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The World’s Women and Girls 2011 Data Sheet


from press release… Gender equality and the empowerment of women are at the heart of many national and international commitments, including the UN Millennium Development Goals, but progress has been uneven and sluggish. While some developing regions have reached or are approaching gender parity in youth literacy and secondary school enrollment, challenges lie ahead for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and Western and South Central Asia.

March 8, 2011, marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The past 100 years has witnessed much progress but there remains an unfinished agenda in many regions of the world. International Women’s Day traces its roots back to the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen in 1910. Over 100 female delegates from 17 countries voted unanimously that every year, in every country, the same day should be observed to call attention to their needs. The first International Women’s Day was launched the following year in 1911, nearly a decade before women in the United States would even have the right to vote.