In 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 189 nations agreed to an ambitious Platform for Action that called for the “full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life.” At this conference, Secretary Clinton memorably declared that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
Nearly twenty years later, progress has been made. The gender gap in primary education has closed. More women hold jobs and serve in public office. In many countries, laws that once permitted unequal treatment of women and girls have been replaced by laws that recognize their equality. And a powerful new current of grassroots activism enabled by new technologies is giving voice to women and girls around the world.
Yet, for all of this progress, women and girls still comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unfed, and unpaid. Hard-won rights and legal protections remain elusive on the ground. Advancing the status of women and girls remains the unfinished business of our time.
To understand where we need to go, we need to know what we’ve achieved. The No Ceilings project will work with leading technology partners to create a comprehensive and accessible global review that will bring together and widely distribute the best data on the status of women and girls and their contributions to prosperity and security. Advocates, academics and leaders will be able to see the gains we’ve made, as well as the gaps that remain, and access and share this information across platforms in order to design reforms and drive real change. The project will also feature stories from women and girls around the world.
Through the No Ceilings project, Secretary Clinton will also outline a 21st century agenda to accelerate full participation for women and girls around the world. The project will convene the private sector, government, civil society, and individuals to accelerate progress toward this agenda.