My mom, Melinda and me
No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project. To announce our new effort, I sat down with my mom and Melinda Gates for a deeper conversation on the work we are going to do together and on the best ways to accelerate the inclusion of women and girls throughout the world in all aspects of the social, political, economic, and cultural life of their communities and their countries.
You can see a clip of the event here.
No Ceilings is an initiative launched this past November by my mom. It will examine the progress women and girls have made in the past 20 years since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and chart a path forward to give women and girls the opportunity to participate fully in their societies and our world. To understand how to continue advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls around the world, we must take a close look at how far we have come, including in the United States. As we discussed at our event, a vital part of doing this work is through data. In order to erase the gender gap and advance the status of women and girls, women and girls must be counted and progress must be assessed. Data not only measures progress—it inspires it.
Working together, the Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will convene traditional development partners and less traditional development partners, principally leading technology companies, to collect and then compile data into a compelling and publicly accessible review that will identify the progress that has been made, and the gaps that remain, in the 20 years since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It will also provide evidence of the strong connection between rights and opportunities for women and girls and prosperity, stability and security around the world.
The raw data and progress report will both be released in digital and written forms in 2015 in advance of the anniversary of the Beijing Conference.
If you have not yet, I hope you will take this chance to sign up to be a part of No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project.
In speaking with Melinda, she eloquently summed up why we're all so committed to this work: “If we empower women, they're going to lift their children up, their whole family up, including their daughters, and that virtuous cycle gets going and then those daughters lift the next generation up.”
While we may not yet have a clear picture of what specific actions we will need to take to crack and break ceilings everywhere for every woman and girl, we do know that the work ahead of us cannot be undertaken by any single individual or organization. It begins with the involvement of women, men, girls, and boys from all walks of life—NGOs, governments, businesses, and more—all with an understanding that women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights.
I hope you'll join us, and help accelerate progress for women and girls around the world.
P.S. In case you missed it, check out this highlights video from our conversation.