There?s not much news in Hillary Clinton getting on a stage to champion women and girls. The former First Lady turned former Secretary of State turned rumored presidential candidate has made the economic progress of women a priority throughout her career. Yet after years of finding her efforts being met with mostly indifference, Clinton is perfecting her approach.
On Monday, Clinton announced six new partnerships with global organizations to power a ?gender data revolution.? Data2X, an initiative announced by Clinton in 2012, is working to use data to advance gender equality and women?s empowerment. An initiative led by the United Nations Foundation with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, Data2x provides a platform for global leaders to foster greater collaboration on the topic of gender data in global development. Gender data around the world on key topics remains limited, and Data2x is focused on creating partnership that will create a full picture of the lives of women and girls. Moreover, without the right data, Clinton feels that you can?t make the case for why public policies around the world need to change.
?I got tired of seeing otherwise thoughtful people smile and nod when I raised these issues [women and girls],? said Clinton at an event at Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York. ?Foreign leaders, business executives, even senior officials in our own government. You can just see the wheels turning, like, ?Oh right, I knew she was going to raise women and girls. I will just smile, it will pass and then we?ll talk about really important things.? Over and over again this was an experience I had.?
Data2x has identified 28 gaps in data on women across health, education, economic opportunities, political participation and human security. Several years ago in India, for example, only 6% of women were officially counted as employed. After further research, it was discovered that women do six hours of unpaid work on average outside of the traditional economy every day. If leaders in India brought these women into the paid economy at the same level as men, the country?s GDP would increase by $1.7 trillion.
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