to attend and receive health/medical services. This may make obtaining sexual and reproductive health services a challenge particularly for young women. Using the WPAC and other such databases in this way enables Member States to identify and better understand barriers to gender equity.


Ensuring that the information on laws and policies is analysed through a gender lens and that seeks to address gaps or inconsistencies in the legislation. For example, differences between males and females in the minimum legal age of consent to sex and marriage.

Relevant to countries who are interested in

Developing a deeper gender analysis of the situation with regard to a health condition or service (e.g. adolescent health services) that goes beyond documented health indicators, to understanding the wider policy and regulatory environment which affects health service use and behaviour.

For examples of how this database has been used and/or analysis for policy coherence see:

  1. Improving health with programmatic, legal, and policy approaches to reduce gender inequality and change restrictive gender norms .Available from:
  2. Sexual and reproductive health of young people in Asia and the Pacific. A review of issues, policies and programmes (2015)
  3. the WPRO Panorama publication.
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