Female Farmers at the Anchor Farm Project in Malawi- Blog 11/14/2013

Photo by: Max W. Orenstein / Clinton Foundation
Saturday
Mar 08
2014
March 8, 2014

The Key to Empowering Women

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Some people think International Women's Day, which comes right in the middle of Women's History Month, is overdoing it. If "underdoing it" were a phrase, it's the one I would use. On most days in most months, most women and girls aren't able to raise their voices. Because no one knows the challenges they face, they're forced to face them on their own.

On International Women's Day, however, we make a point of hearing the voices of every woman and girl. Today, we make sure that every woman and every girl counts - literally.

I'm talking about a project that combines two of my favorite topics: women's empowerment and data. The media sometimes call Bill and me "data nerds." I'm not sure they mean it as a compliment, but I wear it as a badge of pride anyway. Data is not boring. If you use it right, it tells the hidden stories of millions of women and girls.

That's why the Gates and Clinton Foundations are teaming up to conduct a global review of the status of women and girls everywhere. Where they're thriving - and why. Where they're being held back -- and why. This initiative is called No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project.

The seed for this project was planted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women. That's where Hillary Clinton gave her famous speech declaring "women's rights are human rights." It's also where 189 countries came together to agree on an agenda for women's equality. Now, nearly 20 years later, it's time to check in to see whether we're meeting those goals.

This article originally appeared on CNN on March 8, 2014. Read the full article.