No ceilings: The full participation report

No ceilings: The full participation report

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation joined forces to assess the evidence on the gains and gaps in progress for women and girls over the past 20 years.

The report asks:

  • what do women’s and girls’ lives look like around the world 20 years after the Beijing conference
  • what barriers remain? What do the numbers tell us? How have laws and policies progressed over the same period
  • what information do we still need in order to assess the status of women and girls?

Wherever possible, data for this report were collected over a complete 20-year time frame, and include regional or country snapshots in some areas. Efforts to aggregate data on women and girls made clear that key facts remain missing. While progress on data collection on women and girls has improved since 1995, few data are collected in some areas—for example, on women’s earnings in developing countries and on the number of women living in poverty. Women’s economic contributions are not fully measured, and their unpaid work at home is not valued in national accounts. Violence against women is chronically under-reported, and information on laws addressing gender-based violence is incomplete as well. Also, not enough is known about the environmental risks women face. In an era increasingly dominated by the Internet and mobile phones, few facts are available on whether—and how—women can access technology.

The report includes the following chapters:

  • Unlocking Potential  - examines the fundamental needs that must be fulfilled to allow women and girls to reach their full potential—including human rights that guarantee autonomy in family and civic life, and building blocks such as health and education
  • Ensuring Security - looks at threats to the security of women and girls in three areas. First, it reviews available data on violence that women face at home and in their communities. Second, it highlights conflict, focusing not only on sexual violence, but also on the status of women’s participation in resolving conflict. Third, it looks at environmental threats, including climate change and natural disasters
  • Creating Opportunity - examines women’s and girls’ ability to participate in economic, political, and social life. In the economic sphere, it considers constraints on participation and the repercussions of those limitations for women and their families, as well as for productivity and growth. It also looks at the ability of women and girls to have a voice in political and civic life. Finally, it evaluates two areas that have changed markedly since 1995—technology and the media—and considers whether women are able to access these tools, which are critical to full participation in the 21st century


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